Graduate School of Medicine
A Catalyst for Chemical Reactions between People
The Medical Innovation and Translational Research Building has a mission to develop human resources in a unified partnership between academia and industry, and to promote joint research with industry, returning the results of such research to society. As such, it is necessary to promote joint research and human resource development. A joint academia-industry research support space to undertake actual research is located on the 6th and higher floors, and the 5th floor houses a technical support area with the latest equipment. The 4th and lower floors are for student education, comprising a Department of Medical Innovation hospital floor for linking novel medical technologies to practical application, University Administration Bureau floor for research and human resource development in all departments, and a multi-media hall for hosting seminars, research conferences, and so forth. The joint academia-industry research support space has been running at capacity since the building opened, with even slight availability garnering numerous requests for immediate use, thus more than fulfilling its role as a place to research the life sciences. I consider its enduring popularity to be due to the excellent location, being situated directly adjacent to the university hospital, providing an atmosphere where researchers can easily share information, and the continuing efforts of the staff working in the building daily.
Medical treatment is currently developing at an unforeseen pace. Methods of medical treatment are developing, and various innovations are being applied in medicine. While creating innovation is one of the major characteristics of Osaka University, the spark of innovation often results from trivial information or the interlinking of information. Provision of a place itself is important—a place to debate information amongst peers, and where one can go to be revitalized. To continue daily research, particularly transformative research dealing with human subjects that leads to medical innovation and research applied in society and medical treatment, it is necessary to create chemical reactions between people. It is my sincere hope that this building will be used to its best potential to promote such chemical reactions.
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 (2019) is the sixth year since CoMIT was established, and the Graduate School of Medicine has tripled 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.”