The Agricultural Research Council (CREA – Consiglio per la Ricerca e sperimentazione in Agricoltura) is a National Research Organization which operates under the supervision of the Ministry of Agriculture, with general scientific competence within the fields of agriculture, livestock, agroindustry, food, fishery and forestry. The CREA has been established in 2006 gathering the experience of 28 Agricultural Research Institutes and their relative 54 branch offices, some founded in the last decades of 1800. CREA consists now of 17 Centers and 32 Research Units organized in 5 Departments. CREA employs more than 2500 people and runs more than 5000 hectares of experimental farms. CREA is the third research organization of Italy by number of employees and the largest public research agency among those dedicated to agriculture.
Marcello Donatelli. Head of the Research Center for Industrial Crops (CREA-CIN), Director of Research, and full professor of agronomy. The area of research is biophysical modelling and development of software systems for model development and use. Applications are related to agriculture with a focus on cropping systems analysis, and agro-management adaptation to climate. He is a co-developer of the model CropSyst, and the leader of the development of the BioMA software platform for modelling agricultural systems under climate change scenarios. Author of several software components for biophysical modelling. He has participated to 7 research projects of the EU framework programs, on agriculture and IT. He was chairman of the Division Agroclimatology and Modelling of the European Society for Agronomy and later Executive Secretary of the Society. He is Associate Editor of the journal Environmental Modelling and Software.
Domenico Ventrella. Researcher at the CREA research unit on agricultural systems in dry-warm environments. The research unit is in (Southern Italy). The main fields of interest include the adaptation and mitigation strategies to climate change in Mediterranean environments, soil fertility and soil hydrology as influenced by agricultural management. He has a long term experience in use of biophysical models for simulation of cropping systems in environments characterized by water scarcity and high evapotranspiration demand. The main focus is on the development of agro-management practices to define sustainable production systems. He has a working experience with model tools is with CropSyst, DSSAT, and SWAP. He participated to EU Framework program research projects.
Gaetano Castro. Researcher at the CREA research unit of non-forestry woody production. Specialist in wood quality and wood technology. Since 1990: expert member/chairman/deputy chairman in several normative Commissions on wood-based panels at national level (UNI) European level (CEN) and international level (ISO). For about 15 years he has developed software, in particular for the management of relational databases, also on the web, using mySQL and PHP to create dynamic web portals. He maintains a database on behalf of the FAO – International Poplar Commission (database of clones of poplar registered in national registries) and one on behalf of the Ipgri (Scattered Broadleaves Network). He has also realized the new portal web of the CREA – Agricultural Research Council (www.entecra.it).