ISAC Lecture Report - BioFacility Day 2018
March 16, 2018
The constant and rapid evolution of technologies available in the life sciences has allowed to reach unprecedented goals. On the other hand, it has also imposed a reorganization of research structures with the creation of Core facilities.
The term Core Facility refers to the different research infrastructures or technology platforms within a network or a single research centre, with the aim of facilitating access to sophisticated and innovative instrumentation and technologies through the experience and know-how of qualified and dedicated personnel, "collaborators who will not say ‘no’, unless there are technical feasibility concerns."
This is the definition used by Joanne Lannigan, director of the Cytometry facility at the University of Virginia, in her ISAC Lecture presentation at BioFacility Day, a day dedicated to "shared resources" organized by CIBIO
, the Center for Integrated Biology of the University of Trento
, on February 15th, with 160 participants.
As a forerunner in the panorama of Italian public universities, CIBIO has introduced this organizational model deriving it from advanced international research contexts, and after a few years from its implementation, it is already representing a distinctive element for the scientific productivity and the attractiveness of outstanding international researchers. The virtuous circle that has been triggered acts as a catalyst for quality for both the researchers and the staff of the facilities. We hope that this innovation will be accompanied in the near future by a reference regulatory framework that can recognise innovative professional roles in support of this winning model.
The facilities of CIBIO are successfully used by 40 groups of internal researchers, but also by other universities and companies, as testified in their talks at the BioFacility Day by Vito Giuseppe D'Agostino and Nicola Segata, researchers of Unitrento, the hematologist Giovanni Roti (University of Parma) and Mauro Baruchelli with Elisa Sartori (Biodermol Ambiente srl, Trento).
Achim Treumann (Director of the Proteomic facility of the University of Newcastle) underlined not only the fundamental importance of the regional, national and international networks of Core facilities, but also the role of the facilities themselves in establishing daily connections. Such connections are incredibly beneficial between researchers belonging to the same institute, but also between internal researchers and external bodies, even private, clinics and industries, creating opportunities for collaboration and technology transfer.
This theme was taken up in a final roundtable, with the participation of a CRO (Neurozone, Milano), a biotech start-up (Immagina, Trento) and HIT (Hub Innovation Trentino, Trento). The panelists highlighted the role of a hub of the Core facilities and their importance in creating a favorable ecosystem of entrepreneurial initiatives in the biotechnological field.