The 10th Ri.MED Foundation Symposium ““Bridging health and economic development through public-private partnerships” took place in Palermo on October, 17th. The title underlines the crucial role of a model that involves public and private partners for the development of the economic, medical and scientific sectors, with the shared goal of improving the life of patients. The Ri.MED Foundation is one perfect example of an international public-private partnership model. Its founding partners are the Italian Government, the Region of Sicily, the Italian National Research Council (CNR), the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), a multinational integrated healthcare company.
The Ri.MED Foundation is a non-profit organization that promotes the role of biotechnologies applied to the biomedical sector, with a particular focus on Sicily and Southern Italy, and the ultimate goal to established a Biomedical Research and Biotechnology Center (BRBC). On October 12, the Sicilian Regional Commission for Public Works approved the BRBC’s executive project: construction works are due to start in 2017. In the meantime, Ri.MED has selected and trained top researchers and managers who have developed cell products, advanced therapies, and new solutions for patients that resulted in patents and real scientific revolutions that have managed to attract international funding. Many of these researchers presented their latest discoveries during the recent 10th Annual Ri.MED Foundation Symposium held in Palermo.
Antonio D’Amore, Ph.D., is a researcher from Palermo working for the Foundation since 2011. Dr. D’Amore has developed seven patents in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh, he has obtained funds from Carnegie Mellon University, and now he is preparing to launch his own start-up with the University of Pittsburgh Innovation Institute and UPMC. Dr. D’Amore is engaged in the development of cardiac prostheses that do not require anticoagulants and are not subject to calcification. This way, children with heart diseases will not be forced to undergo multiple implants to adapt the prostheses to growth.
Riccardo Gottardi, Ph.D., has won an award from the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), a spin-off of NASA, thanks to the bioreactor, a small device generating cartilage and bone tissue. Following the announcement made at the White House Organ Summit in June, his in vitro model will be used in the next scientific researches on board the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory.
These are only some examples of the brilliant minds currently working at the Ri.MED Foundation. “Our investments on training high-profile human capital and also our model focused on translational research,” said Alessandro Padova, director general of the Foundation, “allow Ri.MED to generate innovation and transfer technology in areas of greater development, primarily bioengineering and regenerative medicine, while at the same time attracting investments, creating small and medium-sized enterprises, and helping Sicily become competitive globally in the biotechnology sector.” “In order to be increasingly closer to the patient,” adds Dr. Padova, “our research is strongly oriented towards clinical application and to the concept of personalized medicine.”
For further information on the Ri.MED Foundation Symposium visit this page.