At the center of food supply chains
We are based in Parma, in the heart of the Food Valley.
Since 2010 we have been dealing with innovation and technology transfer consultancy
in the agri-food sector, in Italy and around the world.
From 2020, thanks to the integration with Azienda Agraria Sperimentale Stuard in Parma, the creation of the Stuard Lab, the Stuard outlet (Emporio Stuard) and the Stuard Bio-farmhouse (Bioagriturismo Stuard), we have closed the entire experimental chain from field to table.
We believe that the most innovative techniques and the latest scientific knowledge in the agrifood sector are essential to combine the industrial production of foods with the unique and simple flavors of nature, preserving their taste and their use for the well-being of people. We also believe in the possibility of effective action to enhance the sustainability of the food sector, particularly as regards circularity, regenerative agriculture, organic agriculture and precision farming.
We create value in food chains by linking research to industry and market needs.
Know-how on durum wheat quality, processing techniques and Innovation management
He graduated in Agricultural Sciences. In the early 90s he worked as Associate Scientist at CIMMYT, Mexico. In 1993 he received a Master of Science at the Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA. In 1993, he joined Barilla and began working as manager in the R&D department. For Barilla he organized strategic research projects that led to the release of four high-quality varieties of durum wheat and eight European patents. He has been responsible for a number of major research projects funded at national and European level. In 2005, he was appointed director of CORIAL (Food Research Consortium of Barilla in Foggia). From 1998 to 2010, he was an advisor of Italmopa (Association of Italian millers), and from 2005 to 2010 board member of the European research project HEALTHGRAIN. In 2010 he founded Open Fields Ltd., of which he is Managing Director. Since 2014 he is member of the Italian National Academy of Agriculture. Since 2020 he is President of Azienda Agraria Sperimentale Stuard.
Chief Operating Officer, PhD in Food Science
Expertise in cereal biochemistry and R&D project management
She graduated in Food Science and Technology at the University of Parma, Italy, and entered the PhD program in Food Science and Technology of the same University. In her PhD studies, carried out at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (2004-2007), she focused on the characterization of a family of plant proteins, the Lipid Transfer Proteins, which are important food allergens in the Mediterranean area. In 2008, she joined the European Commission Joint Research Centre as a post-doc at the Institute for Health and Consumer Protection in Ispra, Varese, Italy. In particular she dealt with the development of analytical methods for the detection of genetically modified organisms (GMO). Here she collaborated with different research institutes at an international level and carried out part of the experimental work abroad. She has several publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Since 2011 she works at Open Fields as project manager.
PhD in Food Science
Know-how on alternative cereals and pseudo-cereals, food quality and safety and scientific communication
Bachelor and Master in Food Sciences and Technologies at the University of Parma. The Master thesis dealt with the rheological characterization of semolina for bread with traditional and alternative methods for predicting potential production problems. The research work was carried out at Barilla S.p.A.
In May 2017 she joined the Open Fields group through a traineeship; since November of the same year she undertook a Ph.D. in Food Sciences at the University of Parma. The Ph.D research project dealt with the improvement of the use of food resources of African countries: it focused on the study of sorghum sprouting as a sustainable biotechnological process to produce bakery products with an improved nutritional profile, and on the development, optimization and implementation of “Pappa di Parma” against children malnutrition. During the Ph.D., she continued her cooperation with Open Fields by supporting the research activity of the Society. Since 2021 she works at Open Fields and Azienda Agraria Sperimentale Stuard as Food Technologist.
Master Degree in Food Science and Technology.
Expertise in Product Data Management (PDM).
After attending a scientific high school in Parma (bilingual, strengthened by an exchange year in Belgium), Ilaria undertook a bachelor degree of Food Science and Technology in Parma which she completed in 2019 with a thesis on the production and quality of hemp flour. She then continued her studies between the University of Parma (Food Science and Technology) and the faculty of Bioscience Engineering at the University of Ghent. It was during the semester of attendance in Ghent that she decided to carry out a research project – the basis of her Master’s thesis – in the food microbiology laboratories of this university. The project involved the characterization of spoilage and volatile organic compounds of minced beef packed under modified atmosphere and stored at refrigerated temperature. The final aim was to identify some potential biomarker of microbial growth. Since November 2021 Ilaria’s been working with Open Fields as a Food Technologist, with particular focus on Product Data Management.
PhD in crop protection
Expertise in crop supply chain quality assurance and management
He graduated in Agricultural Sciences at the Tuscia University, Viterbo (Italy). In 2007 he enrolled in a PhD program in Crop Protection and in 2011, he defended his Ph.D. degree with a dissertation entitled “Biological control strategies of kiwifruit bacterial pathogens”. His research activities were carried out mainly at the Department of Plant Protection (DAFNE) of the Tuscia University and partly at the “Plant and Food Research Center” in Hamilton (New Zealand). He is author of several papers in national and international journals. In 2012 he started working as agronomist dealing with issues concerning crop and livestock production, farmer assistance, rural development, common agriculture policy (CAP) and environmental impact assessments. Since February 2014, he works at the enterprise “Open Fields” on the development of agri-food chains.
Expert in crop production, cost evaluation and digital farming
Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Science and Technology in 2014, at the University of Modena – Reggio Emilia, with a thesis on the carbon footprint and energy balance in the cultivation of processing tomato under conventional and organic regime. In 2017, he obtained the Master’s Degree in Agricultural Sciences, curriculum production and plant crop protection, at the Catholic University of Piacenza, with a thesis on the effect of conservative tillage on the structural stability of soil.
In June 2017, he qualified to the profession of Agronomist, always in the same period he accredited as a consultant for the certification of the sustainability of wineries, as part of the VIVA project sponsored by the Ministry of the Environment and Protection of Land and Sea.
After almost twenty years as an electronic technician, from 2010, he devoted himself to the profession of farmer and from 2017 joined Open Fields.
Jad B Novi
PhD in Plant Genetics
Experience in bread and durum wheat breeding and field trial management
Graduated as an agricultural expert from the Liceo Scientifico Giotto Ulivi high school in Borgo San Lorenzo (FI). Undertook a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Science and Technology at the University of Florence and then embarked on and completed a master’s degree in Agricultural Science and Technology – Plant Medicine Curriculum – at the University of Bologna in 2019 with a thesis focused on the characterization of durum wheat germplasm for resistance to Zymoseptoria tritici (Septoria), the causal agent of Septoria tritici Blotch. During his thesis period, he did a three-month period abroad at INRA – BIOGER in France to characterize different strains of Septoria. In the same year he embarked on a PhD in Plant Genetics, also at the University of Bologna. The main research topic was the characterization of durum and bread wheat germplasm to the main diseases of the Mediterranean area, such as rust, fusarium and septoria. The main activities related to the project were focused on field phenotyping of varieties and landraces for the aforementioned diseases, for the identification and characterization of resistance genes to be used in modern breeding and Marker Assisted Selection (MAS) programs.
Expert in marketing and communication, business planning, feasibility studies
Degree in Political Science with a thesis on strategies in the food industry, she has 30 years of experience in market analysis and research, strategic analysis, marketing and communication consulting and teaching. From 1990 to 1999 she worked at Prometeia (Bologna), dealing with studies, consulting and lectures mainly focused on the food industry. She then worked as a senior copywriter in an advertising agency and senior marketing consultant for management consulting firms, especially for new business concept development, feasibility studies, marketing plans. She has been asked to coordinate the work of advertising agencies in the implementation of projects. Ilaria collaborates with Open Fields in concept drafting, business planning and plans for the launch of new products.
Business Development Manager
Expert in agri-food supply chains and international marketing of the main Made in Italy excellences
For over thirty years he has been working in the agri-food industry, promoting business development and marketing at an international level for the main excellence of Made in Italy, as regards both technology and food products. Since the early 90’s he has been involved in the sale of process and packaging systems and machines in the Food & Beverage sector, developing the first complete lines in the world for the packaging of mineral water in 20lt containers. At the beginning of 2000 he joined the newborn CIO, the Interregional Fruit and Vegetable Consortium of Parma, which brings together the most important cooperative POs (Producer Organisations) in the Italian tomato sector. He began to deal with sustainability and participated for more than 10 years in the works and projects of the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Platform, an organization founded in 2002 by Unilever Nestlè and Danone. He has managed for many years the annual contracts for the supply of tomato derivatives on behalf of the Consorzio Casalasco del Pomodoro with the main multinational companies in the food sector. He was President of the Antonio Bizzozero Foundation from 2010 to 2014 and of the Azienda Agraria Sperimentale Stuard in 2013-2014. For some years he has been collaborating as an investor manager with some startups active in the Agri Tech sector with a focus on traceability and Smart labels for the reduction of food waste.
Since 2021 he has been collaborating with Open Fields.
One of the top world experts in milling technology
Milling technologist. In 1984 he joined the Barilla group and for 24 years he has worked as Miller at the mill in Altamura. Between 2009 and 2016 he worked as technologist of the Barilla mills in Italy and abroad. Thanks to his working experience and training at Bühler in Switzerland, he developed expertise in plant engineering for industrial food processes, in methods to modify the milling flow chart and in the improvement of the technologies for milling durum wheat. In 2016 he started a freelancing career and since 2017 he collaborates with Open Fields as technology consultant.
One of the top world experts in flour quality and bakery technology.
Food Technologist specialized in cereal flours and bakery products. For 18 years he acted as Head of Research of Wheat, Flour and Cereal of the Barilla Group and before that of Vigevano Mills SpA. In view of his experience in the preparation and maintenance of quality standards for flour and grain for the Barilla group, he was appointed as a member of the Subcommittee on cereals and derivatives CEN (European Committee for Standardization). He participated in HEALTHGRAIN, a European FP6 research project. He is co-owner of three European patents relating to the treatment of starch with high pressure, the cooking technique of cereals to IR and debranning of common wheat. Presently, he manages applied research for the processing of cereals, and, in particular, he collaborates with Open Fields on research projects on milling and grain-based ingredients
Responsible for administration and financial reporting
After graduating as a commercial technician in 1988, he attended training courses in production planning and logistics and after military experience he was hired in a logistics role at KIT ITALIA / AB HAUS s.r.l., a company that supplies furniture in assembly kits for large-scale distribution. In 2000 he became a logistics operator at TGS spa, a leading company in the automotive sector for the production of components in plastics and composite materials, collaborating with Fiat, Porsche, Ferrari, also actively participating in production planning. In 2003 he became logistics operator and production programmer at EUROSTEEL ITALIA srl, a company of the FREZZA SPA group among the main world players for the production of office furniture. In 2017 he became an administrative employee at OPEN FIELDS srl, operating not only at the administrative level but also making use of the experience in the field of logistics and programming. The main fields of operation are management control and reporting of projects financed both nationally and internationally.