International collaborations


International seed conservation projects

Among the international projects related to agriculture including good seed conservation, the relationships existing at the network level of plant germplasm banks should also be highlighted, eg. the Ensconet Consortium network to which the University of Pavia adheres, as well as the numerous contacts with various important organizations on an international level, such as the Global Seed Voult of Svalbard, managed by Global Crop Diversity TrusT (Bonn). Other projects have been carried out in collaboration with the Global Crop Diversity Trust on the conservation of seeds of the wild relatives of cultivated plants (CWR) and the seeds are currently stored at the Millennium Seed Bank of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew (UK) as well as at the University of Pavia. The Plant Germplasm Bank of the University of Pavia is part of the integrated germplasm exchange system at European level, called AEGIeS, A European Genebank Integrated System (

For further details: Prof. Graziano Rossi,



The project “Advanced Seed Priming Technologies for the Lombardy Agro-Seed Industry (PRIMTECH)” (2014-2015) includes three different actions, each one developed to valorize fundamental aspects of research in the agro-seed sector: i) Action 1, funded by Lombardy Region to promote collaboration between Academy and Industry, ii) Action 2, funded by Lombardy Region to boost the human capital by supporting researchers’ mobility, in collaboration with Hoopman Group (The Netherlands), iii) Action 3, funded by Fondazione CARIPLO for expanding the internationalization of the research network, in collaboration with ITQB (Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica António Xavier-Universidade NOVA de Lisboa (Portugal).

For further details: Prof. Alma Balestrazzi,



Contribution to the “European Beech Tree Ring Network”, a data network about annual growth of Fagus sylvatica in Europe, in collaboration with more than 30 european partners, since 2018. Effects of climate warming on populations of silver fir (Abies alba) across Europe”, in collaboration with Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Madrid, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Sevilla, and Pyrenean Institute of Ecology, (IPE-CSIC), Zaragoza (Spain), Univ. Padova and Univ. Torino (Italy), since 2014. European Research Project ENV4-CT97-0641 UE - FORMAT Sensitivity of tree-growth to climate change and growth modelling from past to future (Coordinator Univ. Marseille, France), other partners: Belgium, Spain (1998-2002).

For further details: Prof. Paola Nola,


Engineering Geology and Geotechnics

IPL International Programme on Landslides (Programme of the International Consortium of Landslide for Landslide Disaster Risk Reduction Project) - SLOPE STABILITY IN VINEYARDS WITH DIFFERENT MANAGEMENT PRACTICES (Acronym: WINESLIDES). 2022-2025. DRIVE - LIFE Drought Resilience Improvement in Vineyard Ecosystems. LIFE Environment and Resource Efficiency LIFE19 ENV/IT/000035. 1 January 2021- 31 December 2023. (

For further details: Prof. Claudia Meisina,



A collaboration is in place with the Ticinum Aerospace company ( Among its main projects, the company features Saturnalia ( a service using a combination of spaceborne and ground sensors to monitor vineyards in order to predict the characteristics of fine wines before they get to the market. The initiative is supported by a research project coordinated with and co-financed by the European Space Agency (, which is leading to the gradual construction of a "global electronic map" of wines, with fresh information added daily. Specific initiatives for students, as well as internships, can be developed in the framework of the above collaboration with Ticinum Aerospace.

For further details: Prof. Stefano Sibilla,


Soil projects at European level

Research cooperation with Charles University of Prague, CZ; University of Bydgoszcz,PL; Leibnitz Institut für Agrartechnik und Bioökonomie (ATB) Potsdam, DE; University of Florence, IT; University of Pavia IT (Michael Maerker): “Healthy soil for a healthy life: where biotic meets abiotic diversity for sustainable orchards, and beyond SOIL4ORCHARD”. Research cooperation with University of Pietermaritzburg RSA; Fachhochschule Stuttgart, DE; Leibnitz Institut für Agrartechnik und Bioökonomie (ATB) Potsdam, DE; University of Pavia IT (Michael Maerker), Moscow State University Lomonossow, RU: “Gully erosion dynamics under global change onditions: Quantitative analysis, simulation and impact assessment regarding agricultural systems”. Research cooperation with University of Tübingen, Volker Hochschild DE; UNIPV (Michael Maerker) “Soil sensing using fieldspectrometry”. German Research Foundation (DFG) 4 years project: „What makes a soil landscape robust? How landuse change affect landscape sensitivity in a southern alpine valley (Ticino Switzerland); (Was macht eine Bodenlandschaft robust? Landschaftssensitivität gegenüber Landnutzungsänderungen am Beispiel eines südalpinen Tales (Tessin, Schweiz))“ Sebastian Vogel Leibnitz Institut für Agrartechnik und Bioökonomie (ATB) Potsdam, DE.

For further details: Prof. Michael Maerker,

Different projects in collaboration with JRC European Soil Observatory, European Commission.

For further details: Prof. Pasquale Borrelli,


Jersey Island

The University of Pavia actively collaborates with the Paisaia European Landscape International Foundation ( for the recovery of typical landscapes, often coinciding with areas where it is appropriate to restore traditional agro-forestry-pastoral activities.

For further details: Prof. Graziano Rossi,


Soil projects

Several projects in collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture, USDA.

For further details: Prof. Pasquale Borrelli,


International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)

The project “Development of a DNA-free genome editing protocol and characterization of germination profiles in biofortified rice” is carried out in collaboration with Dr. Inez Slamet-Loedin, Senior Scientist and Head of Rice Genetic Design and Validation Unit (RGDV) at IRRI. This is a PhD project dealing with the production of high-iron and high-zinc rice lines using the CRISPR-Cas approach and the subsequent characterization in terms of seed vigour and germination efficiency by employing several phenotypic, physiologic, molecular and imaging techniques. In addition, seed priming techniques will be implemented to further improve the selected biofortified rice lines with additional traits of agronomic interest, such as drought tolerance. 

For further details: Dr. Anca Macovei,


TECO Project

The project “Enhancing seed germination on contaminated soils using simple priming techniques” has been funded in the frame of the TECO initiative (Technological ECO-innovations for the quality control and the decontamination of polluted waters and soils) - Grant for an Italian-Indian bilateral mobility. The project, carried out at the Institute of Environment and Sustainable Development, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi (India) (October -  November 2018) aimed at the identification of the most adequate methodology for hydropriming treatments applied to the forage legume Medicago truncatula, evaluation of seed germination and seedling establishment on different types of contaminated soils from the Varanasi area. Correlations between seedling phenotype and key molecular players during germination and seedling development were established, as well as outreach towards small local farmers to disseminate how to use hydropriming to improve their agricultural practices.

For further details: Dr. Anca Macovei,


International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB)

The collaboration includes two research project funded in the frame of the Arturo Falaschi Program during 2011-2012, carried out in the group of Dr. Narendra Tuteja. The projects “MicroRNAs targeting helicases from rice: validation and response to abiotic stress” and “Low-dose rate gamma radiation as a tool for the study of DNA damage and repair mechanisms in rice: role of transcription factors and microRNAs” allowed to explore some molecular aspects associated with abiotic stress tolerance in rice.

For further details: Dr. Anca Macovei,


Soil projects

Several projects in collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

For further details: Prof. Pasquale Borrelli,


CUBWAM project  (Chemical Upgrading of Biowaste to Advanced Materials) in collaboration with the Universities of Venice and Sidney, "Photo- and Mechano-Chemistry for the Upgrading of Agro- and Sea-food Waste to advanced polymers and nanocarbon materials" 

This project targets the waste streams of the fishery and fruit preserve industries as a source of biomolecules and biopolymers (chitin, chitosan, and lignocellulose, respectively) with the aim of implementing innovative sustainable processes for their conversion into high added value products and materials for cosmetic, nutraceutical pharmaceutical sectors. The overarching goal of the project is the identification of a flexible waste biorefining scheme where waste management, chemical treatment of residues, and commercial promotion and salability of the products are integrated.  Agricultural residues in particular are discarded or used to produce low-value fertilizers or fuels, although the pomaces from blackberry, raspberry, blackcurrant, wild strawberry, pomegranate and blueberry – currently managed as a waste – are a source of precious biomolecules and of lignocellulose. In this context, supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) is considered as a green technology for the recovery of precious biomolecules (mostly polyunsaturated oils and terpenes) from agricultural waste.  SFE allows preliminary extraction of the pomace wastes, generating two streams: one of high-value cosmetic and nutraceutical and a second of lignocellulose that goes to the secondary photochemical upgrading. On the other hand, hydrothermal (HT) processing of waste biopolymers leads to new biomaterials such as carbon dots with advanced opto-electronic and photochemical properties and attractive photocatalytic activity that will be the basis for further upgrading/applications. The carbon dots will go either go on to the development of photocatalytic upgrading technologies or directly to the associated companies for applications in the respective sectors.

For further details: Prof. Stefano Protti,



A collaboration between the University of Pavia and Egerton University, as well as Jomo Kenyatta University of agriculture and technology in Kenya has already been active since some time, thanks to international projects, such as Agriscale, Reforming agri-entrepreneurship education in sub-Saharan Africa ( The same applies to other universities in Uganda and Zambia.


COOPEN-Kenya Project

The University of Pavia is Partner of the project “Nakuru, Kenya: valorization of local seeds and their resilience” led by Fondazione Slow Food International and funded in the frame of Call for Innovators - Food and Sustainable Agriculture (Coopen Initiative) - Fondazione Cariplo and Fondazione Compagnia di San Paolo. The main goal of the project (start: October 1st, 2021) is to address the challenge of crop biodiversity in Kenya, by promoting a sustainable agriculture based on local varieties and cultivation of climate-change resilient crop plants. The project aims at preserving the local biodiversity at the level of seeds, improving local knowledge on the care and proper conservation of seeds, as well as procedures to enhance germination. A parallel activity will be dedicated to improve local knowledge on healthy and nutrient food consumption and the awareness about the beneficial impact on health at both individual and community level. Knowledge on seed conservation/vigorization procedures (innovation) will be transferred, by means of a training course, to a team of selected Kenyan agronomists who will in turn train village leaders. A parallel study will be carried out to assess the level of food knowledge and a training course will be held, aimed at knowledge transfer/sensibilization on the relevance of nutrition for health.

For further details: Prof. Alma Balestrazzi, alma.balestrazzi@unipv.itProf. Graziano Rossi,; Prof. Hellas Cena,


BENEFIT-Med Project

The University of Pavia coordinates the project “Boosting technologies of orphan legumes towards resilient farming systems in the Greater Mediterranean Region: from bench to open field (BENEFIT-Med) funded in the frame of the PRIMA Call - (Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area) ( This three-year project (start: June 1st, 2022) promotes the valorization of seed quality in neglected, but highly resilient, species (orphan legumes) as tools to develop innovative solutions for sustainable agriculture, applied to the vulnerable regions of the Mediterranean Basin. BENEFIT-Med is a multidisciplinary project resulting from the synergic interaction of 11 partners: University of Pavia, Università di Sfax (Tunisia), Agricultural University of Athens (Greece), Institut National de Recherche pour l'Agriculture, l'Alimentation et l’Environnement-INRAE (France), Associação BLC3-Campus de Tecnologia e Inovação (Portugal), Benaki Phytopatological Institute (Greece), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology-Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research (Germany), Institute Hassan II of Agronomy and Veterinary Medicine (Morocco), University of Casablanca (Morocco), University Ferhat Abbas-Setif 1 (Algeria), and the Seed Company AGROLAND s.a.- Katsis Bros (Greece).

For further details: Prof. Alma Balestrazzi,



Sustainable groundwater RESources managEment by integrating eaRth observation deriVed monitoring and flOw modelIng Results, Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area, PRIMA SECTION 1 RIA Sustainable groundwater management in water-stressed Mediterranean areas. 1 March 2020- 28 February 2024 (

For further details: Prof. Claudia Meisina,