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How we create innovation

To create innovation, the producers of top quality science have to share know-how and knowledge in the fields of medicine, technology and business, overcoming traditional divisions and specificity, that for years have characterized the areas of scientific-technical, economic or geographical expertise in which they work – fields that have traditionally been independent and with little communication between them.
 

MAKING TOP QUALITY SCIENCE THE NORM

To contribute to the creation of new products and services that are useful in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases in the area in question, there is no alternative to combining the strengths and expertise of organizations and institutions with the institutional task of dealing with these issues, the hospitals, research centres and universities. Innovation, added value, scientific progress and social cohesion depend entirely upon a tight dialogue between these actors, which provides access to a large store of common resources.
 

A FEW FACTS
More than a hundred people are working on the project including researchers, coordinators, administrative, technical and medical staff together with project management, communication and business development specialists as well as European policy experts.

On the human resources side - equally distributed between Italy and Slovenia, and split between the disciplines of chemistry, economics, biology, clinical medicine and mathematics - 70% of the staff are from academia.

Among the researchers, both senior and junior, there is a predominance of women, the ratio being as high as 10:4, female-to-male in the case of the youngest group.

The project has promoted highly skilled work with 14 young researchers being taken on at the same time through a joint recruitment campaign that defined the scope of the project. Each researcher works for a different partner, except for the Lead Partner, with whom two were employed simultaneously to pursue the aims of the project, each according to their specific scientific and technological expertise.

SHARING AND DEVELOPMENT OF INTEGRATED SKILLS

An objective of Trans2Care is to accompany and facilitate the process of communication between specialists from various fields, building procedures and a shared interdisciplinary language, so that the experts involved thoroughly understand the principles, methods and achievements of their colleagues working in other fields.
 

Responding to Trans2Care’s appeal, specialists from a wide range of backgrounds and origins were therefore called to make an effort to communicate with each other. Meeting up from time to time on a range of topics involving the scope and design of the project, they have sought to create allegiances between fields of expertise that are traditionally separate, with a subsequent reduction in the objective limits encountered by individual experts in the development of knowledge..
Following this modus operandi, experts, already equipped with highly advanced technical proficiencies (“hard skills”), are able to perfect them by meeting up with similarly-trained professionals, but above all acquiring additional expertise (“soft skills”) that allows them to contact and cooperate with other partners with very different backgrounds and goals
Think of how distant the intentions of a scientist are in terms of their aims - discovering unknown aspects of the world around us - from those of an entrepreneur wanting to expand markets for their products and thus increase the profits of their business. Yet both these categories are able to profit from mutual communication and cooperation, as the aims of the entrepreneurs are interdependent with the objectives of the scientists.
The dynamic process of dialogue between fields of knowledge and the construction of a shared language and procedures – which, for the experts involved, also requires real formative training to increase and consolidate their skills, both “hard”, and “soft” – comes about largely as a result of three joint operations which take place through via project: dissemination, technology transfer and knowledge sharing.
 
DISSEMINATION
Communication activities are planned, both internal (e.g. training sessions to improve awareness and communication tools available to researchers and partners - “soft skills”) - and external ones, such as educational initiatives, academic conferences and meetings between specialists as well as public awareness campaigns and media promotion of the project and its ongoing development that include a communication plan and the operations that are preliminary to technology transfer.
 
TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER AND SUSTAINABILITY OF THE RESEARCH
The strengthening of the network of direct relationships between researchers and industry is a key feature of the project, and is useful not only to transfer new knowledge to entrepreneurs, but also to identify lines of research that will lead to an increase in the economic usefulness of such skills and knowledge.
Therefore, the project also indirectly aims to create new models of interaction between business and academia, which render the resulting research fully sustainable. The technology transfer operations planned under the project aim to develop highly-specialized biomedical techniques that will prove useful in the creation and improvement of public health services and products.
 
KNOWLEDGE SHARING
The ultimate aim of the project partners is to direct scientific research towards preventive medicine, thereby reducing both harm to the individual and the resultant social costs. From this perspective, T2C foresees the creation and management of:
- A regularly-updated, content-rich, carefully-structured website with which to present the project to the public and inform people, both specialists and non-, on the project’s progress;
- A technological database which allows the user to view the products and services already available, with free access for partners and stakeholders. In this way, researchers can avoid duplicating their efforts and are able instead to identify areas of intervention towards which to direct their efforts in research and development.
- The database and its updates will be available on the project website www.trans2care.eu.

CREATING A HEALTH NETWORK: PREVENTION, DIAGNOSIS, TREATMENT

The partners' goal is to address scientific research into preventative medicine, to reduce harm to the individual and its resultant social costs. In particular, the researchers are studying and developing new technologies and new tools for early diagnosis, identifying biomarkers and developing new rapid and inexpensive ways to measure them.
  

Efficiency and effectiveness. Mutually-agreed rules and deadlines, effective communication, training and meeting sessions, together with shared platforms and formal protocols for interaction are required to provide the T2C network with the self-regulation tools necessary to periodically draw up strategies to improve the effectiveness of its work.
The work that the “new” Trans2Care network is pursuing is manifold and its evolution is dynamic, ranging from being present at major events involving meetings between specialists where opportunities for technology transfer are created (e.g. NanotechItaly 2013) and the active promotion and dissemination of knowledge to the general public (e.g. the Notte dei Ricercatori - Researchers' Night - or TriesteNext, both in 2012 and 2013) as well as the identification of new partners in neighbouring countries, with whom to boost the production of new knowledge and the creation of alliances with businesses, both public and private.
This involves both innovating and improving existing products and services so that they are better suited to current needs, but above all to give form and substance to a new concept of integrated health, environment and well-being, where even the youngest find opportunities for growth, professional achievement and wealth.
To create innovation, the producers of excellence in science must share their know-how and expertise in the fields of medicine, technology and business, transcending traditional divisions and specificities that for years have characterized areas of scientific-technical, economic or geographical learning - fields that have traditionally been independent and with little mutual communication.