Inspiration for a greener tanning industry from the Arzignano tanning district.

Business opportunities come from the university

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Accustomed to thinking that graduates from school require training and the company hiring them must invest numerous years and effort before they “produce” income, we are a bit surprised to discover that, for companies, new business opportunities actually arise from university laboratories. This is the case of Conceria Dani. Finding that the automotive industry is a strategic outlet for its leather, it needs high competency in engineering, chemistry, and management to respond. This is true for Ilsa as well, which sees, in the relationship with schools and universities, a fundamental opportunities for identifying new business opportunities in the most advanced biotechnology field. However, at Dani they point out, there is still a great need for dexterity in workers who see a future in the leather sector today a healthy and well-organized work environment. To entice young people to work in this sector, it is also important to make them understand that they must contribute to the creation of a beautiful product “When people visit my tannery,” explains Giancarlo Dani, “I always ask them to keep in mind how a rough hide evolves during the various stages of production, eventually becoming a unique product“. Even for Ikem, schools and universities are crucial for identifying new forces in various technical sectors. “What the youngsters probably do not expect,” says Edgardo Stefani, president of Ikem, “is the high propensity for innovation in our companies, a challenging aspect and a point of attraction for young talents“. Paolo Girelli, president of Ilsa, reiterates this, underlining how biotechnologies applied to agriculture will offer enormous opportunities for professional growth: “Those who work with us or in our sector must be aware of being personally involved in a great challenge – guaranteeing the availability of food to nine billion people by 2050 without compromising the quality of the environment.” For all greenLIFE companies, collaboration with universities in Italy and abroad is also strategic. Additionally, neighbouring institutions, such as ITS Cosmo, ITIS Galilei, which is in collaboration with AICC (Italian Association of Leather Chemists) and the Stazione Sperimentale delle Pelli, have responded to the solicitations of the entrepreneurs of the tannery district, establishing a new two-year course in ITS post-graduation to produce Green Leather Managers. This course includes a series of seminars that will present students with the results of the greenLIFE project research lines.

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