Collaboration agreement between IFOM and IEO and Saudi Arabia for the development of the life sciences sector

The government agency Saudi Arabian General Investment authority (SAGIA) and IFOM (The FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology Foundation) and IEO (European Institute of Oncology) have signed a Memorandum Of Understanding for developing a common program in life sciences R&D, a rapidly growing sector worldwide. Specifically, Saudi Arabia has launched a national plan that includes developing of six new economic cities, one of which is dedicated to bio-medicine.

(ag/ehj) – The agreement states that IFOM and IEO will assist SAGIA in the development of the bio-medicine national strategic plan. Specifically:
– IFOM and IEO will become SAGIA’s strategic partner for the development of Science parks in Saudi Arabia, following the IFOM-IEO Campus model recently inaugurated in Milan
– IFOM and IEO have committed to develop within IFOM-IEO premises, high level training programs for Saudi physicians and scientists.
– IFOM and IEO will assist SAGIA in developing technology transfer companies in Saudi new economic cities

Dr Manar Al-Moneef, life sciences sector head in SAGIA, has commented as follows: “the signing of this agreement is one of the many steps undertaken to develop life sciences in Saudi Arabia. The establishment of a strategic partnership with a leading institute in cancer studies IEO-IFOM is a great achievement that will mark a milestone in the development of the life science sector in Saudi Arabia. Life science is a key sector focus for SAGIA, it’s a young industry, future oriented and it provides the required diversification for our country in order to remain on the lead. In SAGIA our holistic approach toward this sector is based on best practice and takes advantage of our human resources and competitive advantages to create centers of excellences on a global scale.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will, with the addition of the life science cluster to its industrial landscape, lead the region in this new industry and provide a highly sophisticated environment for national and international manufacturers.

Mr. C. Ciani and Mr. Michelini, respectively CEO and General Manger of IEO, have underlined their high interest for such collaborations that open the door to important and interesting scientific experiences, and facilitate the growth of initiative of high content to improve health and quality of life.

According to Dr. Pier Paolo Di Fiore, “the added value of such an agreement is the recognition by a foreign country with high potential, such as Saudi Arabia, of the validity and exportability of the IFOM-IEO model worldwide. Excellence in research, advanced technology, high training capability and collaboration with the corporate world are today the cornerstones of a new economic –scientific global cooperation”

“Building a new city dedicated to bio-medical development is an ambitious and far-sighted goal that will position Saudi Arabia among the leading countries in the new world economy. We are proud to participate at this extraordinary adventure by contributing with our model. We are certain that this initiative represents a growth opportunity, both for our region and the whole country” commented Umberto Veronesi and Pier Giuseppe Pelicci, respectively IEO’s Scientific Director and Research Coordinator.

The Memorandum of understanding has been warmly welcomed from the Lombardy Region. Mr. A. De Maio, Lombardy region President’s representative for High-level Training, Research and Innovation, judges positively this initiative and encourages similar projects in partnerships between public entities in Lombardy with other foreign institutions, recognizing that research and innovation are key to develop Lombardy’s economic system and increase its overall competitiveness.