PROMOS Interreg ITA-AT project- image taken from previous Interreg INCARDIO project showing Cell therapy-induced vessels developed to revascularize ischemic tissues

Reinforcing the biomedical ecosystem: PROMOS, an Interreg Italy-Austria collaboration

26 February 2024 – The PROMOS kick off meeting takes place at ICGEB Trieste, Italy, with the ultimate aim to transfer results from science to society.

The PROMOS project aims to promote the Italian-Austrian biomedical ecosystem and the creation of new biomedical SMEs through a cross-border technology transfer pathway from the academic world to the market and clinic.

“This Italy – Austria programme,” explains Prof. Serena Zacchigna, Lead Partner from ICGEB, “addresses filling the gap of technology transfer in academia to develop and strengthen research and innovation capabilities and the introduction of advanced technologies in the Life Sciences.”

At the kick off meeting in Trieste, representatives from the donor, the Autonomous Region Fruili Venezia Giulia and from the partner insitutes were present, comprising Eurac Research, Medizinische Universität Innsbruck, Kärnten University of Applied Science, NOI Spa, and associated partners Polo Tecnologico Alto Adriatico Andrea Galvani, Lakeside Science & Technology Park , and Health Hub Tirol. Also present were representatives from the biotech industry, medical doctors, and students.

PROMOS will focus on three axes: university and industry, to facilitate the implementation of innovative solutions and the sharing of good practices, training, to strengthen the culture of technology transfer in research centers, and cross-border cooperation, to increase the ability to capitalise on scientific results.

Held in hybrid mode, participants from across the consortium (5 partners, and 3 associated partners), explained how the project will be run. Funded for two years (2024-2026), for over 1.1 million euro, around 70% of the budget constitutes funding from the European Union.

The ITA-AT territory boasts excellent scientific production. However, there is an imbalance between supply and demand for innovation, due to a poor technology transfer culture in academia. To enable the territory to fully exploit its Research and Innovation (R&I) potential, enhancing regional specificities, it aims to develop a cooperation model capable of transferring results from science to society.

Starting from the biomedical ecosystem, PROMOS will implement a standardised pathway to transfer research results to the market and the clinic. University-industry collaboration, and the comparison of regulations in the two states, will facilitate the implementation of innovative solutions and the sharing of best practices. A training program, will help researchers transform their findings into real products. A cross-border alliance will be created with SMEs, innovation clusters, universities and research institutes to ensure sustainability of the developed solutions. PROMOS will increase the capacity to capitalise on scientific results, turning them into commercially and socially useful products, in a model that can be replicated in other sectors and extended to other territories, where biomedical SMEs are lacking.

The Project Objectives aim to strengthen the innovation capabilities of the biomedical environment located in the Italy-Austria cross-border area, creating an ecosystem conducive to the exploitation of results, through collaboration with existing companies and the development of new start-ups in the program area. To Facilitate the development of biological drugs and their clinical application, enhance training of researchers in technology transfer through seminars, workshops and knowledge exchange, and to create a cross-border alliance of SMEs, innovation clusters, universities and research institutes as think tanks to improve access to R&I results and support the long-term adoption of new biomedical solutions developed by the project.