Academic Research


NODES: Nord Ovest Digitale E Sostenibile

“NODES-Nord Ovest Digitale e Sostenibile” is a project financed by the Italian Ministry of University and Research as part of the investments envisaged by the PNRR. The project will deliver 110 million euros to the territory of Piedmont, Valle d’Aosta and the westernmost provinces of Lombardy (Como, Varese and Pavia) and 15 million euros for research activities and cascading tenders in favor of the southern Regions of the Country.


Preliminary Information


OTHER UNISG RESEARCHERS INVOLVED: Nicola Perullo, Andrea Pieroni, Michele Antonio Fino, Franco Fassio, Lorenzo Bairati, Maria Giovanna Onorati, Michele Filippo Fontefrancesco, Luca Antoniazzi, Nazarena Cela, Elena Corcione, Roberta Destefanis, Maddalena Castellani, Andrey Felipe Sgorla, Naji Sulaiman

PARTNERSHIP: Politecnico di Torino (Italy), Università degli Studi di Torino (Italy), Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale “Amedeo Avogadro” (Italy), Università della Valle d’Aosta (Italy), Università degli Studi dell’Insubria (Italy), Università degli Studi di Pavia (Italia),  Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Italy), ERSAF – Ente Regionale per i Servizi all’Agricoltura e alle Foreste (Italy), Istituto Auxologico Italiano Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria “Maggiore della Carità” di Novara (Italy), Fondazione Torino Wireless (Italy), Environment Park SpA (Italy), Bioindustry Park Silvano Fumero SpA (BioPMed) (Italy), Consorzio Per La Promozione Della Cultura Plastica – Proplast (Italy), M.I.A.C. Scpa (Italy), Città Studi S.p.a. di Biella (Italy), Leading Innovation & Knowledge for Society (LINKS) Fondazione LINKS (Italy), Fondazione Montagna Sicura – Montagne Sure (Italy), Competence Industry Manufacturing 4.0 Scarl (Italy), I3P S.C.P.A (Italy),  Società per la gestione dell’Incubatore di Imprese ed il Trasferimento Tecnologico dell’Università degli Studi di Torino – 2i3T (Italy), Sviluppo Como ComoNExT (Italy), OGR-TECH Società Consortile per azioni OGR-CRT (Italy)

DURATION OF THE PROJECT: 36 months (October 2022 – September 2025)

FUNDING INSTRUMENT: MISSIONE «ISTRUZIONE E RICERCA» Ministero dell’Università e della Ricerca, Missione 4 Componente 2 Investimento 1.5 del PNRR – Piano Nazionale Ripresa Resilienza






“NODES-Nord Ovest Digitale e Sostenibile” aims to support innovation on high-potential technological trajectories.  On the one hand, it develops new products and processes in existing SMEs, stimulating research enhancement and technology transfer processes and increasing their competitiveness also at an international level. On the other hand, the project encourages the creation of start-ups and spin-offs in the identified sectors, attracting additional economic resources from Venture Capital funds. To implement this collaboration, collaborative innovation paths and tools will be studied between start-ups, SMEs, large companies and the world of research that are innovative, scalable and replicable even after the PNRR is concluded.

Great attention is paid to the training of talents and to the up-skilling and re-skilling of personnel employed with advanced training and through innovative teaching approaches and their inclusion in the productive world, with a focus on the involvement of women in the STEM field and innovation of the role of the research doctorate in an «industrial» perspective. Large companies support the Ecosystem by playing a key role in identifying industrial development trajectories, hiring highly qualified personnel and supporting the absorption of the innovations developed.

In particular, the University of Gastronomic Sciences is the scientific manager of the Spoke number 7 dedicated to secondary agro-industry. The spoke’s objective is:

  • Contribute to the innovation of the agro-food processing system in the northwestern part of Italy, which has excellent expertise in the management, valorisation and transformation of agricultural resources.
  • Increase the competitiveness of the local food system in terms of safety, quality and added-value of food products, through digitalisation, circularity, sustainability of the supply chain, training and new communication models aimed at informing and educating consumers on the sustainable food production.
Opportunities and calls for enterprises

As part of the Spoke 7 initiatives, the NODES project has the following calls active:

  • Cascade Call for Enterprises LINE A -Southern Italy(Deadline 09/30/2023 – 11:59 p.m.)
  • Cascade call for enterprises LINE A(II cut off – Deadline 31/10/2023 – 23:59)*
  • Cascade Call for Enterprises LINE B(II cut off – Deadline 31/10/2023 – 23:59)*

*Applications for the second cut off can be submitted from September 1, 2023. The second deadline for submission of the call for proposals is October 31, 2023. The evaluation process will start after the deadline.

Click HERE to learn about all the calls related to Spoke 7 – Secondary Agroindustry.





Fontefrancesco, M.F.; Costa, A. Keeping the Knives Sharp: Socioeconomic Innovation in the Artisan Sector of Butchery in Italy. Societies 2023, 13, 80.

Fontefrancesco, M.F.; Zocchi, D.M.; Pieroni, A. The Intersections between Food and Cultural Landscape: Insights from Three Mountain Case Studies. Land 2023, 12, 676. 

Fontefrancesco, MF (2023). Un pezzo di castagnaccio, una manciata di castagne. Storia agraria e paesaggio montano nell’Alessandrino tra sviluppo, interruzione e possibile ripresa. Quaderno di storia contemporanea, 73: 218-234

Fontefrancesco, MF, Zocchi, DM (2023). Filiere agroalimentari corte: sfide e soluzioni dell’imprenditoria artigina italiana. Quaderni di ricerca sull’artigianato 1/2023: 87/117.

Fontefrancesco, M.F. Traditional food for a sustainable future? exploring vulnerabilities and strengths in Italy’s foodscape and short agrifood chains author. Sustain Earth Reviews 6, 7 (2023).

Fontefrancesco, M.F. (2023). A Local Cheese: The Affective Economy of Food Embeddedness in the Italian Western Alps. Humans, 3: 271-282.

Bairati, L. (2023). Contractual governance in global food systems. In A.M. Mancaleoni, R. Torino (a cura di), Agrifood market regulation and contractual relationships in the light of directive (eu) 633/2019 (pp. 105-122). RomaTrE-Press, ISBN: 979-12-5977-231-2– 2023 [hyperlink]

Sulaiman, N., Zocchi, D.M., Borrello, M.T., Mattalia, G., Antoniazzi, L., Berlinghof, S.E., Bewick, A., Häfliger, I., Schembs, M., Torri, L., Pieroni, A. (2024). Traditional Knowledge Evolution over Half of a Century: Local Herbal Resources and Their Changes in the Upper Susa Valley of Northwest Italy. Plants 2024, 13, 43.

Fontefrancesco, M.F., Sgorla A.F. (2023). Traiettorie inesplorate di antropologia del cibo: lo stato dell’arte dell’antropologia della birra in Italia. Narrare i Gruppi, 18(2): 181-198.

Corcione, E. (2023). In the Wake of Bonsucro: Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives and Third-Party Certifiers at the Test Bench of OECD National Contact Points, in Business and Human Rights Journal, 8(2), 271-276. doi:10.1017/bhj.2023.17

Fontefrancesco, M.F. (2023). Pausa pranzo: tra necessita, lavoro e comunità. In C. Aglialoro, Il cibo e le mense aziendali delle grandi fabbriche del Novecento (pp. 36-39). Ronchi dei legionari: Consorzio Culturale del Monfalconese. (PDF allegato)

Fontefrancesco, M.F. (2023). Sfide e Prospettive dell’Antropologia Applicata: Oltre la Mera Applicazione. In R.S. Palmisano (a cura di), Post-global Anthropology and other adventures (pp. 27-40). Bologna: I Libri di Emil. (PDF allegato)

Fontefrancesco, M.F. (2023). Affective Economy: A Theoretical Outline. Encyclopedia 2023, 3, 1020-1027.

Castellani, M. (2023). Relational Narratives of Food in Design and Architecture Exhibitions. Humanities 12: 135.

Cela, N., Giorgione, V., Fassio, F., Torri, L. (2024). Impact of circular economy information on sensory acceptability, purchase intention and perceived value of upcycled foods by young consumers. Food Research International, 175,113765.




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Interview date: 10/04/204


News about the project:

This initiative is part of the project NODES which has received funding from the MUR – M4C2 1.5 of PNRR funded by the European Union – NextGenerationEU (Grant agreement no. ECS00000036).