Graduate School of Medicine
Passing on the torch of collaboration between industry and academia to the next generation!
The Center of Medical Innovation and Translational Research (CoMIT) building was completed in 2014 with a subsidy from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and funds from the Graduate School of Medicine of Osaka University. One of CoMIT’s missions is to promote joint research with companies and to allow society to benefit from the results of that research. Another of CoMIT’s missions is to foster young researchers who will lead researches in the next generation through the collaboration between academia and industry. To that end, floors 6–9 contain research areas for collaboration between industry and academia. The Technical Support Floor (5th fl.) is equipped with the latest equipment to facilitate research on floors 6–9. The basement houses the Institute for Animal Research involving Medium and Large Animals, where non-clinical trials are conducted. One floor is for student education, another contains offices for the Department of Medical Innovation (DMI) which promotes translational research, and one floor contains offices to coordinate support for research in conjunction with the University’s Administration.
Since CoMIT was established, all of the research areas for collaboration between industry and academia have been in full use. Activities in those areas have led to papers with a substantial impact, intellectual property, and clinical trials, thus attracting attention around the world. Whenever a small area becomes available, a company immediately applies to use it. The Strategic Global Partnership & Cross-Innovation Initiative has had a profound impact on CoMIT. The Initiative seeks to further collaboration between industry and academia by uniting companies that are interested in research by the Graduate School of Medicine and activities of the University Hospital and by promoting dialogues between those companies. CoMIT was welcomed a host of distinguished visitors from elsewhere in Japan and overseas who have been lured by their interest in the Graduate School’s activities. CoMIT should be always mindful of what actually allows those activities to occur: if CoMIT fails to train the next generation of personnel, then all of its grand plans will simply remain on the drawing board. The blazing torch of collaboration between industry and academia must be passed down to the next generation of researchers.
A vital component of that effort is facilitating collaboration between the Graduate School of Medicine, which conducts basic research, and departments of advanced research facilities, which explore how to put the results of basic research into clinical use. Facilitating collaboration between the Graduate School and advanced research facilities is a cornerstone of collaboration between industry and academia. For a researcher conducting research every day, seeing his or her research put to practical use is sure to be uplifting.
Another vital component of passing down collaboration between industry and academia to the next generation of researchers is the devoted work of many staffs in the CoMIT building. I have seen that dedication firsthand since the CoMIT building opened, and I can only express my thanks to those staffs for their hard work. The most important attitude is to face what happens in CoMIT and to devote all their energy to solve the problem. I hope that all of the personnel in the CoMIT building continue to find themselves rewarded when CoMIT announces one or two of their research results to the outside world.
Center of Medical Innovation and Translational Research
Under one roof: An integrated research center
for collaboration among industry, academia,
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 of 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 for Advanced Technology Demonstration and Evaluation Facility Construction 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 (2017) is the fourth year since CoMIT was established, and the Graduate School of Medicine has doubled the number of Joint Research Chairs overseeing joint research by the Graduate School 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. I am 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.”