Optimization of adjuvants and generic nutrients usage and optimized integrated water management in small agricultural catchments:Optimized delivery performance of cyclodextrin based nanosponges (CDNS) for agrochemicals

European Call(s)


SFS -28-2018-2019

Name of the organisation


Description of the organisation

Our core areas are Specialty Chemicals and Life Science, including downstream sectors. We accompany our clients through technical advances by providing specific support either to exogenous or endogenous high-tech development projects. We assist our customers in strengthening their growth by insertion of implementing and disruptive innovation in their product portfolio. Our interdisciplinary expertise and global cooperation with industry and academy enable us to offer development opportunities to our customers by creating fruitful upstream and downstream synergies and by supporting them from the initial generation of the concept of a product to its industrial scale- up. A certified qualification in Innovation Management and Business Administration, allows the successful realization of Business plans for innovative materials and related industrial solutions; competence in project set up and coordination within private and public funding programs at national and international level.

Main areas of expertise

The area of expertise is Agrochemistry integrated with water management technologies for agricultural applications and biotech solutions. Expertise in Life sciences and in the chemical matching between CDs derivatives and guest molecules plus the knowledge of controlled delivery of agro adjuvants through supramolecular compounds for a controlled release of the nutrients. As the CDNSs can act as water absorbers aimed at storing and releasing under controlled conditions, expertise in the water technologies for irrigation purposes is another important area of expertise dealing with this project.

Contact Persons

Francesco Trotta

Looking for: Partner(s) - Coordinator

The partners we are looking for are:
a chemical entity specialized in Agrochemistry, including adjuvants and nutrients to be delivered to the plants in sustainable way
an industrial entity operating in water management technologies
an enterprise specialized in water analytics and substances detection

Main Objectives:

1. to control the release of nutrients directly delivered to the plant via root intrusion. The control is both in time and in quantity with the subsequent effect of reducing the quantity of wasted nutrients dispersed into the soil and to be recovered by water treatment technologies. CDNS can form complexes with different types of lipophilic or hydrophilic molecules. The release of the entrapped molecules can vary by modifying the structure to achieve prolonged release kinetics or a faster release. The nanosponges could be used to protect degradable substances, obtain sustained delivery systems or design innovative nutrients carriers. In addition the β -CDNS can be synthesized through processes suitable for industrial scale up and at sustainable costs.They act as selective carriers for multiple compounds at “ppb-level” according to the cross linkers included, therefore reducing the quantity of wasted nutrients, including deriving gas, pollutants for the river basins and the marine environment.
2. to develop a water retaining sustainable technology suitable for small agricultural catchments. The 2nd generation of CDNSs can form a hydrogel structure much more stable than when reported for the first time and this stability can be modulated according to the specific surrounding climate conditions (temperature-pH-soil structure). Therefore a systemic range of water retainers which can first entrap and then release water in a controlled way can be developed in this project.


•Improved understanding of how small water retention within different climatic zones can contribute to water-use efficiency at the agrifarm level;

•Identification of tools and techniques for stream nutrients recovery and re-use of water at the scale of the agricultural catchment;

•Identification of economically sustainable technologies for dry and wet spell water management at the farm and catchment levelsTackling both quantity and quality of water in small agricultural catchments provides a number of advantages. The number of hydrological processes and interactions can be analysed in detail which is not the case for large scale hydrological analyses. Usually issues of natural/small water retention can be properly tackled at the smaller scale of an agricultural catchment. Equally, the local impact of climate change or/and changes in local micro-climate can also be analysed in an integrated way with other challenges of small scale catchments. At the level of the small agricultural catchment, water management supports not only sustainable agricultural production but also local ecosystems. A sufficient supply of water for sustainable crop production might become more important in the coming years. At the same time a number of underutilised techniques of water management (natural/small water retention, nutrients recovery from streams, etc.) could be re-introduced into agricultural management for the benefit of farmers, local communities and the environment

Previous EU experience:

LEAF- European FP7 project title: “Low emission antifouling varnish for marine industry”- Izar- Boero Group- SP Swedish technical institute

LIFE 14/ENV/IT/000346 “Life Trialkyl” – Izar- Italmatch Chemicals- Federchimica