It is widely recognized that in our global economy quality plays a key role in determining the success or failure of a given product. Stemming from this consideration, the research carried out at CAPE-Lab aims at applying advanced multivariate statistical techniques for:
- accelerating the design of new products by exploiting the available databases deriving from experiments, on-going manufacturing processes or historical products already developed. The aim is that of reducing the time required for launching a new product into the market and the associated costs, taking advantage of the data already collected;
- protecting existing products from fraud, adulterations and counterfeiting. Coldiretti (the greatest association representing Italian agricultures) estimated that in 2012, as a consequence of the economic crisis pushing towards drastic cost reduction taken also from the quality of the ingredients, 20 millions of kilograms of counterfeited food products were confiscated (for a value nearly half a billion of euros). Impressive figures concern also other highly-sensitive products such as pharmaceuticals: the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) has estimated that 7% of all pharmaceuticals worldwide are counterfeited (the value of this business being worth more than USD 30 billion).
Our research aims at developing fast, cost-effective, non-destructive techniques for fraud detection using instruments such as portable spectrophotometers and digital cameras.