Tanning entrepreneur Graziano Balducci became the new President of the Board of Directors of the Italian Leather Research Institute on 2nd May 2018, A name that is testimony to the enormous transformation process that is going on within the institute, which has the objective of strengthening its role as a national research centre for tanning innovations. “Our companies need constant updates to face the day-to-day challenges posed by the market. Having the Italian Leather Research Centre by our side makes us stronger”, declared the new President Graziano Balducci, also CEO of Antiba Conceria (a tannery that operates in the industrial district of Santa Croce sull’Arno, Pisa), and Vice-President of UNIC, the national union for the tanning industry. “I would really like to thank the previous president, Paolo Gurisatti, for his excellent work and I’m happy he will continue to work with us on the Board of Directors. Research is a fundamental tool for tanning companies and the only instrument that will allow us to keep up with the demands of the market”, concludes Graziano Balducci.

Together with Director-General, Edoardo Imperiale and the CdA, the new president will have the task of implementing and developing the Strategic Development Programme of the Italian Leather Research Institute for 2018-2020. The plan is based on two key drivers: the modernisation of the institute’s laboratories (with the aim of obtaining Accredia ISO 17025 certification) and the establishment of new research infrastructures, also within the industrial districts. In fact, significant investments are foreseen. “We’ve got the resources. The Italian Leather Research Institute must be the first when it comes to making sure Italian leather is increasingly innovative and sustainable”, stated Balducci.

The next step will be moving the institute to the new offices (ex- Olivetti di Pozzuoli area) , which should take place on completion of the works early next year, providing researchers and professional laboratories with fully equipped, leading-edge laboratory facilities.

Throughout his mission, the new president can also count on the collaboration of a first-class scientific consultant, Luigi Nicolais, tenured professor at the Engineering Department of Studi di Napoli Federico II University, professor at the University of Washington and University of Connecticut, ex-minister for the Reformation and Innovation of the Public Administration (2006 to 2008), and Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR) research council, from 2012 to 2016. “I will support the current management through the transfer process of the scientific research results to develop innovative solutions in the advanced materials sector”, declared Nicolais.