Big Data and Disease Models: A Cross-border Platform for Validated Biotech Industry Kits
Big data in modeli bolezni: čezmejna platforma validiranih kompletov za biotehnološko industrijo

No. of contract:

from 25.09.2017 to 24.03.2020


Overall Objective of the Project:

To increase cooperation among key biomedical entities like research institutes, universities and companies, in order to create a service platform based on an innovative combination of two biomedical techniques, cell biology and large-volume data analysis, within the context of cardiological and neuro-inflammatory diseases, problems associated with difficult wounds, and other potential pathologies, thus increasing competitiveness in the biomedical research sector.

Project summary:

The project tackles the common challenge of the Europe 2020 Strategy for Smart Growth, the Italy-Slovenia Program, and the Smart Specialisation strategies of the three areas, which is to strengthen the synergies among research institutes and companies in order to accelerate innovation through technology transfer between these key entities. The TRAIN project conducts interdisciplinary research studies with new technologies, and the project’s partners consist of 2 leading research institutes, 1 training institution, 1 biomedical SME, and 2 clusters of biotech companies. The aim is to combine the current expertise in biomedicine (Ita) and bio-informatics (Slo) in order to improve the diagnosis and treatment of various diseases, such as myocardial infarction, difficult wounds, and neuro-inflammatory diseases, with the goal of accelerating the technology transfer from the research sector to the industrial sector thanks to the creation of a series of kits available to biomedical companies for developing new biopharmaceutical products. The outputs are as follows: 1) biological and bioinformatical services for the identification of new biomarkers and therapeutic compounds; 2) test tube disease models; 3) validated kits ready for use; 4) technology transfer to biotech companies. The beneficiaries will be SMEs, clinical professionals, students, researchers, patients and healthcare systems. The approach consists of the combination of two scientific fields, the involvement of the SME partner in a case study, and the transfer of the results to companies. The cross-border approach is essential because a greater scientific, economic and social impact can only be achieved through the combination of the complementary forms of expertise found within the program area. The project is innovative because it represents the first time that two distinct areas of research will be brought together to develop ready-to-use kits for professionals operating in the biomedical sector, thereby increasing the potential for marketing and use throughout the cross-border area.

Main results:

Increased cooperation among biomedical research centres, companies, and clusters operating within the program area through the creation of a lasting cross-border network for the joint development of a technological platform that brings together two distinct disciplines for the first time, with applications in different biomedical fields, including myocardial infarction, difficult wounds, neuro-inflammatory diseases and others; this will improve the knowledge and therefore the competitiveness of the program area in these and other potential health sectors. The increase in cooperation will be evident in the project’s key research and innovation activities, as well as in the transfer of the results; in fact, the planned research requires the scientific excellence offered by the ICGEB and IJS research centres and the Experteam partner company, the ability to capitalise on the results offered by the two clusters located respectively in Slovenia (Ljubljana Technology Park) and Italy (Biovalley), and the experience in the advanced training of researchers and professionals in the biomedical sector offered by the PP MPŠ. The partners have many years of experience in their respective fields, and intend to continue collaborating even beyond the geographical dimension and duration of the project itself, with the aim of becoming a reference group for research and innovation relating to the production of ready to use cell function analysis kits for numerous biomedical and pharmaceutical companies. Combined with the technology transfer activities, the continuation of the network launched by this partnership and extending to the cross-border area will ensure that the research carried out will have a significant impact upon society, thanks to the potential treatments facilitated by its results, as well as on the market, given the global frequency of the target pathologies.