A new partnership for medical innovation Osaka University and the Shanghai Advance Research Institute sign a research agreement
The Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine has signed an agreement with the Shanghai Advance Research Institute (SARI), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), for collaborative research. For the past many years, China has seen a surge in research productivity, but still lags in translating basic research into practical use. Osaka University, on the other hand, has had much success translating its research into medical technologies. This partnership is to take advantage of these two strengths for society’s benefit.
SARI is one of 12 divisions in the CAS. CAS launched SARI in partnership with the Shanghai Municipal Government in 2012. SARI’s purpose is to conduct innovative research in a broad range of scientific fields, with a priority in the life sciences, and foster collaborations between academia and industry. Since then, CAS and Shanghai Municipal Government have built other institutes in support of SARI’s agenda. In 2013, they opened ShanghaiTech University as an education institute, and in 2015, the National Protein Science Center, which expands on existing synchrotron facilities. Together, these organizations are to create an open platform for biomedical science in China. With support from NEDO (New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, Japan), in 2017, a new stem cell institute was completed.
In total, this effort by CAS and the Shanghai Municipal Government has been a success in new research discoveries, adding to China’s status in science and technology. However, the translation to practical applications are still awaited.
In contrast, the Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine has a history of translating its research into medical technologies used in the clinic. Moreover, since 2007, it has an office devoted to supporting venture spin offs from the School’s innovations.
The agreement has an initial duration of four years and will seek solutions for societal problems in which the Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine has strong experience.
Many of the problems to be tackled will be those that cannot be solved by Japan alone or cannot be solved in a reasonable time. For China, this partnership is expected to give guidance on matters such as clinical trials and clinical regulations as well as accelerating research translation. Further, the project aims to be a model for international collaborations.