Rho like Cambridge. At the gates of Milan, on the land that hosted Expo 2015, an innovation pole is taking shape where public and private, academia and small and large companies, hospitals and research centers, team up to try to accelerate research. And the Milano Innovation District, better known as Mind, where the first pharmaceutical company, AstraZeneca, will move from December. The Anglo-Swedish multinational has a long tradition of public-private partnership, as evidenced by the history of collaboration with the University of Cambridge from which the Covid vaccine was born, and wants to repeat the experience in Italy as well. “Innovation and research have always been in AstraZeneca’s DNA, and the Mind ecosystem will allow us to accelerate the development of ideas and their transformation into concrete projects to support patients and society as a whole – said Lorenzo Wittum, President and CEO of AstraZeneca, during the morning of presentation of the new headquarters -. We are convinced that to innovate and do research you need collaboration, simplification and that the contamination between different worlds is fundamental. Public-private partnerships already exist, but if we want to look to the future in a new and constructive way we must accelerate their implementation because the potential is very high. Working together will allow us to be more competitive as a country “.
Italy does not attract foreigners
Alberto Mantovani also spoke about the need to promote the competitiveness of Italian research, speaking during the “Talking Minds” event: “Italian researchers compete for scholarships with their European colleagues, who also have more funding, and win positions abroad, however, Italy fails to attract minds from abroad. We hope that Mind can represent an important pole of attraction in this sense ”, said the scientific director of the Humanitas Clinical Institute. To harness the shirts of the Italian scientists are the few investments and the ties of the bureaucracy: “We Italians are like climbers with stones in our backpacks, the climb is more difficult for us than for others”, concluded the immunologist.
Making Italian research fly
Mind’s goal is instead to replace stones with helium balloons, and make Italian research fly. “Thanks also to Federated Innovation, an alliance of private companies and public institutions that aims to generate innovation in all the main disciplines of the future”, explained Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli, president of the International Advisory Board and the Mind Strategy Board. “The transfer of our headquarters to Mind – continues Wittum – means confirming the strategic role of AstraZeneca within the country system, a model that will obviously extend beyond the borders of the Milanese district. Our direct activities and the supply chains involved are already able to generate a strong multiplier effect on the entire Italian economy, which we expect to double over the next 3 years, producing important benefits for the National Health System and for the Society “. According to a study conducted by ‘The European House – Ambrosetti’, in fact, in the next 3 years AstraZeneca will contribute to the national GDP with two billion euros, the 3 thousand jobs activated on the supply chain in 2020 will become 6000, the 24 million euros of investments in Research and Development will increase to 48 million euros, thus doubling the benefits for the National Health Service to over 200 million.