Food Economics and Intellectual Property (2019/2020)

Course code
Diego Begalli
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Teaching is organised as follows:
Activity Credits Period Academic staff Timetable
Economia agroalimentare teoria 3 II semestre Diego Begalli

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Economia agroalimentare esercitazioni 1 II semestre Diego Begalli

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Proprietà intellettuale teoria 2 II semestre Katia Laura Sidali

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Learning outcomes

The course provides students with the fundamental concepts to understand the specificities of the agri-food markets and to foster the development of new products and the creation of start-ups. The expected learning outcomes are: NOTIONS: 1. Understanding the specific features and functioning of the Italian and international agro-food system; 2. Distinguish the different actors of the main agri-food and agro-industrial sectors; 3. Outline the behaviour of consumers and producers with regard to the quality of agri-food products; 4. Analyse the competitive strategies of agri-food companies also in relation to modern commercial distribution; 5. Understand the link between food certifications and information asymmetry in the agri-food markets. SKILLS: 6. Identify and evaluate opportunities for the creation of new agri-food products; 7. Develop a business plan for start-ups / spin offs 8. Define an adequate prototyping of an agri-food product 9. Implement the requirements to protect a new agri-food product or service using the multiple tools of intellectual property rights


The course will cover the following topics:
1. Introduction: the agri-food system in a national and international perspective
2. Type of agro-food businesses:
3. Strategic planning of agri-food companies
4. Elements of agri-food marketing and consumer theory
5. Practical activity (business plan)
6. Intellectual property rights (trademarks and patents) and creation of start-ups / spin offs in the agri-food sector
Classroom meetings include lectures (with slides), teacher-student discussions, group work and exercises. The aforementioned teaching methods aim to familiarize the student with the national and international agri-food system, its dynamics, specificity and the actors that compose it. The course also provides the student with a critical approach to foment a mindset of "doing innovation" in the agro-food sector and, at the same time, protecting products deriving from creative and intellectual activity.
During the course will be recommended ad hoc readings for further study, some of which will be mandatory for the written examination. In addition to the compulsory texts, the student can make use of the following in-depth texts

Assessment methods and criteria

Before presenting to the exam, the student is required to regularly send the assigned tasks to the teacher and, in particular, the simulation of the business plan introduced and discussed during the practical phase. The respect of the deadlines in the delivery of the requested tasks and the quality of the latter contribute to the definition of the final vote
The objective of the exam consists in verifying the level of achievement of the previously indicated training objectives
The exam consists of a written test with some open questions and some closed questions taken from the study texts and the readers distributed at the beginning of the course. Open questions are always present and require the student to apply concepts, theories and models learned during the study of texts to a real case of training. The closed questions, instead, refer to the teaching material provided during the lectures. During the lessons, examples of written exams are presented

Reference books
Activity Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Economia agroalimentare teoria De Meo C. Food marketing. Creare esperienze nel mondo dei foodies Hoepli 2015
Economia agroalimentare teoria Ciampi Stankova K., Cavicchi A. Smart specialisation and the agri-food system: European perspective  
Proprietà intellettuale teoria Sloman John; Garratt Dean Microeconomia (Edizione 4) Il Mulino 2014 9788815138637
Proprietà intellettuale teoria European Patent Organisation ( Teaching Kit: Protect your ideas.   Materiale scaricabile al seguente link: