PNRR-funded National Biodiversity Center is born

Reduce biodiversity loss by 30 percent and recover at least 15 percent of ecosystem balances through ecological habitat restoration actions by 2030. These are just some of the goals of the National Biodiversity Future Center, a project coordinated by the National Research Council (CNR), involving 48 partner Institutions and Universities, totaling more than 1,300 researchers and a few hundred new recruits. The ambitious Project includes funding of more than 320 million euros for the first three years (2023-2025), allocated under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR). The proposal aims to field the most powerful biodiversity research and innovation initiative ever attempted in Italy, and is based on a synergy between Universities, Research Institutions, Foundations and Private Companies.

The Center will be structured according to the Hub&Spoke approach, with a central point in Sicily at the University of Palermo, and eight nodes distributed throughout the Country. “The formal act of establishment of the Center is a decisive step,” comments Maria Chiara Carrozza, CNR President, “achieved thanks to the great work of all the partners involved and the high level of professionalism. The Center will be able to represent, in the years to come, a point of reference for the global community, called to react and act in the face of the imposing challenges imposed by climate change. What we are aiming for is an ambitious and highly significant goal for the research sector, with positive repercussions on our country’s role on the international scene and on actions to boost the national economy.” Biodiversity, experts explain, plays a crucial role in the functioning of all the Planet’s ecosystems and the consequent provision of goods and services, with a direct impact on the well-being of the community and the individual. Thus, a need emerges to act on the different levels of biological organization that encompass the essential processes, functions and interactions between organisms and their environment.


The NBFC was established to aggregate national scientific research excellence and modern technologies to support operational interventions aimed at monitoring, preserving and restoring biodiversity in the Peninsula’s marine, terrestrial and urban ecosystems. The purpose of the Center will also be to provide innovative and effective tools for policy makers to counter biodiversity erosion (conservation and restoration). The Hub and Nodes also aim to quantify ecosystem services and implement actions to conserve and restore biodiversity across the Mediterranean, identify innovative technological solutions to achieve Green Deal targets related to carbon sequestration capacity and circular economy principles. At the same time, the infrastructure will help train a new class of researchers with multidisciplinary skills and make Italy a hub for the study and conservation of biodiversity, creating awareness in civil society about the importance of valuing biodiversity.

Involved as partners, in addition to the CNR: the National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics, the Anton Dohrn Zoological Station, the Polytechnic University of Milan, the University of Molise, the University of Tuscia, the University of Florence, the University of Milan-Bicocca, the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, the University of Naples Federico II, the University of Palermo, the University of Pavia, the University of Rome La Sapienza, the University of Sassari, the University of Salerno, the University of Siena, the University of Udine, the University of Verona, the University of Roma Tre, the University of Salento, and the University of Bologna. the University of Genoa, the University of Padua, the Polytechnic University of Marche, the University of Turin, Aboca SPA Società Agricola, CINECA, CMCC – Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change, CORILA, CREA Council for Research in Agriculture and Analysis of Agricultural Economics, Dompé farmaceutici S.p.A, ENEA, ENEL, ERSAF – Ente di Ricerca Scientifica ed Alta Formazione, CIMA Foundation – International Center in Environmental Monitoring, Edmund Mach Foundation of San Michele all’Adige, IMC Foundation International Marine Center ONLUS, Ri.MED Foundation, FS Sistemi Urbani, HUMANITAS UNIVERSITY, Infrastrutture S.p.A, Innomed srl, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca Ambientale, Novamont S.p.A., University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome, Scuola Superiore di Studi Universitari e di Perfezionamento Sant’Anna and Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore.

IRBIM CNR participates in the Center with the contribution of more than 50 researchers from the four Institute’s Research Centers, with research on sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, marine microbiology and biodiversity.

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