Meet one of the scientists who made BESTMEDGRAPE possible!
BESTMEDGRAPE project started 2 years ago and is still running and progressing thanks to the efforts of teams from different countries around the Mediterranean. In previous articles, we got to know about some of the project members, and in this article, we will introduce Guy D’Hallewin, the responsible for the research team of the CNR – ISPA (Institute of sciences of food production), the Italian partner of BESTMEDGRAPE.
Who is Guy D’Hallewin?
From the province of Kivu, in Congo, the 6 years old Guy moved to Belgium and then to Italy where he completed his higher education and lived for the past years.
His innate interest in science and research grew thanks to the experimental thesis on population dynamic studies of the grape berry moth (Lobesia botana) and biological control strategies in vineyards of north and south Sardinia.
In addition to his curiosity and to the full immersion in field and laboratory research activities carried out during his thesis, his commitment with research became a way of life, as he explains.
One opportunity after the other, and after years of hard work, he got a fix position near the CNR. Beside the researches on host-pathogen interactions, his interest grew in eco sustainable approaches to recover useful health phytochemicals from by-/waste- products from the agro-food chain, which is at present his main research topic.
His role in BESTMEDGRAPE
Guy tells us about his role in BESTMEDGRAPE project and he says: “the team of ISPA represents partner 1 (PP1), our main activities fall within the scientific work packages. Concerning my role, I act as coordinator of the research staff, and part of my work involves administrative governance and checking the outcomes of all laboratory activities.”.
Also concerning the project, Guy sees that the forthcoming for the beneficiaries is assured by the fact that BESTMEDGRAPE act as an international top-down project involving from the early beginning the potential entrepreneurs, to whom all activities are addressed, and the focus of the project falls within the main goals of the ‘Green Deal’ program. In addition, all steps have been carefully studied in order to spill innovation, by programmed theoretical and practical actions the scientific knowledge, on behalf of the living labs. This allows direct interaction between the beneficiaries and the research teams. Finally, the project supports business creation by providing participants with tools allowing them to develop and strengthen skills and expertise useful in the start-up phase of a new business; this will assure a positive outcome and growth of the newborn enterprises.
Encouraging the Youth…
Projects like BESTMEDGRAPE, where knowledge transfer involves the launch of novel enterprises for youth entrepreneurs with no experience, present a challenge from Guy’s point of view. Still, today youths are more aware of circular economy, pollution, energy saving, sustainability, and building innovative activities on these subjects is appealing. Thus, projects aimed at involving youths to create new enterprises and new products should focus on sustainable innovation employing approaches with a good scientific background to create new products, in his opinion. In addition, the top-down step-by-step method will increase the interest, curiosity, and interaction between youth entrepreneurs and the research sector by employing the living lab approach.
As for the chance that these new businesses survive and grow, he mentions that not all entrepreneurs that started will develop a successful business, but based on the interest of the youths who attended the Living labs and the business creation path, prospective is great. And he relates this to the fact that BESTMEDGRAPE has been thought for the Mediterranean area, where the raw starting material is largely available at reduced costs, and the final product, attained by sustainable low-cost approaches, owns a high value on the market. And he continues: “In some partner countries, it is for sure not only a merely economic question but also environmental concerns and the idea to use innovative processes to develop a sustainable enterprise, which will play a role in their survival and growth. Once started the growth depends on the demand and on the entrepreneur capacity to increase the consumers’ interest in factory’s products. Concerning the first fact, statistics indicate a significant increase in the request for natural cosmetics in the next future. The second aspect depends mainly on the established and future interaction between the entrepreneur and research teams. For this reason, projects such as BESTMEDGRAPE, where entrepreneurs got in contact with the research on behalf of the activities held by the living labs, are warranty of success”.
Concerning survival and growth of businesses started by the BESTMEDGRAPE project in other MED regions, he assures that there will be a positive issue especially considering that the raw material from local grape varieties owns different characteristics that may characterize the product. In addition, the interactions between the entrepreneurs and the research entities have been very constructive, thanks to the living labs.
Moreover, this project was also important to get into contact with youth entrepreneurs from different MED countries and by the building of a platform giving them the possibility to have access to a continuing interchange of ideas and upgrade of knowledge.