Ri.MED Foundation: The New Mediterranean Center for Medical Research is Born in Sicily

Investments in scientific research for employment and economic development of the South, integration between research and care for the improvement of the living conditions and health of the population, Italy-USA agreements for scientific research and strategic assets linked to innovative models of public-private partnership: these are the pillars behind the new Center for Biotechnology and Biomedical Research that will be built in Carini, Palermo.

In the presence of the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella and the President of the Senate Maria Elisabetta Alberti Casellati, the leaders of the Ri.MED Foundation and the founding partners presented this afternoon, in the Chapter House of Palazzo Minerva, the objectives of what will be one of the most innovative centers of translational research in Europe. Translational research aims to transfer the results obtained from basic research into clinical applications.

"The Carini construction site now clearly suggests the structure of the research campus, which will be flanked by the new ISMETT hospital – comments Paolo Aquilanti, President of the Ri.MED Foundation – and brings closer the goal of realizing one of the most significant public investments in Southern Italy in Sicily. A workshop of new products and unexplored methods to treat diseases and at the same time a source of work and a destination for investment. The competition between Italian public institutions – the National Government, the Sicilian Region, the National Research Council – and foreign partners at the level of the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC, has demonstrated the ability to translate an ambitious bet into practice".

Next to the Ri.MED center will be built the new ISMETT hospital, proposing a formidable integration of research and care to accelerate the transfer of scientific innovations to the patient and ensure the safe management of patients even in the face of pandemics.

The project is inspired by the typological model of the so-called "village-street" and provides for an extremely flexible organization of space: 52,464 square meters of total area, of which 17,070 square meters of laboratories, large common areas, meeting rooms, offices, an auditorium, the guesthouse and the direct connection with the hospital.

The state-of-the-art laboratories and technological platforms of the Ri.MED center will be dedicated to the research and development of innovative vaccines and drugs, cell therapies and organ and tissue engineering, to diagnose early and treat in a targeted manner terminal organ failures, tumors, infectious diseases and diseases related to aging, with particular attention to neurological diseases. The integration with UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh, leaders in clinical and scientific research, will foster a virtuous circle of know-how transfer.

Once fully operational, the center will employ about 600 resources – including researchers, technicians and administrative staff – dedicated to the study and development of innovative diagnostic and therapeutic solutions. The total value of the investment is 196,350,000 Euros.

The event took place in the presence of the President of the Republic, under the patronage of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, and saw the contributions of:

  • Maria Elisabetta Alberti Casellati, President of the Senate
  • Bruno Gridelli, Vice-President Ri.MED, Executive Vice President UPMC International
  • Leslie Davis, President & CEO UPMC
  • Renzo Piano, Senator of the Republic (via video link)
  • Mariangela Zappia, Ambassador of Italy to the USA (via video link)
  • Sebastiano Musumeci, President of the Sicilian Region
  • Maria Chiara Carrozza, President of the National Research Council
  • Paolo Aquilanti, President of the Ri.MED Foundation