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Secondment for the development of Research Innovation in Biomaterial Rapid Prototyping

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - Second. R.I. (Secondment for the development of Research Innovation in Biomaterial Rapid Prototyping)

Reporting period: 2019-01-01 to 2019-12-31

The project Secondment for the development of Research & Innovation in Biomaterial Rapid Prototyping (SECOND.R.I.) aims to establish and support inter-sectorial and international sharing of knowledge and enable new professional skills for researchers and managerial staff enhancing potential innovation of the S&T research in rapid prototyping and biomaterials for bone tissue engineering. In order to achieve these objectives SECOND.R.I exploits the complementary competences of an inter-sectorial Sino-European consortium. The project undertakes collaborative research and innovation activities on new biomaterials for rapid prototyping for application in bone tissue engineering. Using rapid prototyping (RP) technologies a tailor-made and functional scaffold based on natural polymer and calcium phosphate will be developed and tested in an industrial environment. Running parallel with this research programme, an innovation management work-package explores the best solutions to exploit the research results (e.g. through the analysis of different innovation systems) thanks to the involvement of two technology transfer centres and one SME. In particular international technology transfer and intellectual property protection, absorptive capacity and technology innovation networks, human resource management, and how the interplay of these factors influences technological innovation in Chinese and European enterprises, as well as the associated impacts on EU policies and enterprises in the biomaterials sector will be investigated. This unique initiative has its strength in the composition of its consortium which is global and multidisciplinary hence is expected to accelerate scientific and business progress in the strategic field of bone tissue engineering and to foster strong scientific cooperation between China and Europe.
The specific R&I objectives of this project point to connect between researchers, technology providers, innovation agencies, end-users and public sector stakeholders in Italy, UK and China in order to understand and enrich counterparts’ research and innovation systems, technology transfer and intellectual property (IP) practice in the fields of tissue engineering through both researcher and innovator staff secondments.
In the reporting period, two kind of activities has been carried out, on one side the laboratory research one through the activities within the Sichuan University and MEDPRIN and on the other side the technology transfer study performed within the QMI, CNR and STIC premises.

For the research study physico-chemical, morphological and mechanical features of the composite hydrogels realized in the first year of the project were assessed with good results. After that the realization and characterization of 3D structures has been performed as well as a pilot study for the optimization and scale up of the production process of 3D bioactive constructs on an industrial stage. The process is reliable and offer numerous advantage: is cheap and easy, it does not need really expensive facilities, it needs natural polymers, no toxic solvents (distilled water) and allows a mass production.

The technology transfer activities have been performed as described in the proposal, this activities carried out during the secondments have achieved intended outcomes of the project:
The CNR research and managerial staff have gained the necessary knowledge of TT system in China relevant to boost an entrepreneurship approach that will facilitate the development of their careers.
The networking with Chinese incubators, enterprises and VC set during the secondment will promote further international and inter-sector collaborations and enhance the EUChina cooperation.
The technology partnering workshop has provided to the CNR researchers and QMI managerial staff contacts and hints that can facilitate the commercial partnerships and exploitation of some of the presented CNR biomaterial technologies and products.
The secondment was fruitful because it improved secondees’ skills in the analysis and understanding of the possible target markets and biomedical market directions, mainly focusing in China.
SECOND.R.I. exchange programme have promoted and reinforced the mobility between industry and academia in the field of advanced materials and biotechnology as an instrument to career development as recommended by the KET High Level Group

In the reporting period the project has contributed to the expected impact as listed in the DoA.
To increase skills and expertise in science, technology transfer and entrepreneurship of the researchers and managerial staff
To create a shared inter-sectorial culture and improve researchers and managerial staff careers
To develop and tailor professional career of researchers and managerial staff in the field of the key enabling technologies: advanced materials, advanced manufacturing and biotechnologies
To build new and lasting cooperation with non-academic partners in Europe and in China while reinforcing the existing cooperation with the Chinese research institutions