Sustainability: an agreement signed between Verona University and the International Marble Institute

10 April 2024

Signed on February 21 was a collaboration agreement between the University of Verona and the IS.I.M.-International Marble Institute, the higher education and operative branch of CONFINDUSTRIA MARMOMACCHINE. Signing the collaboration agreement for the research and development of projects tied to the circular economy in the stone sector were the pro-rector of the university, Diego Begalli, and IS.I.M. president Paolo Marone.

The aim is to creative innovative processes and products in the technological context with impact on environmental and socio-economic sustainability and positive fallout on the territorial and other levels. The first step in the joint commitment will be demonstrating the technical and economic feasibility of an innovative technology for recycling stone discards that are currently being dumped and not valorized.

Present at the agreement signing in the Sala Barbieri of Palazzo Giuliari in Verona were representatives of the government and of the principal institutes and companies, in the territory and nationally, of the stone sector. Also attending were the President of CONFINDUSTRIA MARMOMACCHINE, Federico Fraccaroli, and its Honorary President, Flavio Marabelli.

The starting point of the new collaboration will be a project called Verona ZSW, Zero Stone Waste, which avails itself of the experience acquired in the European Commission’s “LIFE” project. The idea is to create in Verona the world’s first center of research applied to valorizing waste and byproducts coming from working marble and granite, thanks to collaboration with the stone sector on the national and international levels.

The project, promoted since 2020 by the IS.I.M. and CONFINDUSTRIA MARMOMACCHINE, concerns perfecting innovative techniques to be used to end the waste of natural stone discards and to limit energy consumption and CO2 emissions. ZSW is meant to show the feasibility, technical and economic, of certain processes of recycling these discards, transforming them into products usable in building, agriculture and other areas. The technology proposed is sized for SME and this project will lead to new studies and research to be conducted in collaboration with the university to strengthen this and other innovative techniques.

“Our university”, stated the Rector of Verona University, Pier Francesco Nocini, “makes its research skills available to the companies in the stone sector and the organizations representing it in this territory and nationally. The aim is to support innovative processes, also given the sector’s importance for the territory’s economy and its national and international strength”.

“According to the data from a recent Verona Chamber of Commerce survey” – pro-rector Begalli added – “ the Verona province is the leader in exports, with Vicenza in fourth place. Together, Verona and Vicenza account for 31% of Italian stone exports, with 378.5 million euros in the first six months of 2023. The centrality of our area for the sector is attested to also by the presence of the Verona Stone District, the regional reference for the marble and stone district”.

“Our commitment”, stated Paolo Maroni, IS.I.M. president, “is that our partnership, which will have its senter in Verona, will be broadened and multiplied. Other centers and foreign universities have already declared themselves ready to take part in these projects in the European community context and, through the study and research laboratory that will be created with the University of Verona, will be able to develop important work on sustainability, an issue important on the national and EU level and for our trade association, CONFINDUSTRIA MARMOMACCHINE”.


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