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The story of the Ri.MED Foundation began in April 2005, when the Italian Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. This was aimed at creating a centre of excellence in Sicily for biotechnological and biomedical research projects with high technological content.

Research, development of new technologies and transfer and dissemination of innovation were at the very centre of the Italian Government’s development policies – in line with the European Lisbon strategy – in that they were major factors for relaunching Italy’s competitiveness, particularly that of Sicily (see the decree “Action plan for economic, social and regional development”).

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) had then – and continues to have – a well-established tradition in the research and spin-off field and in the training of new companies in the medical sector, which is also recognised by the Italian Government. A previous partnership has already led to the creation of ISMETT in Palermo, one of the first European centres for highly-specialised transplants and treatments.

The location of Sicily, with its high level University, technology districts and centres of excellence, stood out as the ideal place to best maximise the impact in the Mediterranean region of a pole of excellence in the field of biomedicine and biotechnology.

The complementary aims of these three entities has led to the Italian Government deciding to invest in research to improve health in Sicily. In particular, in the creation of a centre of excellence for biotechnological and biomedical research, which also acts as a driving force for the economic revival of Southern Italy.

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