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Date: 15-16-17 May 2019
Location: Fiera di Roma, Rome

EXCO2019 is the first global expo dedicated to the innovative solutions provided by the actors of development cooperation: national and international agencies, governments, financial institutions, civil society and, in particular, the private sector.

During EXCO2019, the players active in the field of development cooperation and those willing to enter it will have the possibility to meet financial institutions, government representatives, development agencies and international organizations, in order to engage in new business relationships aimed at creating partnerships to find solutions for sustainable development.

The objectives of the initiative are:

  • Blending supply and demand
  • Boost new business opportunitiesfor the private sector
  • Encourage and support best practices 
  • Foster business synergies and partnerships for innovative solutions
  • Enable coordination of actions
  • Align private sector solutions to public policies and priorities 
  • Enable positive matching of technological solutions with real needs 
  • Promote and encourage the training of future players of development cooperation

Bioversity International is actively involved in the following EXCO2019 events:

Opening Ceremony

15 May | 10.30 - 11.45 | Sala Flavia (Hall 10)

Institutional welcome and key note address:

  • Emanuela Del Re, Italian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation


  • Sergio Costa, Italian Minister for Environment, Land and Sea Protection (IMELS)
  • Gilbert Houngbo, President, IFAD
  • Li Yong, Director General, UNIDO
  • Francesco Rocca, President, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Society
  • Daniel Gustafson, Deputy Director General, FAO
  • Amir Mahmoud Abdulla, Deputy Executive Director WFP
  • Sheila Redzepi, Vice President for External and Corporate Relations, World Bank
  • Juan Lucas Restrepo, Director General, Bioversity International
  • Fabrizio Palermo, CEO, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP)

Side event: From Seeds for Needs to Future Foods

15 May | 11.30 - 13.15 | Agorà (Hall 7)

Through the presentation of highlights from projectsled by Bioversity International, the event will showcase how greater use of agricultural biodiversity can help improve the nutritional value of diets, while making production systems more resilient. The panel discussions will revolve around the issue of how the development of markets for traditional varieties of major and orphan crops can deliver equitable and long-lasting benefits to value chain actors and consumers.

The panel will include representatives from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation, the UN Rome-based Agencies, as well as private sector companies, NGOs and other implementation partners.



Sessions and Panelists

11.15 - 11.30

Arrival ad registration

Part 1
Seeds for Needs: The role of agrobiodiversity in climate change adaptation


This session will show how agricultural biodiversity can help farmers adapt production to the changing climate and deliver more societal value. Using the example of the pasta value chain, the session will show how working with farmers can make production systems more resilient and contribute to healthier diets.

11.30 - 11.40

Keynote speaker: Carlo Fadda, Theme Leader, Productive Agricultural Ecosystems, Bioversity International

11.40 - 12.15

Panel discussion with questions from the audience

Moderator: Romano De Vivo, Agriculture and food systems experts


  • Annarita Antonelli, CIHEAM
  • Filiberto Altobelli, CREA
  • Tommaso Carone, Santa Candida Italia SRL
  • Paolo De Francisci, 16Pasta
  • Mario Savona, Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation
  • Carlo Fadda, Bioversity International
Part 2
Marketing diversity: A holistic approach to bring forgotten foods back to the table


This session will address how orphan crops can generate more value for farmers and other value chains actors and the food systems. Bioversity International will present its holistic value chain approach for bringing ‘forgotten foods’ back to table and build more sustainable diets. Unilever will share the company’s ‘Future 50 Foods’ Initiative for diversified production systems and diets.

12.20 - 12.30

Keynote speaker: Stefano Padulosi, Theme Leader, Rural Urban Agri-Food Systems, Bioversity International

12.30 - 12.40

Keynote speaker: Dorothy Shaver, Registered Dietician, Global Knorr Sustainability Lead

12.40 - 13.05

Panel discussion with questions from the audience

Moderator: Romano De Vivo, Agriculture and food systems expert


  • Dorothy Shaver, UNILEVER
  • Antonella Cordone, IFAD
  • Mario Marino, FAO
  • Federico Mattei, Slow Food
  • Stefano Padulosi, Bioversity International

13.00 - 13.15

Take-away messages: Stefano Padulosi and Carlo Fadda

Wrap-up: Romano De Vivo

Side event: Rome as the international hub for the future of food systems - The role of the private sector

16 May | 14.30 - 16.00 | Sala CDP - Hortensia (Hall 10)

Main speakers:

  • Cornelia Richter, Vice President, IFAD
  • Michael Hailu, Director, Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA)
  • Juan Lucas Restrepo, Director General, Bioversity International
  • Leonard Mizzi, Head of Unit, “Rural Development, Food Security, Nutrition,” European Commission
  • Alessio Milani, General Manager (COO), Fertecnica Colfiorito
  • Diana Battaggia, Director, UNIDO ITPO Italy

Moderated by Luigi De Chiara, Head of Unit, Strategy, Global Processes and International Organizations, Development Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.