Nuova Simonelli’s new Research Hub

In an era when the cultural exchange between Europe and the US seems at times to be flowing all one way, the explosion in popularity of Italian espresso culture in the US and throughout the rest of the world marks a significant reversal of that trend. Over the past 50 years, Italian espresso culture has become one of the southern European nation’s signature exports, holding a place next to food, fashion and art as emblematic of Italian culture more generally. This spread of Italian espresso culture throughout the world has not just strengthened the coffee industry overall, but has also fostered the growth and development of a thriving coffee-related sector in Italy, particularly in manufacturing the machinery and equipment needed to make great espresso. One of the key beneficiaries of the growth of this culture has been Italian espresso machine manufacturer, Nuova Simonelli. With more than 80 years’ experience making espresso and cappuccino machines, Nuova Simonelli is a global leader in its field, holding a 10 per cent share of the espresso machine market globally. But Nuova Simonelli has not just been a passive beneficiary of the growth of espresso culture around the world, it has been an active proponent of it. In recent years, this contribution to the promotion of espresso culture has been exemplified by Nuova Simonelli’s longstanding position as a major sponsor of the World Barista Championships. But while that may be the most high profile expression of Nuova Simonelli’s commitment to the growth of espresso culture, it is just the tip of the iceberg. As the specialty coffee movement has taken hold around the world, bringing the focus back to the origin of the coffee itself and how that influences quality and flavour, it has given a major boost to the entire supply chain starting with product cultivation, where there are now hundreds of varieties and sub-varieties on the market, each with a flavour from certain plots of land and particular microclimates. It is estimated that today no less than 250 million people in the world are employed throughout the coffee chain, which goes from cultivation (80 per cent of coffee is produced by small producers) to post-harvest processing, roasting, production of coffee machines, and the entire commercial sector. This whole world is developing strongly and at every stage of the supply chain there is now particularly strong demand for innovation and scientific support to ensure that the quality and consistency of the coffee is maintained at every stage of its production and processing. That is where Nuova Simonelli’s latest initiative, the International Hub for Coffee Research and Innovation, comes in. The Hub is a partnership with the Universtiy of Camerino (Unicam), which is one of the world’s oldest universities and has a track record of research in the field that has in the past been focused on helping the roasting industry and advancing technological innovation in extraction for the beverage. “This research centre in the field of coffee, from production to consumption, is unique not only in Italy, but it will have an international perspective to become a point of excellence for coffee knowledge and know-how,” says Nuova Simonelli’s Marketing Director Maurizio Giuli. “It is the fruit of two Italian organisations working together, from the academic world and manufacturing. The University of Camerino, one of the oldest in Europe that conducts important scientific research, and Simonelli Group, a company with years of strong growth and a global leader in the production of professional coffee machines that are extremely innovative with the highest level of technology and are exported to 120 countries.” The Hub’s activities will be focused on five key areas: research, knowledge, experience, authority, and innovation. The Hub will be responsible for implementing specific research activities through its internal structure, supported by collaboration with international research centres. To this end, the Scientific Committee will look for international collaboration with centres that boast the best knowledge and skills in the specific subject to establish scientific teams with expertise in the field of coffee research. “Unicam and Simonelli Group can boast of their numerous collaborations, which in the past have helped to develop several successful projects,” Giuli says. “Giving life to this centre, they bring together their potential, in synergy, to the service of cultural and scientific-technical growth for the entire world’s coffee supply chain. The International Hub for Coffee Research and Innovation is especially a magnet for research and studies in other international subjects, both in the academic world and in the coffee machine sector.” As well as its activities in the laboratory, the Hub will facilitate a travelling conference open to the worlds of coffee and science, where existing research and research from the call for papers will be presented. The first event is scheduled for autumn next year. “Dissemination of the findings of the Hub’s activities is also expected through publications, both scientific – conference proceedings, journals – and general – industry magazines, a blog, and a dedicated website – as well as participation in conferences and international events focused on the dissemination of knowledge,” Giuli says. GCR

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