Foto EnricoProf. Enrico Dalcanale

Dipartimento di Chimica Organica e Industriale

Università di Parma – Viale Usberti 17/A – 43124 Parma

Phone: +39-0521-905463

Fax: +39-0521-905472



Born January 5, 1957 in Trento, Italy

Professional Career

Enrico Dalcanale graduated in Industrial Chemistry (cum laude) at the University of Bologna in 1981. After working as research scientist at the Donegani Research Institute of Montedison in Novara from 1982 to 1990, he joined the Faculty of the Department of Chemistry of the University of Parma, where he is currently Full Professor. In 1985-86 he spent a sabbatical year in the group of D. J. Cram (Nobel Laureate 1987) at UCLA. In 2004 he has been visiting professor at Naval Research Laboratory (Washington DC, USA). He is the founder of SOATEC, a University spin-off company active in the field of environmental and food sensors ( He is presently the Scientific Director of Section 3 (Functional Materials) of the Italian Consortium for Materials Science (INSTM, From 2103 to the end of 2015 ED has been the Subject Editor for supramolecular chemistry of Elsevier’s “Chemistry, Molecular Sciences and Chemical Engineering”.

During the 20 years spent at the University he has mentored over 80 MS thesis students, 27 PhD students (21 completed) and 15 postdocs. He presented the results of his research in over 110 research lectures in conferences (54 Plenary/Keynote/Invited lectures) and invited seminars worldwide (57).

The research profile of ED’s group ( is defined by the supramolecular approach to materials science, giving a privileged position to molecular recognition and self-assembly as operating tools. In this context, the major fields of activity have been responsive surfaces, supramolecular polymers and sensors. The ability to master and orchestrate weak interactions like H-bonding, metal-ligand, charge-dipole and CH-π interactions is the first fundamental skill present in ED’s group, necessary to implement molecular recognition properties into functional materials. This skill is integrated by the expertise in self-assembly and surface functionalization, pivotal to achieve the macroscopic expression of the molecular interactions, and by experience in the major techniques of signal transduction for the high-fidelity readout of materials responses to external stimuli. The synthetic background – required to transform an idea into a molecular reality – nicely complements the above mentioned skills. Moreover, the eight years of industrial research experience gave ED the mental attitude for choosing technological/social relevant problems and for bringing research results to industrial fruition.



Recipient of the 1997 Federchimica Award for the achievements in the field of supramolecular chemistry.
Federchimica is the Italian Association of Chemical Industries. This is the most prestigious award delivered by Federchimica.


Recipient of the 2009 Società Chimica Italiana research prize for outstanding accomplishments in the field of molecular interactions.

Other affiliations

1995 – present Member of the Italian Consortium for Materials Science (INSTM From 2005 Scientific Director of Section 4 (Functional Materials) and Director of the Intellectual Property Commission of INSTM.

Entrepreneurial activity

2003 – present Founder of SOATEC (, a University spin-off company active in the field of environmental and food sensors. The company is a spin-off of Parma University


Skiing and catamaran sailing