Oceano aMICO2


In Milan, for the first time, two important academic institution (Università Milano-Bicocca and Politecnico di Milano) are teaming together to host the Oceano aMICO2 event. This is a divulgative event on CO2 reduction strategies centered around the Ocean. The theme is extremely relevant and the strategies discussed may shape the new mitigation of current climate change scenarios.

In the flyer you will find the link to subscribe to the event.

The initiative is open to everyone including school teachers, students and curious!

The initiative will be in Italian

here’s the link to follow the event remotely: https://politecnicomilano.webex.com/politecnicomilano-it/j.php?MTID=m911d89fd218eb8f543beb71d232e2195

EGU 2023

The CresciBlu team was in Wien for the EGU 2023 conference! During this time we have presented some of our work so far and shared our results with the huge and welcoming European Geological community! It was a blast!


Everybody was in Milano-Bicocca for the work-in-progress meeting of the CBR project. Extremely happy and satisfied for all the work! Stay tuned for the next updates!

People from Left to Right, First Row: Prof. Marco Bertolino (UniGe), Prof. Daniela Basso (Unimib, project leader), Prof. Antonietta Rosso (UniCT), Prof. Rossana Sanfilippo (UniCT), Dr. Valentina Bracchi (Unimib), Dr. Pietro Bazzicalupo (Unimib).

Second Row: Ada Bandi (UniGe), Prof. Alessandra Savini (Unimib), Dr. Alessandro Gallo (UniCal), Prof. Adriano Guido (UniCal), Dr. Antonio Lagudi (UniCal), Dr. Mara Cipriani (UniCal), Gemma Donato (UniCT), Prof. Fabio Bruno (UniCal).


During the coring operation, high stability is required due to the brittleness of the coralligenous samples.  In order to reach this stability, the ROV has to be firmly anchored to the reef surface. Hence, we designed an ad hoc anchoring system by testing different types of screw: the common ones used for wood, self-drilling screws, and finally drill bits commonly used for concrete and metals. The first two options failed because an excessive axial force was needed and the resulting thread was not able to withstand enough pulling force. Instead, the last option seemed to be the best since it allows easier penetration in the material. Then, a specifically designed test rig was used to find the current consumption and the axial thrust required to penetrate in the coralligenous sample.

Figure 1 – Wood screw testing.
Figure 2 – Drilling data acquisition.
Figure 3 – Drill test rig.

However, drill bits alone are not sufficient to assure vertical force resistance so we are going to mate them with a rubber expansion sleeve. Once the holes are made, a mechanism is going to move up just the tip of the screws that is opportunely constrained to it by a sphere on the top. Hence, each rubber sleeve is going to be compressed and will expand providing sufficient grip with the sidewalls of the holes.

Specific tests already validated such a system but we cannot wait to try it underwater!

Figure 4 – Rubber sleeves working sequence: (left) the drill bit penetrates into coralligenous; (center) the mechanism pulls up the drill tip; (right) the rubber sleeve expands on the sidewalls.
Figure 5 – Rubber sleeve system pulling test.


On the 7th of June we had the pleasure to receive the visit of Maria Cristina Messa, Minister of University and Research, and Giovanna Iannantuoni, rector of University of Milano-Bicocca.

Guests had the opportunity to see Unical research facilities, in particular the STAR research infrastructure: a huge hangar hosting a linear accelerator that produces an electron beam of high peak current and high brightness used to generate X-ray beams. The high penetrating power of these radiation will allow the investigation of materials and devices through the acquisition of 3D tomographies providing for the first time the possibility of carrying out such analyzes on massive samples and/or heavy elements.

During the visit, Professor Maurizio Muzzupappa introduced the visitors to our first coral reef corer prototype. Its plastic components were 3d printed via Selective Laser Sintering and Multi Jet Fusion technology, while a 5-axis CNC machining centre was used to mill the metallic parts. Also, there are 3 electric brushless motors that will be easily controlled by a custom designed app on a waterproof tablet. In the next weeks we are going to run a series of laboratory tests on the underwater corer before allowing it to meet its favourite “meal”: the Coralligenous reef.

Minister Maria Cristina Messa, Rector Giovanna Iannantuoni and Professor Maurizio Muzzupappa. On the right side the underwater corer.

XXI INQUA Congress – ROME (Call to Abstract)

the XXI INQUA congress “Time for change” (https://inquaroma2023.org/) will be held in Rome (Italy) at the “La Sapienza” University from 14 to 20 July 2023.

We invite you to submit your abstract in our session “Conservation paleobiology: late Neogene to Quaternary records as a baseline for conservation of modern ecosystems” (Scientific theme: 4: Ecosystems and biogeography from latest Pliocene to “Anthropocene”).

Here is the link to submit your abstract: https://inquaroma2023.org/abstract-submission/

The deadline for the submission is November 1, 2022

Settimana del Pianeta Terra

Le unità di CrescibluReef sono molto orgogliose di presentare il progetto durante la Settimana del Pianeta Terra (dal 2 al 9 ottobre). Gli eventi si svolgeranno durante due giorni della settimana nelle sedi delle unità. La partecipazione è gratuita e aperta a tutti ma, per questione di spazi e organizzazione, è necessario prenotare la propria visita (www.settimanaterra.org). Di seguito trovate tutte le informazioni necessarie per le varie sedi.


CBR7 – The second core drilling

During the second 2022 summer campaign the team from the University of Catania performed a core drilling of the sediment surrounding the Coralligenous bioconstructions. The analysis of a small dredged portion of the substrate and overlying sediment will provide important data on the evolution of the studied Coralligenous. Furthermore, we have placed some Concretion Accretion Units (CAUs) , structures specifically built for evaluate the colonization processes and the carbonate production.

Sediment core sampled

CBR6 – A Check on the Coralligenous reef!

Summer 2022 is a very important period for the CBR project. One year has passed since the project has started and it is time to check the progresses, assess the situation and continuing with the analysis and monitoring.

The first of these summer campaign has been carried out by the team from the University of Milano-Bicocca. During this period the CBR team has done ROV immersions, SCUBA diving for sample collection (always aided by the SUTTAKKUA diving), photogrammetry of the seafloor, retrieval of the monitoring equipment deployed in the last year.

This campaign is done but the project is far from over. Who knows which other secrets might lay under us, stay tuned to find out!

Paleodays 2022

Balaenoptera acutorostrata cuvieril showcased in the Museo Paleontologico Territoriale dell’Astigiano (http://www.mrsntorino.it/cms/sistema-naturalistico-museale/civico-museo-paleontologico.html) were the conference took place

The CBR team took part to the “Paleodays 2022” conference organised by the Italian Paleontological Society in Asti (Piedmont, Italy). It was the perfect occasion to showcase the project and expose our progresses to the scientific community!

Project leader Professor Daniela Basso introducing CBR to the Italian Paleontological Society