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Dean

Graduate School of Medicine

KUMANOGOH Atsushi

Under one roof

Since its establishment in April 2014, the Center of Medical Innovation and Translational Research has been one of the leading research centers for the industry-academia collaboration in Japan. Its proposed mandate is “the development of cutting-edge medical care and promotion of open innovation that is unparalleled in the world ‘under one roof’ through the collaboration of industry, academia, and government institutions.” Under this mission, we are currently working on the research and development of new next-generation drugs and innovative medical technologies in collaboration with companies and research institutions in a variety of fields.

The medical community in Japan is currently facing tremendous challenges in both basic and clinical medicine. In addition to the most recent issues, we must consider the needs of medicine in a rapidly changing society, how to disseminate the results of our research to the medical community, particularly, in the post-corona era, and how to develop next generation research strategies without interruption. This is a time when we need to look toward the future.

In academia, it is important to aim for research that focuses on the essence and true nature of life phenomena, and for clinical and translational research to develop into new basic research that leads to the true elucidation of etiology and pathology. However, in this process, it is also important to support excellent seeds that can be returned to society from an early stage and to develop them into the next generation of innovation together with industry. We believe that the role of the Center of Medical Innovation and Translational Research will continue to increase in order for Osaka University to continue to demonstrate its presence in Japan and abroad. In the future, the Center of Medical Innovation and Translational Research will continue to promote, develop, and implement projects with social implications in the field of advanced medicine through bridging research on innovative ideas, licensing out to companies, and early realization of industrialization through close industry-university collaboration.

Director

Center of Medical Innovation and Translational Research

KANAI Yoshikatsu

Under one roof: An integrated research center
for collaboration among industry, academia,
and government

In 2002, the Graduate School of Medicine of Osaka University established the Medical Center for Translational and Clinical Research at Osaka University Hospital. The Graduate School of Medicine was among the first institutions in Japan to establish a system to develop basic technologies (from on and off campus) into advanced medical care. The innovation that needs to occur next is to prepare the “soil” for promising technologies to flourish. The Center for Medical Innovation and Translational Research (CoMIT) was conceived as a key way to prepare that “soil” by enhancing collaboration among industry, academia, and government.

As the concept of CoMIT was fleshed out, CoMIT was established in April 2014 thanks to a 2010 Subsidy to Cover the Costs of Constructing Facilities to Assess and Validate Advanced Technologies (the Project for Construction of Centers and Facilities “to Facilitate the Development of Technology”) from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. CoMIT is the culmination of leadership by 3 successive deans of the Graduate School of Medicine and hard work by numerous members of the faculty.

This year (2021) is the 8th year since CoMIT was established, and we have tripled the number of Joint Research Chairs overseeing joint research by the Graduate School of Medicine and companies. Many of these Joint Research Chairs work in the CoMIT Building, where they collaborate with representatives of many companies, government agencies, and research institutes on and off campus and where they are engaged in various efforts to bring about advanced medical care. One is constantly aware of society’s heightened interest in research being conducted in the CoMIT Building, as illustrated by a number of recent reports in the media.

The concept of CoMIT is development of joint research involving industry, academia, and government “under one roof,” and CoMIT will provide innovative medical care by promoting open innovation. My continued hope is three-fold: for CoMIT to promote advanced research projects, for it to foster links among research in different fields and links among researchers with different backgrounds, and for it to serve as a springboard for innovation through “integration.”