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Innovation and bioelectronics: Italian and Swedish researchers together in Stockholm

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Co-organized by the Italian Embassy and the University of Stockholm, the Bioelectronics and Sustainability symposium was held at the Albano Campus on 26-27 October 2023. The bilateral meeting was coordinated by Augusto Marcelli, Scientific Attaché of the Italian Embassy, and Erica Zeglio, Assistant Professor and WISE Fellow at the Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry at Stockholm University.

The aim of the symposium was to offer a bilateral platform to exchange ideas and discuss the prospects and challenges of the next generation of sustainable bioelectronics – an area that integrates chemistry, biology, and electronics and which aims to promote resource conservation while minimizing waste production in different applications.

Sustainability today means above all competitiveness. Sweden is deeply committed to sustainable development and many Swedish industries successfully incorporate recycled materials and circular approaches into their business models. Italy is also at the forefront of sustainability – in particular within design: an appealing functionality is the key to many sustainable products made in Italy.

The event brought together students from universities within the Stockholm area and 25 invited speakers from Italy and Sweden. The Italian Institutions represented at the event were the Italian Institute of Technology in Milan and Ferrara, the Universities of Bari, Bologna, Ferrara and Reggio Emilia, and Milano Bicocca. From Sweden there were the Universities of Chalmers, Linköping, Stockholm, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Karolinska Institute and institutions of RISE, SUCCeSS, AIMES, WISE Materials, and the Swedish Research Council.

The discussion addressed various topics, starting from possible initiatives aimed at encouraging greater collaboration in this sector between researchers from both countries. Emphasis was set on the role of the institutions involved to encourage research, the exchange of young researchers, and to involve SMEs and startups, the latter being particularly active in Sweden.

The topic of scientific associations was also covered in the conversation, such as scientific national societies in influencing the political agenda, defining new standards and identifying the market prospects of bioelectronics in different applications.