Cooperation between universities and private enterprises: The ...

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Cooperation between universities and private enterprises: The ...

Cooperation between universities and

private enterprises.

The Microsoft Research - University of Trento Centre

for Computational and Systems Biology

DAVIDE BASSI

EUA Autumn Conference 2005

“Research in European Universities: Strategies and Funding”

Uppsala, 20-22 October 2005


Overview

• Fundamental research & knowledgebased

economy

• IT & new opportunities for joint research

initiatives

The Microsoft Research - University of Trento

Centre for Computational and System Biology

• Open issues


Trento


Trento numbers

14511

458

522

621

Students

PhD Students

Professors

Technical and Administrative staff

7

13

Faculties

Departments


The paradox of knowledge-based economy

New ideas are the “fuel” for knowledge-based

economy. Where are they coming from?

Fundamental research is one of the main sources,

but many research centres experience a dramatic

lack of funds.

Who pays for fundamental research?

Who produces new ideas?


New opportunities for joint initiatives

So far:

IT evolution was driven by the dream of the “killing

application”

A new perspective:

IT is a pervasive technology and plays a major role

within the frame of the so-called “converging

sciences” (info/bio/nano/eco/…). This produces a

renovated interest for fundamental research

New opportunities for joint initiatives where

universities (main producers of fundamental

research) work together with private enterprises to

find new ideas and new market oriented applications


The Microsoft Research – University of Trento Centre

WHY TRENTO

• High scientific reputation of the bioinformatics

Trento group leaded by Corrado Priami

• High density area for IT research activities

• Quick and effective response at the institutional

level


The Microsoft Research – University of Trento Centre

The partners are:

University of Trento

Microsoft Research

with the financial support

of:

Italian Government

Autonomous Province of

Trento (local government)

The Italian Government and Microsoft collaborate to give a new

impetus to research in Italy, through important investments

directed towards the creation of a cutting edge Science and

Technology centre in Trento, in partnership with the University of

Trento and the Provincia Autonoma di Trento”


The Microsoft Research – University of Trento Centre

OVERALL OBJECTIVES

OF THE CENTRE

1. To extend the knowledge of biological

systems and of the aetiology of diseases

through the creation of the Research Centre that

would gather multidisciplinary scientists in order to

carry out advanced research in the field of

computational models for biological systems.


The Microsoft Research – University of Trento Centre

OVERALL OBJECTIVES

OF THE CENTRE

2. At the same time, to conduct research for the

definition of new biomimetic computational

and communication paradigms, i.e. based on

the new principles derived from the research

carried out on biological systems construed as

information-processing systems.

3. To establish a cooperation with experimental

scientists at both the domestic and international

level to maintain a close relation with real

biological data.


The Microsoft Research – University of Trento Centre

OVERALL OBJECTIVES

OF THE CENTRE

4. Use the result of the research, through the

development of new computational instruments to

facilitate the predictive modelling of biological

systems and processes, at the level of both

theoretical and applied research. These

instruments can help fundamental research into

applications such as better medicine therapies and

environmental protection.


The Microsoft Research – University of Trento Centre

OVERALL OBJECTIVES

OF THE CENTRE

5. Disclose and disseminate the result of the

research for the benefit of the global scientific

community by means of publications and free

admission conferences and workdays, as well as

by granting free access to the instruments

developed by the Centre for non-commercial

scientific purposes.


3 key points

1. no-profit NewCo i.e. a real partnership between

university and private enterprise;

2. multidisciplinary scientific approach;

3. free access to scientific information.


Positive effects

• for our students: a privileged gate toward a

global research network;

• for the whole University: a model for the

development of outstanding research programmes

and for attracting talented young researchers;

• for the regional/local enterprise system: new

business opportunities (spin-off and high tech

applications);

• for the Italian and EU research and economic

system: increased competitiveness.


Secondary problems

• overload at managerial and accounting level

• “polarization” effects


More info about the MSR-UniTN Centre are

available in our web site:

www.unitn.it

Thank you for your attention

EUA Autumn Conference 2005

“Research in European Universities: Strategies and Funding”

Uppsala, 20-22 October 2005

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