The Italian National Research Council (CNR) is a public organization; its duty is to carry out, promote, spread, transfer and improve research activities in the main sectors of knowledge and of its applications for the scientific, technological, economic and social development of the Country.
ISPA belongs to the Department of Bio-Agrifood (DISBA) within CNR and is an institute of excellence in the field of research, innovation and technology transfer whose main goals are a) the improvement of food safety and quality b) food production and innovation.
The institute is composed of 6 national territorial units with its headquarter in Bari and the other research units spread all over Italy: Lecce, Foggia, Milano, Torino, Sassari. The personnel counts approximately 200 units of permanent staff. The Institute policy targets continuous innovation and socio-economic growth of territories by building and implementing strategic cooperative partnerships with world leader Institutions in the area of agro-food (FAO, EFSA, FSA, USDA, etc.) has strong connection international bodies and organizations dealing with method harmonization (CEN, AOAC, MoniQA etc) and established cooperation with SMEs and large enterprises (Barilla, IBM Italy, Syngenta, Bayer, Thermo Fisher, Copaim, Perkin Elmer, etc.) within funding programs promoted by local, national and international bodies (POR, PON, FP7, Horizon 2020 etc.).
ISPA is active in the field of food and diet promoting novel foods or improving products endowed with high nutritional value. In the area of food safety and quality the institute leads national projects in the field of food safety and European projects such as FOODSAFETY4EU (Horizon 2020), Mycokey project (FP7), is co-leader of the ThRAll project (EFSA grant) and partner of large collaborative EU projects GoJElly (H2020), Mycored, DREAM, Conffidence, FoodIntegrity (FP7) etc. In food production, research is mainly aimed at improving food nutritional and organoleptic quality, adding value to typical local products (dairy, bakery and meat products, fruit and vegetables). Innovative lines of probiotic and functional foods using traditional products are being developed in cooperation with enterprises and regionally-based medical and health research groups to demonstrate health benefits.