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SmartGrid for Urban Food Systems at Georgetown University



SmartGrid for Urban Food Systems at Georgetown University

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SmartGrid for Urban Food Systems: an Innovative Approach to Connect Nutritional, Environmental, and Social Needs

On the occasion of the Third Week of Italian Cuisine in the World, the Georgetown University Italian Research Institute of Georgetown College, in collaboration with the Embassy of Italy, the Italian Cultural Institute, and the Georgetown University Department of Sociology, is sponsoring a symposium on SmartGrid for Urban Food Systems to address critical challenges that urbanization poses and to discuss innovative approaches to support diverse food production and the needs of poor and vulnerable urban populations.



Dr. Cecilia Bartolucci 
National Research Council of Italy 
Rome, Italy

“A Disruptive System Approach to Address an Upcoming System Challenge: SmartGrid for Urban Food Systems”

Dr. Antonio F. Logrieco 
Director of Institute of Sciences of Food Production 
National Research Council of Italy

“The Urban Food System in Bari Metropolitan Area: a Food Science Perspective”

Dr. Yuki Kato 
Associate Teaching Professor 
Department of Sociology 
Georgetown University

“Alternative Food or Food Justice?: Current American Discourse on Food, Environment, Culture and Equity”


Dr. Giorgio Einaudi 
Scientific Director of the CNR S&T Foresight Project



Intercultural Center Auditorium 
Georgetown University 
37th & O Sts. NW 
Washington, DC, 20057


Events at Georgetown University, Italian Research Institute: click here










bertolucciSince 2013, Coordinator of the Working Group “Food” within the “Science and Technology Foresight Project” of the National Research Council of Italy, where she holds a position as Researcher at the Institute of Crystallography.  She graduated in Chemistry at the University “La Sapienza” in Rome and, after obtaining a scholarship from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, started her research activity at the Institut de Chimie Therapeutique in Lausanne, Switzerland.

As postdoctoral fellow, with a NATO-CNR Advanced Fellowship, she spent 18 months at the Max Planck Institut für Medizinische Forschung in Heidelberg, Germany and in 2000 she received a fellowship from the Humboldt Foundation to work as Postdoctoral Research Associate in Protein Crystallography at the Max Planck Institut für Biochemie, Martinsried, Germany, where she continues to collaborate to the present day. Since March 2018, she is the CNR representative at the “Tavolo Decade Italia per la Nutrizione”, established by the Italian Ministry of Health.

Her wide-ranging research interests allowed her to gain experience in many different sectors. From the synthesis, characterization and structure-activity relationship studies of pharmaceutically active compounds; to the crystallography of biomolecules, and functional studies while supporting a group working on enabling technologies for drug discovery; to nutraceuticals and eventually to food, she learned to value a highly interdisciplinary approach. 


A Disruptive System Approach to Address an Upcoming System Challenge: SmartGrid for Urban Food Systems

According to the UN by 2050 approximately 66% of the population will be living in urban areas, creating new important challenges. It is in fact known that urbanization enhances nutrition transition(the dietary changes and their nutrition impacts), resulting in a higher risk of food insecurity and unhealthy diets. Furthermore, urban food markets already consume up to 70% of the food supply; cities consume over 75% of the world’s resource; and a growing divide between peri-urban agricultural producers and urban consumers increases the mismatch between production/supply and needs encouraging lack of traceability as well as lack of food safety.

To address these challenges, we propose a holistic system approach, supportinganew model developed in analogy to the smart grid for electricity. The SmartGrid will be a dynamic, adaptable network supported by integrated technologies, ICT tools and equipment. It will be driven by conscious societal, environmental and economic needs andwill connect people, data and values in order to make the agri-food production and distribution within Urban Food Systems more sustainable, resilient, secure, and competitive. It will empower agri-food chains key actors, from farmers to consumers, through co-design and communication tools, which will support that acquired knowledge and data will translate into actionable information and skills.



logriecoDr. Antonio F. Logrieco, Director of Institute of Sciences of Food Production, National Research Council of Italy ( Scientific responsible and  coordinator of various national and international projects dealing on Plant pathology and food safety, with particular attention on mycotoxin problem including the COST action 835 “Agriculturally important toxigenic fungi;” DeTox-Fungi-1999-01380 in the FP V; WP3 “Microsystems Technology solutions for rapid detection of toxigenic fungi and mycotoxins in Good Food FP6-IST-1-508774-IP in FP VI;" “Novel integrated strategies for worldwide mycotoxin reduction in food and feed chains” in MycoRed-KBBE-2007-2-5-05 in FP VII; MycoKey; “Integrated and innovative key action for mycotoxin management in the food and feed chain in MycoKey Horizon 2020 ( .  In addition, he participated in the following EU projects: Wine-Ochra Risk-2000-01761; Ramfic-1999-00284; RAFBCA-2000 01391; Myco-globe-7174.

He is the founder and director of the Agro-Food Microbial Culture Collection "ITEM" ( is the co-founder and former Past-President of International Society for Mycotoxicology ( and acting President of Mediterranean Phytopathological Union. He was President of ISPP “Fusarium Committee”. 

Elected as member of Hungarian Academy of Sciences and nominated as Distinguished International Supervisor of Institute of Food Science and Technology, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. Honorary instructor of annually Fusarium training workshop at Kansas State University, USA.   He was amember of the organizing committee and invited speaker in various international conferences/meetings and referee and editor of various books and  international journals. 

He has a strong record of publication and papers on international journals (more then 200) and co-editor of 12 books/special issues on mycology,  molecular/bio-chemical characterization of active secondary metabolites (mainly phyto- mycotoxins) of plant pathogens  as well as relevant expertise in fungal genetic and fermentation technology.


The Urban Food System in Bari Metropolitan Area: a Food Science Perspective 

The study of the urban food system of the city of Bari, the regional capital of Apulia, requires extending the geographical boundaries to the metropolitan area of Bari, including the 41 minor cities, which are part of the innovative administrative concept of the “Metropolitan city of Bari”. In fact, the characteristics of this territory, in terms of population, society, culture, and the peculiarities of this food system, cannot be fully understood without considering the close relationship existing between the city of Bari and the surrounding territory.

Bari is one of 176 signatory cities of the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact. Seeking coherence between the city’s needs and the nearby rural food production, promoting and strengthening urban and peri-urban food production, and supporting short food chains are key-points to understanding the direction towards which the urban food system of this city is moving. The food production in the area is strongly influenced by the tradition of the Mediterranean diet, and the productive potentialities of the territory, if correctly managed, could support short supply chains and provide healthy and diversified food to the local communities.

Under a food science perspective, beside the constant improvement of food quality (in terms of nutritional value and food safety), a big challenge for the scientific community and the local productive system is to guarantee the traceability and to increase sustainability, by improving the resources use efficiency, minimizing pollution and protecting agro-biodiversity.  



katoYuki Kato is an urban sociologist whose research interests intersect the subfields of social stratification, food and environment justice, culture and consumption, and symbolic interaction. Her most recent research project examined the rise of urban agricultural cultivation and the alternative food movement in post-Katrina New Orleans, with a particular focus on food access disparity, spatial and social landscape of alternative food activism, and contested meanings of local during a major urban transformation.

The research intersects food and environmental justice movements, while placing the movement's significance within the context of transitional urban political-economy. She is currently working on a book manuscript from the project, and her co-edited volume on food and gentrification (with Alison H. Alkon and Joshua Sbicca) is currently under review for publication.



Alternative Food or Food Justice?: Current American Discourse on Food, Environment, Culture and Equity

American consumers have become increasingly aware of the challenges of the dominant industrial food production and distribution system over the last decade, from its impact on environment, animal welfare, to human health. As a result, support for farmers' market and other forms of local food production system, also known as alternative food network (AFN), has expanded significantly over the years. Conventional grocery stores and national chain restaurants have also begun incorporating local food into their menu, thus consumers now have wider options for supporting small-scale growers in their region without having to rely on alternative food outlets such as co-ops or community-supported agriculture programs. These alternative food production and supply chains are becoming more organized, to create more efficient and economically sustainable model of regional distribution for the products, an effort USDA encourages through its food hubs initiatives. Meanwhile, food justice activists have raised concerns for the capitalistic framework under which the AFN has come to be valorized and popularized, critiquing its notable lack of focus on equity and justice. The emerging AFN model does not make healthy and good food accessible to all, and it leaves out the concerns for the labor conditions of farm workers and wage workers in food retails. Moreover, it does not reflect on the inherent power dynamics that dictate who gets to steer the food movements for what outcomes. Food justice discourse, therefore, illuminates the limitation of the AFN and highlights aspects of the American food system that are often overlooked in the common narratives in the public and policy discourse about how to solve it.      




einaudiGiorgio Einaudi graduated in Physics at the Pisa University in 1974, He is a retired Professor at the Physics Department of the Pisa University, has been Visiting Professor at the University of California, Irvine, Visiting Senior Scientist at Naval Research Laboratory, Washington DC, and currently Visiting Scholar at George Mason University, Fairfax Virginia. He is author of about hundred papers on refereed journals, with many Italian and foreign collaborations.

He was Scientific Attachè at the Embassy of Italy in Washington (July 2001- July 2009), Senior Advisor to the Italian Ministry for Environment, Land and Sea (July 2009 - July 2015) and is currently Scientific Director of the S&T Foresight Project, within the National Research Council of Italy.



Data: Mar 13 Nov 2018

Orario: Dalle 18:00 alle 19:30

Organizzato da : Georgetown University

In collaborazione con : see above

Ingresso : Libero


Georgetown University