GSK (GlaxoSmithKleine), a pharmaceutical corporation, chose Tor Vergata to achieve an important scientific collaboration which officially kicked off this morning, October 7th. Managers and executives came to Tor Vergata to share the details of the project Discovery Partnership with Academia with the University community and discuss the possibility of launching 10 research projects to be selected by GSK and used to create new drugs. Launched in 2010 in the UK, the project Discovery Partnership with Academia (DPAc) is a new approach to the development of drugs in which GSK and university partners share inputs and innovation rewards.
‘It is a great opportunity’, said in his speech Giuseppe Novelli, Rector of the University of Rome Tor Vergata. ‘I have cooperated with GSK for years and I am honoured that they have paid attention to our research and development activities. This is what we mean by our Third Mission: promoting awareness, which is a crucial engine of today’s economic processes worldwide. Knowledge is our best weapon and we are trying to change the role of universities which in the past spent time and energy to create, preserve, transmit, integrate and innovate. On the contrary, today we must produce and apply such knowledge. From this viewpoint, Universities are now contributing as never before. Our University counts talented young people full of ideas. This is a human capital that can and must represent our investment for the future. We are ready to meet the challenges of globalisation with a Third Mission including all University actors who commit to building a bridge with the wider society. Research results and educational capabilities can be transferred outside, hence getting an added value and allowing Universities to look into the future. Today in Italy only 1 percent of our resources come from cooperation with businesses and industries. This percentage is too low, it must be increased’.
According to Giuseppe Recchia, Medical and Scientific Director at GSK, ‘Research follows science and Italy’s first-rate science must be identified and exploited. Through such ‘discovery of the discoverers’ who work in academia our country now has new chances to become once again a protagonist in discovering new drugs to treat diseases still lacking proper therapy’.
Great satisfaction was also expressed by Professor Silvia Licoccia, Deputy Rector for Research: ‘The project proposals pre-selected by GSK for further analysis are as much as 12. A testament to the quality of research carried out at Tor Vergata, which makes us proud, confident in the future and increasingly determined to provide support to basic and applied research. Today is an important opportunity for academia and the industry to meet and work together towards new goals. The pursuit of sustainable development for our future now requires the inclusion of a collaboration philosophy among all forces that can somehow improve our quality of life’.