In this interview, we had the chance to learn more about Sergio, his work at Procter & Gamble, as well as his passions and drivers for being an Advisory Expert at the Solar Impulse Foundation and an expert evaluator for the European Commission.
Sergio Barbarino is an R&D Research Fellow at the Procter & Gamble Brussels Innovation Center where he leads the P&G C+D (open innovation) team. Sergio is also the Chairperson of ALICE, the EU Innovation Platform for Logistic aimed at realising the Physical Internet.
Born in Naples, Italy, Sergio has a master degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Napoli Federico II and an MBA from the Solvay Business School in Brussels. Sergio has created in 2007 the first group of Supply Chain & Logistic R&D within Procter & Gamble, called Supply Network Innovation Center, of which he was the Scientific coordinator for 10 years. Sergio has been the scientific leader of 2 EU FP7 projects: the C03 consortium aiming at increasing shipper collaboration on Logistics in Europe and Modulushca, aimed at the development of new shareable and reusable logistic standard modules for the last mile delivery. In the Chemical Engineering Domain, Sergio has represented P&G in the Large Collaborative projects Impulse and F3 on innovative micro processing leading some of the best demonstrators. Sergio has developed the manufacturing Processes of many well-known P&G Brands (e.g. Mr. Clean, Viakal) and has been the chief designer for P&G of Innovative Liquid Manufacturing systems for developing markets. He is also responsible for several P&G Academic Partnerships and has been Visiting professor - among others - at the Ecole des Mines de Paris, the City University of London, Laval University Quebec, Solvay Brussels School, Georgiatech and Purdue.
Last but not least, Sergio is a certified Sommelier and is co-owner of the onlygreatwines company that imports many small producers wines in Belgium and runs the lovely Winehouse Osteria in the center of Brussels.
P&G is the largest consumer good company in the world: about 5 billions people use one or more P&G branded products (e.g. Ariel, Pampers, Gillette, Always, etc).
Mutual understanding of the respective interests and motivation (and respecting those) is essential for the formation of strong successful consortia.
The key issue is that current supply chains and Physical distribution networks are unidirectional (from raw material to waste)….rewiring them for the circular economy requires a collaborative effort of industry, public authorities and most importantly consumers. Especially the regulatory framework needs to be deeply revisited to remove the current very restrictive norms on waste management.
Evaluating SI's solutions is an amazing opportunity for P&G Scientist and Engineers to get out of the “P&G bubble”. By looking at sustainable solutions in other domains we get inspired for our own projects….and it has already happened that some solutions are directly applicable by P&G as well.
Yes I did. I find very interesting to meet people from other companies sharing the sustainability interest…saving the Planet cannot be done competitively…there must be a collaborative effort…and you are creating an amazing community.
There are some solutions that P&G is championing in the industry for which we are preparing applications (for example on plastic recycle).
I am an expert evaluator for the European Commission. The project evaluation methodology they use is very rigorous and fair, but has several limitations. I really like Solar Impulse Foundation's assessment methodology, that I think is much more advanced that the one used for EU funded projects, for example the "chatbox tool" is extremely effective. I am trying to get some people from the Commission involved in the expert community so that they can see it by themselves.