Fondazione Politecnico di Milano

Fondazione Politecnico di Milano was established in 2003 at the behest of Politecnico di Milano, together with our city’s main institutions and the regional government of Lombardy, with the support of several important business companies.

Fondazione is actively engaged in enhancing the University’s development path of accessible innovation and to share the many strengths that define its research in the fields of engineering, architecture and industrial design with manufacturing companies and the local community, driving progress to build the future. The Foundation contributes towards innovating and developing Italy’s economic and productive landscape, operating to improve the efficiency of relationships between Politecnico and companies, institutions and public authorities, by providing professional support, including on and international scale, to research, education and the University third mission.

The Foundation, on the mandate of Politecnico di Milano, has the objective of disseminating knowledge and appreciation of the University’s research, including raising funds within the private and public sectors. Fondazione Politecnico di Milano works alongside teachers and researchers to identify partners and resources for their projects. It also supports them in promoting and spreading the results of their work. Furthermore, the Foundation is keen to involve companies in funded projects, to the benefit of their operations, in a perspective of continuous evolution. Managed by the Foundation and classified among the first five university incubators at global level, PoliHub Innovation Park & Startup Accelerator is a consolidated reality that can give its support to this pool of companies. Fondazione Politecnico di Milano develops and implements personalised corporate training projects and learning models based on competency-based training. These programmes mainly target schools, universities, public authorities and companies, nationally and internationally.

The Foundation today encompasses a large group of professionals whose solid and dynamic approach, combined with their ability to operate in national and international contexts, has allowed them to build consolidated relationships with the world of companies and public authorities, interpreting their needs for innovation and championing their collaboration with the world of universities and research.

INFN Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics

In Italy, basic research in the field of the fundamental constituents of matter and the interactions that regulate their behaviour is conducted by INFN, the Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (National Institute for Nuclear Physics). INFN is a community of over 6.000 people committed to ensuring that fundamental research provides its best results.

Examples of this are the historical achievements of recent years with the Nobel Prize winning discoveries of the Higgs boson and gravitational waves and with the Nobel Prize awarded to Giorgio Parise for his studies on complex systems. In short, INFN is a community that makes the so-called curiosity-driven research a national excellence.

The INFN is present throughout the country. It works in close cooperation with the university world: it is, in fact, historically organised into linked Divisions and Groups, which are based in the physics departments of the main Italian universities, in national laboratories and centres. At the same time, the Institute also has a significant international dimension, dictated by the global nature of scientific research in particle physics. So much so that INFN carries out a large part of its research activities within the framework of international cooperation initiatives: it participates in experiments in the most prestigious laboratories and research centres abroad and has collaborations in dozens of countries.

INFN carries out both theoretical and experimental research in the field of fundamental physics. In particular, there are five main research areas: subnuclear physics, astroparticle physics, nuclear physics, theoretical physics and technological and interdisciplinary research. In order to conduct the experiments, the Institute designs and produces, in its own laboratories and in collaboration with industry, cutting-edge technologies. Technologies which, although designed and developed for fundamental research, often lead to useful spin-offs for society, in the medical and the cultural heritage sectors or for the environment, to mention just a few examples.

As an institution working on cutting-edge scientific issues, INFN has a significant impact on the progress of knowledge, on technological development and on the economy of the country. Aware of this role, and of the fact that it is the duty of a public body to share its activities and the results that derive from them with society, the Institute is strongly committed to what today is called the third mission: i.e. to technology transfer, advanced training and the dissemination of the scientific culture.

IRCCS Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria di Bologna

The University Hospital of Bologna IRCCS, Sant’ Orsola Polyclinic, is an integrated organization in the national, regional and local system for health and scientific research, with the main aim of guaranteeing a response to health needs through the provision of highly specialized inpatient and outpatient services and the development of clinical and translational research projects aimed at improving the health of the population.

The IRCCS – AOU in Bologna is a Polyspecialist hospital with a high specialization that extends for 1.8 km with a total gross area of 386,982-metre squares. Currently, every activity develops in 32 pavilions, 23 of which are dedicated to assistance and research activities with a daily presence averaging 20,000 people between patients and operators; it has 1,430 beds and a staff of over 5,000 operators and professionals, including university staff with an agreement.

The Company has been recognized as a Scientific Institute for Research, Hospitalization and Healthcare (IRCCS) with national relevance, with Decree on 19 September 2020 and published in the Official Ministerial Gazette No. 266 of 26 October 2020 as one of the disciplines of “assistance and research in transplants and critical patients” and “integrated medical and surgical management of oncology diseases. “

Recently, the clinical and research activity in oncology and hematology within the Polyclinic has been characterized by a significant increase in the volumes of casuistry treated and the experimentation of highly innovative medical and surgical therapies. Over 500 clinical studies and creative and experimental phase I-II-III-IV diagnosis and therapy programmes are active for treating oncological and hematological diseases in adult and pediatric patients.

The institute is also a reference center for allogeneic transplants in adults and children, is the only regional hub for the administration of therapies with CAR-T cells and is a regional reference center for the treatment of ovarian cancer.

The oncology research within the IRCCS AOU in Bologna is aimed at investigating the most innovative therapeutic approaches in oncology and hematology, with explicit reference to medical, surgical, pharmacological, immunotherapy and radiotherapy treatments:

  • identifying criteria and tools for patient stratification to optimize diagnostic and therapeutic strategies;
  • developing innovative therapeutic approaches with particular reference to new drugs, combining drugs with different molecular targets and the immunotherapy approach with CAR-T cells.

IRCCS Sacred Heart Don Calabria

IRCCS Sacro Cuore Don Calabria in Negrar of Valpolicella Public entity with a private administration, non-profit, Accredited by the Regional Health System (Veneto Region). In 2018 it obtained recognition as Scientific Institute for Research, Hospitalization and Healthcare.

According to the words of Saint Giovanni Calabria, founder of the Hospital: “The sick is our true master after God” the mission of the IRCCS is to place the sick person at the center of every attention. Assistance, education, research, and technological progress aim at a single final objective: to provide the best care for the patient.

The IRCCS has a total of 549 beds for acute and post-acute care and has over 2,200 employees.  The activity has a solid surgical component of high complexity: 33,000 hospitalizations, 22,000 surgeries, and 1,450,000 outpatient services are carried out every year.

There are specialized medical professionals dedicated to oncology and diagnostic and therapeutic technologies of the latest generation. The organizational structure enables the multidisciplinary care of oncological patients and the use of innovative antineoplastic treatments. The IRCCS is a full member of OECI (Organisation of European Cancer Institute) and is in the Accreditation Process as a Cancer Center.

In 2021, more than 16,600 cancer patients turned to the IRCCS, a number that has been steadily increasing over the years.

Clinical research activity has grown over the years: in 2021, 88 clinical studies, observational and experimental, were presented to the Ethics Committee.

The clinical unit “Medical Oncology” and the Analysis Laboratory are certified at AIFA for conducting Phase-I trials.

The entire IRCCS is engaged in scientific production: 322 articles were published last year for a global impact factor of 1774 points. In the same year the oncology publications were 130 for an impact factor of 764.

Intense and continuous is the activity of updating and education in oncology, which has seen over the years the contribution of hundreds of specialists of national relevance.

Besides this, the IRCCS collaborates with several universities in education, training and research.

In addition to the hospital, there are 365 beds in the social-health area that allow to devote significant attention to patients in all stages of illness. The building of an oncology hospice is imminent.

Institute of Pharmacological Research Mario Negri IRCCS

The Institute of Pharmacological Research Mario Negris is a private non-profit organization operating in the biomedical research field. It was legally established in 1961 and began its activity at the Milan office on February 1, 1963.

Today the Institute has about 700 researchers in three locations, one in Milan and two in Bergamo (at the Scientific and Technological Park of Kilometro Rosso and Ranica, where the Clinical Research Center for Rare Diseases Aldo and Cele D’Acco resides).

The fundamental aim of the Institute is to contribute to the protection of human health and life. To achieve this objective, it is necessary first to deepen our understanding of the operating mechanisms of living organisms, identify why diseases arise and know the processes that develop in the organisms following the introduction of foreign substances. In this way, the Institute’s research is generated from the molecular level down to the individual and populations.

The results are used to generate new drugs and increase the effectiveness of those already in use.

The Institute does not patent its findings and has always maintained its independence from industry, the Government, and the University, taking the suffering side. In this way, the efficiency typical of private organizations is for the service of the public interest.

Research areas

The research of the Institute is performed by ten research departments and focuses mainly on cancer, cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, kidney diseases, organ transplantation, public health, and environmental pollution. The study of rare diseases is another critical area of the foundation work, making the Institute of Pharmacological Research Mario Negris a national and international reference point.

Concerning the fight against cancer, the Department of Oncology has, over the years, been engaged in the discovery and pre-clinical and clinical development of therapies for the treatment of tumours through studies investigating molecular, biological, and pharmacological aspects. The final goal is to achieve clinical applications that improve the survival and life quality of cancer patients.

The projects followed by the Department concern different types of neoplasms; however, the majority of pre-clinical and clinical studies focus on gynecological tumours, sarcomas, thoracic tumours (lung, mesothelioma and thymus) and pancreatic tumours.

Training and scientific culture dissemination

The Institute has always been aimed at patients and the public, and health professionals, helping spread scientific culture in the biomedical field, improving health practice and the more appropriate use of medicines.

Alongside research activities, one of the missions is the training of young people. There are specific training programmes for graduates and diploma holders, through Ph.D. courses and specialization courses for the professional training of laboratory technicians and graduate researchers, awarding certificates of professional qualification and Ph.D. diplomas in collaboration with the MIUR.

Since 1963, the Institute has awarded 8,300 grants (of which 850 were given to foreign researchers)

IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo Foundation

The San Matteo Hospital in Pavia has a significant history: it is rooted in the glorious medical tradition of the University of Pavia, which includes Camillo Golgi, the Nobel Prize winner for Medicine, and is projected into research and advanced innovation.

The hospital was founded in 1449 by the Frate Domenico da Catalogna, and the first transformation took place in 1932, with the inauguration of the Polyclinic built by Nobel prize winner Camillo Golgi.

In 2013 the new pavilion called “DEA” was inaugurated: a structure of 65 thousand square meters consisting of a plate that configures an EAS (First Aid of High Specialty) of 6 thousand square meters able to handle any emergency, having available a diagnostic facility and digital radiology of the latest generation, with an entire plan dedicated to intensive care.

In 1982, San Matteo was formally recognized as a Scientific Institute for Research, Hospitalization and Healthcare and had always been reconfirmed in this role, becoming a reference point of national and international biomedical research in the world.

The mission of the Scientific Institute for Research, Hospitalization and Healthcare (IRCCS) is carried out in the care and research of the transplantology field, regenerative medicine, and diseases of high complexity and, in particular, in specific areas such as hematology of children and adults, cardiology, infectiousness, oncology, rheumatology, gastroenterology, rare diseases and advanced surgery.

The polyclinic San Matteo combines all three fundamental aspects of healthcare: assistance, affirming its role as a reference hospital (HUB) and centre of the organizational and pathology networks; research, being an IRCCS and playing a leading national and international role in clinical and translational research; basic and specialist university training, being a polyclinic of the University of Pavia, the seat of the degree course in Medicine and Surgery, which boasts a centuries-old school, and of the three-year and master’s degree courses in the health professions.

Today, IRCCS Polyclinic San Matteo, with more than 3,600 employees, 1,024 accredited beds, 36,700 admissions, 99,600 emergency room admissions, 2.5 million outpatient services, and an operating budget of more than 412 million euros, is one of the five largest public hospitals in Lombardy and one of the largest IRCCSs in Italy.

IRCCS Saverio De Bellis

Ente Ospedaliero Specializzato in Gastroenterologia “Saverio de Bellis” is a hospital with a specialized gastroenterological, medical and surgical focus, which operates as a Scientific Institute for Research, Hospitalization and Healthcare under public law.

The IRCCS “Saverio de Bellis” is an integral part of the Health Service of the Puglia Region, in which it performs highly qualified purposes in care activities, research and training.

The IRCCS “Saverio de Bellis” role in the regional network represents a vital commitment mainly oriented to innovative gastroenterological surgery, endoscopy and hepatology. Furthermore, the IRCCS has a critical responsibility mainly oriented to excellence activities and experimentation in the hepato-gastroenterological and nutritional sectors. Thus, it has become a regional reference centre for acute, chronic, and neoplastic diseases of the digestive system and, more recently, for metabolic and dietary disorders.

The numbers of healthcare services are constantly increasing, and last year 10,000 endoscopies, 3,000 of which were interventional, and more than 1,200 gastroenteric surgeries were recorded. The following year 2,000 new patients were healed at the clinical nutrition clinic. Even more significant is the healthcare model proposed, where the approach to the patient is multidisciplinary, being accomplished by a complete and all-around team, consisting of a gastroenterologist, surgeon, endoscopist, nutritionist and pathophysiology of nutrition, oncologist, radiologist, pathologist, geneticist, pharmacologist, and epidemiologist. All these medical specialists enable a unique diagnostic and therapeutic pathway in gastroenterology, supported by transversal platforms that guarantee high added value, such as the nutraceutical and personalized medicine laboratories, but also telemedicine, currently being implemented, which allows home telemonitoring to promote patient and family empowerment and improve quality of life.

The “Saverio de Bellis” IRCCS has a substantial and advanced research facility, covering about 1,200 square metres of laboratories specifically dedicated to research, 570 square metres of dedicated services and an enclosure of 220 square metres.

The research lines follow the 3P model: precision, preventive/predictive, participatory.

Research at the ‘Saverio de Bellis’ IRCCS is translational and achieves direct and positive repercussions on healthcare assistance and citizens. Indeed, a series of innovative genetic tests are available to the local community to identify the most suitable biological therapy to combat already diagnosed tumours (the so-called “target therapy”) or investigate the predisposition of family members of the affected person to contract new ones.

IRCCS Fondazione Policlinico Universitario Agostino Gemelli

The Gemelli University Hospital (Italian: Foundation Policlinico Universitario Agostino Gemelli) IRCCS is where scientific and technical expertise, human sensitivity, ethics, and Catholic values become a motivating commitment serving all citizens ensuring excellent care accessible to the entire community.

The centrality of the patient as a person, use of expertise, technology and state-of-the-art know-how, and ability to respond to complex care needs through increasingly personalized (therefore effective) responses are the hallmarks of clinical and healthcare activities fulfilled every day, 24 hours a day, by the Gemelli University Hospital. Eight clinical and research departments involve113 medical care units, including 86 complex operating units, 27 simple operating areas, and 1536 beds. In one year, 215 organ transplantations were performed, 94,509 patients were discharged, and 83,419 people accessed the emergency room.

The Gemelli University Hospital is a reference point at the national level for an increasing number of disciplines and specializations with international excellence. With more than 5000 employees and daily relationships with thousands of stakeholders, the Gemelli University Hospital IRCCS is a national fundamental institution, which operates in an economically sustainable way in the complex context of Health Care.

Working successfully in this delicate balance depends on the dedication and skill of all collaborators.

Every day, people embrace the Foundation’s mission with motivation and commitment, guaranteeing excellent healthcare with professionalism and humanity, available to the entire community. Recoginzed as a Scientific Institute for Research, Hospitalization and Healthcare (IRCCS) for the disciplines of Personalized Medicine and Innovative Biotechnology in 2018, Gemelli is committed to clinical and scientific research.

In 2017, the Foundation distinguished itself in areas of prestigious university research, obtained through competitive tenders. Projects are in scientific areas such as oncology, which has always been one of the pillars of the Foundation’s research, as well as metabolic diseases, chronic diseases, genetic and autoimmune diseases (Amyotrophic Muscular Syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis and Myasthenia Gravis), infectious diseases and new diagnostic systems. The second pillar of the Foundation is the expertise demonstrated in profit research, which with the launch in 2017 of the Clinical Trial Center as an independent company, confirms Gemelli as one of the few Italian facilities at the service of global clinical research, setting a new industry standard of excellence.

In 2017, as a result of collaboration with the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the Catholic University th foundation achieved the following: 291 research projects developed, 33 structures of the Foundation entirely or partially dedicated to research projects, over 1500 scientific publications, 142 profit studies activated in the Clinical Trial Center, all with a value of 10.5 million euros.

CNAO Foundation – National Centre of Oncology Adrotherapy

The National Center of Adrotherapy Oncology (CNAO) in Pavia is a non-profit, innovative and technologically advanced foundation established in 2001 by the Ministry of Health to create and manage an adrotherapy center for the treatment of resistant radio-cancers that are inoperable by the use of carbon ions and proton.

For the first time, a machine was built in Italy whose characteristics were specifically suitable for treating cancer rather than performing physics experiments. The treatment of tumours with adrotherapy requires a particle accelerator, the synchrotron, to accelerate carbon ions and protons at speeds close to that of light to acquire the energy necessary to treat the tumour. The CNAO synchrotron obtained the CE marking as a medical device from the  Italian National Institute of Health.

Hadrontherapy at the CNAO is provided within the National Health System for diseases included in the LEA. Other diseases can be treated according to the clinical protocols in place at CNAO. The treatments have proven to be reliable, safe, and effective.

Highly qualified professionals work in synergy to provide patients with the best treatment prospects.

Adrotherapy is an advanced form of radiotherapy that uses carbon ions or protons, unlike the “conventional” use of X-rays. Carbon ions cause DNA damage three times greater than that generated by conventional radiotherapy, saving the surrounding healthy tissues.

Based on clinical protocols defined and shared, patients are preselected and referred to the CNAO for treatments, maintaining the link with the health structures afferent.

Diseases currently treatable at the CNAO within the National Health System, included in the LEA:

  • Orbital and periorbital tumours, including ocular melanoma
  • Tumours of the brainstem and spinal cord – Intracranial meningiomas in critical locations
  • Adenoid cystic carcinomas of the salivary glands
  • Chordomas and chondrosarcomas of the base of the skull and spine
  • Paediatric solid tumours
  • Tumours in patients with genetic syndromes
  • Sarcomas of soft tissues
  • Bone sarcomas
  • Retreatment of tumours in irradiated sites

Other diseases covered by clinical protocols:

  • Pancreatic cancer
  • High-risk prostate cancer
  • Recurrence of rectal cancer
  • Brain tumours
  • Sinus tumours

A preliminary medical evaluation is required to verify the indication for Hadrontherapy treatment. If the proposed clinical case is considered a candidate, the patient is contacted within a week for an initial evaluation visit at the Centre. The CNAO website shows how to send clinical documentation.

The mission of the CNAO Foundation is not only cure but also research for the benefit of the cancer patient: clinical, radiobiological, medical physics and bioengineering research. Clinical research includes innovative and comparative studies on the use of hadrons to improve the application of hadotherapy to new diseases in collaboration with national and international cancer centers. Radiobiology research, focusing on radiation resistance, the mechanisms of interactions between hadrons and drugs and the response of healthy tissues.

Medical physics research focuses on analyses to improve quality control procedures for particle beams and develop increasingly precise and high-performance tools for attacking tumours.  Bioengineering research aims to create innovative devices related to patient positioning and tumour treatment located in moving organs. The CNAO also operates through national and international collaborations of excellence in clinical and research fields.

IRCCS SDN – Research Institute

The SDN Institute is a multi-specialized structure operating for over 40 years in laboratory and image diagnostics, nationally accredited for the provision of health services such as Laboratory testing, Diagnostics for Images and Nuclear Medicine / PET.

The primary objective of the IRCCS SDN is to meet, with professionalism and highly qualified service, the entire diagnostic process of the patient, ensuring constant but discreet assistance and providing a technologically advanced environment, constantly integrated and updated.

Besides clinical-care activity, SDN carries out scientific divulgation and research in vivo and in vitro diagnostics focused on application and integrating preclinical and clinical diagnostic methodologies in oncological pathologies, cardiovascular, neurological, and metabolic-functional.

The Ministry of Health recognized SDN activity by decree of 11 January 2007, 2014, and then in 2016 reconfirmed the SDN Institute’s qualification as Scientific Institute for Research, Hospitalization and Healthcare (IRCCS) for the discipline of “Integrated Imaging and Laboratory Diagnostics.”

The IRCCS qualification provides that, in addition to excellence in clinical care, there is a solid commitment to translational research in all diagnostics areas. The aim is to provide the National Health Service with data and guidelines to make the equipment and methodologies for diagnosis and follow-up more effective and innovative.

All the facilities and related resources are at the service of both healthcare and scientific research activities. Their number and quality make it possible to test and conduct highly innovative research projects and to attract the interest of public and private entities.

The concentration of these technologies and skills enables the SDN Institute to excel in integrated diagnostics and attract many patients from central-southern Italy.

The SDN Institute is constantly striving to improve the quality of its procedures and therefore voluntarily submits to external audits of its standards by national (ISO 9001 certification) and international entities (Joint Commission International, European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS) and European Board of Nuclear Medicine (EBNM)).

The research activities are supported by highly innovative core facilities, some of which are also open to external users:

  • Image Processing Centre NAPLAB;
  • Statistics and Bioinformatics Laboratory;
  • Radiopharmacy;
  • Laboratory of Nanotechnology;

Biobank included in the BBMRI (Biobanking and BioMolecular Resources Research Infrastructure) node to establish an Expert Centre, ATMA-CE, a technology hub focused on radiomics and validation of imaging biomarkers.

In carrying out its experimental and clinical research programmes, the SDN Institute has for many years developed formal and informal scientific collaboration agreements with Universities, IRCCS, Institutions and public and private, national, and international entities in the fields related to its research activities, with which researchers are interchanged, and research of common interest is shared.

It is also a member of infrastructure networks, such as EIBIR – European Institute for Biomedical Imaging Research, EuroBioImaging – large-scale pan-European research infrastructure project of ESFRI (European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructure), ADNI – Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative, KIC INNOSTAR, Knowledge and Innovation Community Italian node for “Healthy living and active ageing,” EATRIS – European Advanced Translational Research Infrastructure in Medicine, BBMRI – Biobanking and BioMolecular Resources Research Infrastructure, research infrastructure involving biobanks and biological resource centres – European Expert Center (ATMA) and Networks promoted by the Ministry of Health.