The Skills for the Future Idea Camp was held on 29 October at the Centre for the Conservation of Agricultural and Forestry Plant Germoplasma in Marianelli, in the Vendicari reserve.

An intelligent refrigerator and organic ink extracted from food waste. And again: a biodegradable packaging that blooms and food waste reused in an Eco-Bar. These and many other ideas were the basis of the ideas launched by the Sicilian students gathered in the Marianelli germoplasm center in Vendicari, and that will “fly” in Europe. On Tuesday there was the Innovation camp of “Skills for the Future“, a European project, proposed by EIT Food (European Institute of Technology for the agro-food sector) and JA Italia, which aims to influence and innovate education systems and access to the labor market. Skills for the Future is supported by the European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT) under the RIS (Regional innovation scheme) to increase innovation in European countries and regions with a mediocre or modest innovation capacity.

100 pupils, divided into 20 teams, challenged each other in the enchanting location of the Marianelli centre, provided by the regional authority of State Property and Forests of Siracuse (IT). They developed entrepreneurial ideas based on the attempt to respond to global changes, and which prepare young people for the labour market of tomorrow. Sicilian students faced two challenges: “Food waste”, the fight against food waste, and “Agriculture 4.0”, the technological innovations in agriculture.

“A day,” – said Mario Roccaro, project manager for EIT Food – “in which the objective was to simulate business in the food sector, and to ensure that entrepreneurial skills can become part of the curriculum of schools for a sustainable transformation of the agro-food system. In this way we have also begun to address the problems of industry and the environmental sector in a sustainable way, influencing students in a positive way and inducing them to find creative solutions to the problems of the sector.

At the end of an exciting and intense day, the panel of experts chose the 5 best ideas:

Eco Buy” buy what you need in a biodegradable packaging that blooms, team institute “Salvo D’Acquisto” of Bagheria, Palermo, formed by Gabriele Torregrossa, Samuele Barca, Riccardo Ortisi, Gianvito Modica, Filippo Patanè and Karim Basile.

Anti Waste Fridge” App for smartphones for supermarkets that allows you to avoid waste of food that expires, team institute  “Michelangelo Bartolo” of Pachino, Siracuse, formed by Danny Fiorilla, Giorgio Dipietro, Salvatore Fronte, Francesco Galanti, Damiano Garofalo and Sebastiano Campisi.

Appetize4Life” a system to reuse food production waste, which find new life as food and drink offered in a Green Bar, the Eco-Bar, team institute “Grimaldi” of Modica, Ragusa, formed by: Giovanni Scarso, Aurora Corallo, Marika Veninata, Carmelo Sangiorgio and Giovanni Armenia.

APS 2.0, Automatic Plant Saver“, a system that opens automatically, protecting plants in the field from wind, frost and hail, team institute “Majorana” of Milazzo, Messina, formed by: Salvatore Amante, Antonino Samuele Di Paola, Stefano La Malfa, Alessandro Ruggeri, Giuseppe Spadaro.

Bio4Ink“, a bio ink extracted from plants and fruit, non-toxic and sustainable, team institute “Galilei Campailla” of Modica, Ragusa, formed by Giovanni Manenti, Nicoletta Giurdanella, Eva Pluchino, Matteo Roccasalva, Leonarda Giurdanella.

An opportunity for us students – said Nadia Geraci, of the “Majoana” of Milazzo – a recreational moment that has made us grow”. For Samuele Barca, of the institute “Salvo D’Acquisto di Bagheria was “an important day – said Samuele – where we learned so much to enter the world of work and accustom the mind. It will take us to make progress for the future”. For Giorgio Vindigni of the “Galilei” of Modica was a project that “allowed us to get involved – explained the student Ragusa. Andrea Cataudella, of the “Bartolo” of Pachino has spoken of an “opportunity – it has specified Andrea – to make us open the mind toward of the solutions in order to resolve of the problems, as for example the waste of the food“.

Now, the 5 ideas of Sicilian students will fly to Brussels on 28th November, where 20 students from ‘Italy, 20 from Slovenia and 20 from Hungary will meet to be involved in training on how to do business.