NETWORK FOR THE PROMOTION OF KNOWLEDGE AND TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER
INTERVIEW Alain-michel Boudet: the conductor of Interbio Network
INTERBIO NETWORKING Research to Business in Health Sciences AND TECHNOLOGIES
Fundaci贸n para la Innovaci贸n Urbana y Econom铆a del Conocimiento
Special Interbio NETWORK two years along: collaboration is strength
JANUARY 2012 Year 5
SUMMARY VITSALUD magazine NETWORK FOR THE PROMOTION OF KNOWLEDGE AND TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER
Nº10 / JANUARY 2012 / Year 5
01 EDITORIAL 02 INTERVIEW
Alain-Michel Boudet: the conductor of Interbio Network
04 INTERBIO NETWORKING
Interbio Kick-off Meeting, Toulouse
Forging Partnership, Valencia
Biotech & healthcare Euro-Regional Meetings
Nanobiotech & ICT Innovation Workshops, Barcelona
Technological resources: Bio-Health sector, Valencia
Looking to the future in Interbio, Toulouse
Frontiers in protein research, Lisboa
Interbio Week, Bourdeaux
Research to Business Health Sciences & Tech, Valencia
18 INTERBIO EDUCATION AND TRAINING
Oncology course,Young Scientist Symposiums, Summer Schools
22 Collaborative Projects 24 TECHNOLOGY PLATFORMS
Edita: FIVEC, Fundación para la Innovación Urbana y Economía del Conocimiento. San Vicente 16, 2º, 5ª · 46002 Valencia · Teléfono: 963 910 477 · Fax: 963 918 717 Diseño y maquetación: SYNOPTIC
Dear colleagues, VIT Salud magazine, on this occasion, publishes a special edition dedicated to the international Interbio project which subject is technology transfer in the fields of Health and Biology, two key elements in the development and improvement of the quality of life of citizens. It is evident the importance and relevance of this European project led by Toulouse and in which Valencia is also involved with the regions of Catalonia, Bordeaux and Lisbon. Today to contribute to economic and social development is essential to bet on ICT for Health, Genetics, Oncology and Drug Discovery. Our city has always been known for their willingness and the effort made to promote technological innovation, research and competitiveness in all sectors. Therefore, to support R&D&i is one of the strategic actions and commitments of the City Hall of Valencia, which aim is to relaunch the economic activity, through a firm commitment with the Knowledge economy. Valencia had the honor and the opportunity to host recently, during two days, an international meeting organized in the context of Interbio. The experience was excellent for its didactic content, since it allowed learning from successful cases of technology transfer, and for the opportunities it provided to scientists and entrepreneurs. This event provided institutions, research organizations and business groups in the world of health sciences and technologies the chance to create new business relationships and to generate business opportunities at the same time. Besides it also allowed discussing how technology platforms and TTO can help us. Thanks to the work and activities carried out by VIT Salud, our network of cooperation for the promotion of technology transfer and knowledge in Health Sciences Technologies, Interbio project (in which we are very proud to be part of) has been the ideal context for the emergence of collaborative agreements that favor international technology transfer. Interbio perfectly exemplifies the work done by VIT Salud, the way the network supports researchers and facilitates their participation in projects whose primary purpose is the mobility of scientists and knowledge sharing. It is a pleasure to write this special editorial about Interbio, a project that meets many of our main objectives as: to show updates on scientific activities and technological offer to members of VIT Salud, to offer challenges which can establish a scientific cooperation and business with other regions, to boost competitiveness, to generate new environment for investment, or to promote the exchange of knowledge and, definitely, to bring out what is the interest and the future of Valencia. Beatriz Sim贸n Councillor for Innovation & Youth President of the foundation FIVEC
the conductor of Interbio Network What is in brief overview the main objective of the project Interbio? Do you think that it has fulfilled expectations? The interbio project aimed to initiate the basis of a potentially expanding large Biocluster in south west Europe (SUDOE). As a starting point, the priorities were defined as means to stimulate a mutual improved knowledge and better interactions and synergies between the partners. These prioritiesÂ involved the launch-
ing of transnational collaborative projects, the inventory and mutualization of technology platforms and the facilitation of partnerships between academic research and enterprises. Most of these objectives were attained but technology transfer towards companies has to be improved. Is being affected in some way the sector of biotechnologies and life sciences by the European economic crisis? In what
Born and raised in Toulouse, Alain-Michel Boudet started teaching at the Université Paul Sabatier in 1965, shortly after the completion of his PhD thesis in biology, and became a professor at the Institut Universitaire de France in 1997. Author of over 190 scientific papers, several edited works and 5 patents, he stayed over long periods of time in the UK, Germany, USA and Belgium because of his scientific activity. A seasoned European, Alain-Michel Boudet engaged in the coordination of various academic European programmes during his career. For his commitment, he received in 1987 the Tate and Lyle award from the European Society of Phytochemistry, as well as the Erasmus prize from the Commission of European Communities in 1990. Successively appointed as Head of a university department, lab director and director of a federative research structure, he accepted in 2002 a mission from the regional council to develop biotechnologies in the Midi-Pyrénées region. In this context, he initiated the creation of an interdisciplinary research center in Toulouse: the institute of advanced technologies in life sciences (ITAV), aimed to bring together, under the same roof, research teams with various scientific backgrounds, technology platforms, as well as a start-up incubator in the field of biotechnologies. Although he left the direction of the ITAV in 2009, Alain-Michel remained committed to the development of biotechnologies in Midi-Pyrénées and launched the Interbio project: “I have always been interested in intercultural exchanges. They yield new ideas. To me, Interbio is a matter of conviction, curiosity and service to the community”.
ways? In this sense, how has Interbio benefited? The biotechnology sector has been always faced with concerns and challenges - difficult exploitation of public research advances, constrained venture capital, cool public markets, fears that future generations of companies might not be able to go the distance - that are still relevant and likely more important today. However, biotechnology opens wide perspectives of progress for a sustainable word where health and economy of resources are priorities. Furthermore emerging markets such as China and India continue to grow at a brisk pace. The only problem in European countries is that we will have to do more with less money. In this way, an initiative such as Interbio is particularly attractive through the added value provided by synergies and mutualization. How can cooperation in the framework of Interbio improve or help to bring earlier to market innovative products? Despite many initiatives and improvements the worlds of academic research on one hand and of start-up and enterprises on the other are not communicating enough. They have their own cultures and their own specific languages. Original initiatives as those designed in the frame of Interbio, are inducing new
and additional collisions between these two worlds with a resulting effect - identification of complementarities and emergence of partnerships and exploitation of cutting edge results and technologies. All these factors will contribute to bring earlier to market innovative products. Interbio is a transnational project in which many universities are involved, how does Interbio intensifies the circulation of students? And what does Interbio do for the emergence of employability possibilities for young people? One of the priorities of Interbio was to encourage interdisciplinarity both in research and in training. In this way several summer schools and advanced courses on interdisciplinarity topics were organized in Barcelona, Lisbon, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Valencia.... These courses open to Interbio students from the three countries were very much appreciated by the attendants who in addition to scientific and technological knowledge have gained the feeling of belonging to a common SUDOE space (from the point of views of geography, history and culture). The inputs resulting from these international courses, the mixing of people of different origins and the experience acquired will be an advantage when these students will be looking for employability possibilities.
What new things would you incorporate to improve the project if you can carry it out again? A new project will be based on capitalization of successful initiatives developed during the first one but also on improved interactions and cooperations between academic sector and entrepreneurial activities. Innovative experiments will be privileged since one of the interests of bioclusters is to benefit from collective intelligence for launching new concepts and attractive procedures. Can you say categorically that after Interbio has improved the position of its members as cities of reference in R&D? You are the manager of the project, can you specify what opinion circulates among the members in the case of Valencia? At the beginning of the project most of us were already impressed by the organization of the Valencia area in the domain of biotechnology transfer with in particular the role of Fivec. During the course of the project we realized that driven by the research effort of centers of excellence such as CIPF, Valencia has momentum in developing new innovation. Finally the city benefits from excellent facilities for organizing international events of high standard with impressive logistics. Clearly Valencia is on the map!!!
Interbio aims at boosting innovation in the field of biotechnologies. The project is structured according to 3 main priorities: to facilitate the development of interdisciplinary research collaborations, to set up a network of technology platforms and to promote public-private partnerships at the interregional level. In this context, we have organized different activities including conferences, workshops and scientific, technical & business meetings. The common goal points to the competitiveness of the territories through the challenge of innovation and creation.
INTERBIO LAUNCH IN TOULOUSE September 22th and 23th, 2009 University Paul Sabatier welcomed this event, in which the organizers got together local representatives of the region, representatives of SUDOE program and the entities members of the Interbio consortium. Gilles Fourtanier, President of the University Paul Sabatier, inaugurated the conference, and during his speech he explained the need to allow the circulation of skills and students, to give priority to mobility and to integrate the three aspects of knowledge: research, innovation and training to “intensify our relations with universities and companies, which is a factor for innovation and economic development that ensures employability of young people”.
Isabelle Roger, Gilles Fourtanier and Jean Michel Fabre.
During his intervention, Jean Michel Fabre, on behalf of the Deputy Mayor of Toulouse, explained the reasons which push them to support the project Interbio, among which is the conviction of Toulouse to participate in the creation of international networks in all cultural, economic and research areas which are essential today to enter in the international competition. For his part, Jean Tkaczuk, in charge of R&D at the Midi-Pyrénées Regional Council, declared that the institution he represents is playing a key role in research source, innovation and technology transfer. He highlighted the need to help research projects to find financial support and industrial application. Pascal Bolot, Secretary General for Regional Affairs at the Prefecture of the Region, highlighted the exemplary nature of Interbio from the point of view of interdisciplinarity, and that it shows how consistent with a some of the policies that the State and local territories try to carry out, “a framework of repeated efforts to the knowledge economy, proposed by both Brussels and all the political authorities that have understood that we live in a globalized world”.
Network actions favor European dynamics over large areas of influence world Maximino Valle, Head of the Managing Authority INTERREG IVB SUDOE, explained that “SUDOE cooperation represents a great opportunity to settle in the globalization process and also exploit the benefits
of European integration that make up the necessary interdependence of all the European regions”. Isabelle Roger, Director of the Joint Technical Secretariat SUDOE, stressed that the priority on which the project Interbio has been approved is to promote innovation and the establishment of permanent networks in the field of technology. Three of the objectives underlying this priority are: to develop research in the field of technology, configure networks and strengthen competitiveness and innovation in key sectors of the economy SUDOE.
FORGING PARTNERSHIP: LATEST RESEARCH IN DRUG DEVELOPMENT AND REGENERATIVE MEDICINE More than 60 researchers, including junior scientists, showed their research activities in these two topics, by means of presentations and posters sessions. During 4 days, the first scientific meeting of the European Project Interbio, held in Valencia in January 2010, focused on highlighting the latest advances in drug development and regenerative medicine. “Forging partnerships” aimed at bringing together scientists of all INTERBIO-associated institutions in order to explore each others’ research activities and initiate interregional collaborations.
Keynote speech The most outstanding papers on new drug discoveries of the Interbio “Forging Partnership” was conducted by researchers Ligia Saraiva (Lisbon) and Leon Ghosez (Bordeaux), with their studies “Microbial metalloproteins: a Challenge to Drug Design” and “ Small natural product analogs: an invaluable resource of new lead agents of medicinal import”, respectively. Regarding the papers in regenerative medicine, highlighted the scientific director of the Príncipe Felipe Investigation Center (CIPF) of Valencia, Carlos Simón Vallés, titled “Current State of Regenerative Medicine”. Ijsbrand Kramer, professor and researcher, European Institute of Chemistry and Biology (IECB). Beatriz Simón, Councillor for Innovation & Youth and FIVEC President.
Presentation and poster sessions More than 60 researchers from across Europe attended, of which 51 gave presentations. Amongst these, were 16 junior scientists, PhD and post-doc. The quality of the scientific presentations was remarkable and most were followed by brief but lively question sessions. During the meeting, to achieve even greater exposure, 30 posters were presented in the hallway throughout the meeting, with images and figures which showed some of the research projects of the “Forging Partnership” and gave the scientists the opportunity to debate and exchange ideas during the coffee breaks.
Participants had also the opportunity for a guided tour to the Scientific Park of the University of Valencia with visits to local companies, and later gathered in a restaurant down town Valencia, a great environment for forging informal contacts.
PRESENTATION OF INTERBIO AT THE 2nd BIOTECHNOLOGY & HEALTHCARE EURO-REGIONAL MEETINGS The first Interbio event dedicated to technology transfer was held in July 2010 in Montpellier, during the 2nd Biotechnology & Healthcare Euro-Regional Meetings The 2nd edition of the biotechnology and healthcare Euro-regional meetings held at Montpellier from 1-2 july 2010. The meeting combined conferences, business meetings and skills-demonstrations in order to facilitate contacts between the different players in the biotechnology and healthcare field, ranging from innovative companies and big pharma to academic research centres. The meeting was part of a series of activities organized by the european InterCluster “Biocluster Southern Europe”. Roughly 250 attendants, that gathered lots of small CRO’s, biotech product and drug discovery companies as well as a few Big-Pharmas (Merck, Sanofi-Aventis, Merieux). Numerous regional and interregional clusters for life sciences and health research, such as BioCat, CancerBio-Health, Baleares DGAVAL, Biomerdies, Eurobiomed, BioWin or Prod’innov crowded the technology room. Finally, the presence of organizations specialized in European partner-matching such as Catalyse Biosciences and Innovalis.
(IMI). - A display of “know-how” by means of company stalls in the Technology Room, active during coffee breaks and during “informal networking” sessions- speed dating in the B2B area, where small tables were arranged for one to one business interactions. Alain-Michel Boudet and Jean-Pierre Saintoul presented Interbio network in the plenary session of Thursday morning. Interbio also occupied a stall in the Technology Room, manned by Angela Moca and Sandrine Abadie. They distributed vouchers and answered questions which often dealt with the subject of funding of projects.
Take home message After two days of being emerged in elevator talks, innovation projects, biotech markets and rethinking the R&D model, two messages came to mind: firstly, the political drive for public/private sector realignment in the form of competitive clusters is strong and research groups have to jump on the bandwagon in an “adapt or die” strategy, and, secondly, successful alliances come forth out of strong intellectual property (protected and exploitable knowledge and skills)!. In other words, an innovative research community -blue sky science- remains a primary asset for a competitive biopharmaceutical sector. Interbio, like other bioclusters, finds ways to deal with both issues.
A wide range of interesting activities included presentation of Interbio The meeting comprised three kinds of activities: - oral presentations, both in plenary sessions, with talks of 10 to 20 minutes, and in workshops, with numerous 5 minutes pitches (brief presentations or elevator-talks). Two of the workshops had long sessions on the subjects of Nanobiotechnologies and the European innovative medicine initiative
Professor Alain Michel Boudet.
Jean-Pierre Santouil, Cancer Bio-Santé Cluster director.
BARCELONA INNOVATION WORKSHOP: NANOBIOTECHNOLOGY & IT FOR HEALH A double workshop that brings together, in two partly overlapping events, experts in nanotechnology and in information technology for biology and health. Two workshops were held during the 4th and 6th October, which topics were: Nanobiotechnology and Information Technology for Biology and Health. It took place at the Shers Campus Hotel at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (Vila UniversitĂ ria-Campus UAB). These workshops were organized by Biocat, with scientific advisory services from the Barcelona Science Park (PCB) and the UAB Research Park (PRUAB), as a member of the Interbio biotechnology collaboration network of European regions. The activities were aimed at increasing knowledge of the international project regions Interbio as well as collaboration. In addition, another objective was to identify common needs on European level such as infrastructures, program, etc. Participants were able to find ways to implement collaborative projects with partners and disciplines with the support of Interbio. NANOBIOTECHNOLOGY Keynote Speaker: Dr. Khuloud Al-Jamal, The School of Pharmacy, University of London Parallel sessions: Nano-objects for drug delivery and imaging Nanomaterials for biology and medical implants Nanodevices and sensors for health and Nanotoxicology IT FOR HEALH Keynote Speaker: Dr. Karl A. Stroetmann, Empirica Communication & Technology Research Parallel sessions: IT and Systems Biology IT applied to genomics and proteomics IT for health monitoring IT for the improvement of diagnosis and novel therapies
Each of these workshops consisted of a plenary and four parallel sessions. In each parallel session were involved two representatives from each region Interbio, with a very dynamic format of about 10 minutes each. After these sessions, there was an interesting debate which allowed identifying possible areas of collaboration between the members and drawing the conclusions presented later in the plenary session that took place. In addition, the agenda included series of networking sessions.
TECHNOLOGICAL RESOURCES IN THE BIO-HEALTH SECTOR: A TOOL FOR R&D&i Entrepreneurs, company managers, and researchers of hospitals, universities and research centers, listened to the case studies presented by various Valencian public institutions about R&D&i services for the realization of clinical trials, technologies to enable personalized medicine or custom-made developments, among others. One of the main objects of the Interbio project consists in pooling the scientific resources available in South-West Europe through a network of technology platforms. Scientific instrumentation is expensive, very specific and gets obsolete very fast. Through Interbio, technology platforms can broaden their reach and thus optimize the use of their instruments. In this context, the Interbio meeting “Technological Resources in the Valencia Health Sector: a tool for R&D&I”, was organized on January 21 of 2011. During presentations, speakers explained a large variety of projects carried out in Valencia, as collaboration offers which involves universities and hospitals foundations. A panel of experts presented the resources and facilities of some of the Valencian research institutions, some of them unique in Spain.
From left to right: Mr. Arturo Ortigosa, Director of FIVEC, Mr. Rubén Moreno, General Director of Prince Felipe Research Center and Mr. Pedro Carrasco, Vice-principal of Research of the University of Valencia.
Universities, Research Centers and Hospitals sharing the same interest
A pause during the meeting.
The first session was conducted by Mr. Pedro Carrasco, Vice-principal of Research of the University of Valencia, who explained the services offered by the units and research services of the University of Valencia (SCSIE, CECT, CDM and UCIM) and their collaborations with Valencia Hospitals. The researcher at the Interuniversity Institute for Molecular Recognition and Technological Development (IDM), Mr. José Vicente Ros, talked about their development of chemical sensors (optics, electrochemists and biosensors), the implementation of studies in pharmacodinamics, pharmacology of inflammation, new materials for controlled delivery, analytic methodologies and microelectronic equipment. Mr. Vicente Rubio, Director of the Institute of Biomedicine of Valencia (IBV – CSIC), described their genetic technologies and its applications in genomics, transcriptomics and epigenomics, and the institute studies advances in custom tumor biomarkers.
Mrs. Silvia Sánchez, head of Innovation at the Institute of Health Research La Fe, presented the main research areas of her institute: organs transplants, oncology, genetics and genomics, translational research about mechanisms of illnesses, and clinical and experimental research in neurology. The final session was carried out by Mr. Enrique Pérez-Payá, coordinator of technological services of Prince Felipe Research Center, who explained the main technological services of the institution and invited people to visit some of the laboratories of the Research Center at the end of the meeting.
Centro de Investigación Príncipe Felipe (CIPF)
Instituto de Biomedicina de Valencia (IBV-CSIC)
Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria La Fe (IIS La Fe)
Instituto de Reconocimiento Molecular y Desarrollo Tecnológico (IDM)
Universitat de València (UV)
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE IN INTERBIO NETWORK Interbio members from Barcelona, Bordeaux, Lisbon, Toulouse and Valencia, spent two days together in February 2011 at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Toulouse. The purpose of the meeting was primarily to define the potential directions the project could have on the basis of today’s achievements and difficulties. During those days, they discussed the future of the project and each region had the opportunity to present its approach and vision in relation to technology transfer, excellence in research and teaching, and scientific instrumentation.
Interbio Project is an opportunity to share experiences and knowledge and to develop a global approach to innovation for a common benefit The director of the Interbio project, Prof. Alain Michel Boudet, gave a speech at the opening: “Biotechnologies is a strategic and highly competitive field”. He stressed the importance of scientific excellence, advanced instrumentation and technology transfer to maintain the pace with innovation, especially when our neighbours from Northern Europe are ahead. “Interbio is thus a tremendous opportunity to share expertise, experiences and resources so as to develop a global approach to innovation that benefits to all of us.” Each partner presented local initiatives in biomedicine that could inspire the consortium or help to understand specific regional contexts. The discussion demonstrated that the main drivers for selecting scientific priorities in each of the regions were: 1) the identification of specific scientific strength, 2) the opportunity to combine basic and translational research in the field and 3) the prospect to achieve good funding levels in the long run. On the basis of the discussion, it was agreed that
thematic scientific clusters could be formed through Interbio so as to promote scientific excellence at the interregional level.
Technologies rapidly become obsolete, thus putting high pressure on the local teams to find the necessary funding to keep the equipment up-to-date. From the session devoted to technology platforms it was concluded that cooperation in the frame of Interbio could focus on best practices in quality management, staff exchanges for methods development and in-house technological development, and the promotion of contract services based on expertise rather than on instrumentation, which was found to be quite similar in each of the regions. Complementarity in the purchase of big equipments should also be considered within the network. Different approaches to innovation were presented during the session about technology transfer. The need to include local offices for technology transfer as well as companies within the consortium was underlined. Partners also agreed on the fact that teaching was critical to change current mind-sets and produce talents for innovation. Doctoral schools, offices for technology transfer and companies should therefore be involved in the consortium so as to promote innovation towards students and young researchers.
Technology transfer, excellence in research and teaching, and scientific instrumentation, were the main axis of this brainstorming meeting, in which each partner presented local initiatives in biomedicine that could inspire the consortium or help to understand specific regional contexts
FRONTIERS IN PROTEIN RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTED IN INTERBIO SYMPOSIUM ITQB welcomed the Interbio symposium “Frontiers in Protein Research” with over 140 registered participants. It was in the beginning of May 2011 and the meeting showed the strength of the Interbio network in the field of protein science.
Thematic sessions Protein biogenesis and folding Enzymes and catalysis Membrane proteins Structural and computational biology Proteins in systems
Gathering mainly experts working within one of the nodes of the Interbio network, this 3-days symposium was organised in five thematic sections whose broad coverage highlighted the unique challenges of the protein world in biological sciences, biomedicine and technological applications. Each session comprised six talks, including one plenary lecture and at least two talks by Interbio scientists. The five invited speakers outside the Interbio network enriched the conference and contributed to increase the visibility of the Interbio collaborative network. According to the organizing committee, “the scientific diversity and high quality of scientists working in each node made it very easy to arrange a high standard scientific program that resulted in very high quality talks”.
An excellent opportunity to promote Interbio network even further Participation in the symposium was very diverse, with representatives from all nodes and in different career phases. Particularly noteworthy was the participation of younger researchers who contributed with their enthusiasm to the sessions and the vibrant environment at poster sessions. Thirty five poster presentations completed the scientific component, which was complemented with relaxed networking moments that further contributed to the collaborative spirit of the symposium. Also, about a quarter of the participants came from laboratories outside Interbio, making this an excellent opportunity to promote Interbio network even further. According to the Symposium chairs, Miguel S. Teixeira and Cláudio Gomes, “this type of meetings is an excellent opportunity to reveal how academic excellence is the key driving force for technological applications and know-how transfer”.
From left to right: Dr. Luis Paulo N. Rebelo, ITQB director; Dr. Alain Michel, Interbio director; Dr. Claudio Gomes, symposium coordinator. Dr. John Christodoulou, College London University(UK). Key note speech “Co-translational protein folding on the ribosomome”. Dr. Ismael Mingarro, Universitat de València. Speech “Insertion and biogénesis of membrane proteins”. Coffe break.
INTERBIO WEEK: THREE EVENTS AT IECB The main event of the Interbio Week was a three-day symposium entitled: Rethinking Targets for Therapeutic Intervention, focused on innovative approaches to drug design and development From the 26th to the 30th of June, 250 researchers and entrepreneurs attended to the first Interbio Week, organized by the Institut Européen de Chimie et Biologie (IECB) in Bordeaux. Three Interbio events took place at IECB: a scientific conference “Rethinking Targets for Therapeutic Intervention”, a technical workshop “Microfluidics, from Single Molecule to Cell Biology”, and a scientific workshop “The 3rd Bordeaux RNA Club Annual Workshop”. Those three events were targeted to students, researchers and engineers from the academia and the industry with an interest in biotechnologies and life sciences. Over five days, participants from Barcelona, Bordeaux, Lisbon, Toulouse and Valencia had the opportunity to familiarize with systems biology and novel strategies in pharmacology (polypharmacology), to explore the new perspectives offered by microfluidic devices and to learn about the latest advances in RNA research. During the Interbio week at IECB, some of the topics that were discussed were the reposition form old drugs to design new medicines, the ways to take advantage of the side effects of drugs through a more systemic approach to pharmacology, or the technological developments in the field of health sciences. Besides the two workshops on microfluidics and RNA, the main event of the Interbio Week was a three-day symposium entitled: Rethinking Targets for Therapeutic Intervention, focused on innovative approaches to drug design and development, ranging from studying structure/activity relationships, systems biology to metabolic profiling.
An event designed to foster interregional cooperation in life and health sciences “With regards to innovation in the field of biotechnologies, France, Spain and Portugal are not performing as well as their neighbors from northern Europe. The Interbio project aims at creating novel and fruitful scientific interactions as well as boosting technology transfer in South-West Europe, so that we all remain competitive in such a highly strategic field” says Jean-Jacques Toulmé, Director of IECB and Interbio coordinator for the Bordeaux region. “Approximately 10% of the attendees of the Interbio week were from the industry. I hope that the event will give rise to new public-private collaborations in the frame of Interbio”. Antonio Pineda Lucena, who heads the Structural Biochemistry Laboratory at CIPF, Valencia, said: «Over the three events, the scientific committees managed to invite high-standard speakers who attracted both the academic and industrial communities from each of the Interbio nodes. I believe this first Interbio week has been an inspirational event for all of us. In addition, in parallel of the meeting, the discussions we had bode well for the future of the Interbio project».
Dr. Paola Arimondo, Pierre-Fabre & CNRS, Toulouse. Speech: “In quest of C5-DNA methyltransferase inhibitors”. Poster session.
Research to Business in Health Sciences and Technologies
VALENCIA DRIVES DIRECT CONTACT BETWEEN SCIENTISTS AND TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES INTERBIO R2B attracted 120 entities from the European Southwest that focus their work on the areas of Biology and Health. The INTERBIO event that Valencia hosted, Research to Business in Health Sciences and Technologies: Tools for Innovation and Technology Transfer, was an opportunity for companies that were seeking partners and investors to find the appropriate scientific partner and the institutional and business environment they need, since it made contact leaders of technology platforms, technology companies, research centers, universities, technology transfer offices and bioclusters from the European Southwest. The conferences brought 120 organizations that work in the fields of Biology and Health, with the aim of generating synergies and to share knowledge through conferences and meetings. The event, which was held for two days, led at least 50 one-to-one meetings. In addition, the second day closed sessions took place with the participation of 22 technology transfer officers and 10 leaders of technology platforms.
Best practices and new models for management in technology transfer The closed Session for TTOs intended to offer TTOs from all the regions the opportunity to know each other and the way in which they work in the different regions. These meetings, which are considered very helpful from the point of view of innovation, wanted to put on relevance the figure of the internship, so as to promote and dignify their potential in terms of technology. They shared experiences, and they underlined the importance of networking and the interaction between different regions. For Chistophe Haunold, director of the technology transfer office (SATT) for the Toulouse region, the closed session, despite different political and economic contexts, gave rise to interesting ideas: “In Spain, some TTOs involve business school students to collaborate with researchers for the design of business plans. Some TTOs also supervise the entire technology transfer process, from IP management to start-ups incubation. The closed session helped us to identify interesting ideas, but also common trends. For instance, I noticed that the “money-now” model, based on contract services and consultancy, is on the rise, at the expense of the traditional “money-then” model, based on patents and licenses”.
Networking in Technology Platforms: looking for complementarity and optimizing resources On the other hand, the closed Session for Technology Platforms claimed to offer the opportunity to know each other in order to study the possibility of Technology Platforms interchanges, one of the means to achieve the setting up of a Interbio Technology Platforms Network that
A moment during the Plenary session. Ms. Paola Arimondo, Pierre-Fabre & CNRS. Plenary session. Mr. Francisco Negre, CVBan & Nero Family. Plenary session.
allows the shared use of existing technology platforms and the common development of specialized equipment needed in life sciences. “The Interbio project should run until June 2012. Although a second INTERREG SUDOE application is currently under preparation, our goal is to make the most of the remaining resources” explained Claude Chevalet, coordinator of the Interbio workpackage on technology platforms (WP4), just after the closed session he chaired. Within the next months, the WP4 will thus be setting up technical training sessions and will promote bilateral exchanges within the Interbio community.
INTERBIO novelties were added in this third meeting held in Valencia One-to-one meetings to promote contacts and cooperation agreements that provide international technology transfer. Live streaming of the event R2B, through the INTERBIO website, considering the characteristics of innovation and internationalization of this event The event could be followed through the Twitter hashtag: #InterbioR2R.
From left to right: Mr. Alain-Michel Boudet, Interbio director, Ms. Nerea Alonso, BIOCAT Innovation Area and Mr. Ijsbrand Kramer, Interbio coordinator at IECB, during the presentation of the “White paper”: Technology Transfer to Businesses.
THIS MEETING IS A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY FOR ENTREPRENEURS TO PROSPER AND BECOME TRULY COMPETITIVE. RESEARCH TO BUSINESS EVENT IS A PART OF A PROJECT THAT HAS MADE A VITAL WORK TO PROMOTE INTERACTION BETWEEN RESEARCH CENTERS AND COMPANIES, IN ORDER TO BOOST FRUITFUL ALLIANCES AND TO STIMULATE NEW PROJECTS. Research to Business in Health Sciences and Technologies: Tools for Innovation and Technology Transfer Beatriz Simon opened the event R2B
economy, as well as that our city is located in the center of the highest technology”. Beatriz Simón insisted on thanking “all the partners for their cooperation and invaluable help, because without them it won’t be possible to successfully celebrate this meeting and to make this project a reality”.
Innovation Councillor of the City of Valencia, Beatriz Simón stressed that “the city of Valencia, once again with this meeting, is taking the opportunity to show that fulfills all the conditions of excellence and knowledge to host this prestigious international conference on technology transfer”. She also expressed that “researchers should be aware that in Valencia they have all our support. There is no doubt about our continue support to science and about how important it is for our economy development”. Valencia’s City Hall wants to promote such events that make businesses thrive and become truly competitive to bring wealth to the region, explained the Councillor. She remembered that “Interbio is one of the best tools to promote innovation and Valencian companies, universities, and research and development centers”. That are some of the reasons which explain why Valencia takes part of this project. “Valencia has become an innovative and technologically advanced city, with experts whose technical skills are excellent. We promote technological innovation, development, research and competitiveness in all the sectors. This reaffirms our commitment to innovation and the knowledge
From left to right: Mr. Arturo Ortigosa, Fivec director, Ms. Beatriz Simón, Innovation Councillor of the City of Valencia and Mr Alain Michel Boudet, Interbio director, during the Opening.
Research to Business in Health Sciences and Technologies
Participants of the presentation “The bio/health research entities in the Valencian and Catalonian Regions” 1. Ms. Pilar Viedma, Conselleria de Sanitat and Mr. Carlos Ripoll, Valencia Campus. 2. Mr. Jordi Quintana, Parc Cientific de Barcelona. Participants of Round Table: Companies and OTTs: Success Stories 3. Ms. Julie Plane, Fluofarma and Mr. Xavier Berthet, Lacer. 4. Ms. Amelia Martin, Farma-Biotech/Farmaindustria. 5. Mr. Eduard Valenti, Esteve. 6. Mr. Manuel Pérez-Alonso, Imegen. 7. Mr. Damià Tormo, BiOncoTech Therapeutics.
The bio/health research entities in the Valencian and Catalonian Regions Valencia and Catalonia were selected to present the main axis of R&D set up in these two regions, in order to give to the companies an overview of the hot topics developed in Biology and Health. The main role of Public institutions to promote alliances and synergies was highlighted in this session. Nerea Alonso, Project Director of the innovation area at BIOCAT, Jordi Quintana, head of the Drug Discovery Platform at Parc Cientific de Bar-
celona, Carlos Ripoll, Director of VLC/Campus Office, and Pilar Viedma, Deputy Director of Research, Development and Health Innovation at Conselleria de Sanitat GVA, exposed some success models of innovation, development and cooperation in their institutions, specially focused in health domain application.
Elevator pitch to show innovation in technology The best technology offers from Interbio Network were also present, a session in which researchers and technology transfer officers had the
opportunity to defend their technology offers. This experience represented a very good opportunity for speakers to improve their ability to persuade potential investors and companies, to attract their interest for a service or product in a short summary. In only 4 minutes, speakers had to get their point across quickly, explaining the audience how they could solve a problem with their new technology offer, and the originality or innovation of this new approach compared to previously existing ones. Patents application, owners, inventors, and the possibilities of collaboration - licensing, transfer, partnering…- were some of the issues discussed in these lively expositions.
Round Tables with companies to share success stories of collaboration Two sessions took place in the afternoon the 17th and the 18th, in which R2B gave Biotech companies the opportunity to share success stories of Technology Transfer or public – private cooperation and to express what they expect from TTOs and Research Centers. In these round tables, managers of 12 companies told their experience in collaborative R&D with public research centers and in transferred technology. The presentations were followed by an interesting and animated discussion with the audience, particularly researchers that wanted to check companies’ needs.
Participants of Round Table: Companies and Technology Platforms: Success Stories From left to right: Mr. Manuel Martínez, Adhbio; Mr. José Vicente Pons, Iviomics; Mr. Francesc Mas, Lafitt; Mr. Óscar Sánchez, Centro de Investigación Príncipe Felipe; Mr. Claude Chevalet, Genotoul; Mr. Noriel Pavón, Oncovisión; Mr. Jose Mª Benlloch, Instituto de Instrumentación para Imagen Molecular.
Company speakers and Success stories Mr. Noriel Pavón, Oncovisión
Oncovision, from the garage to the success
Mr. José Vicente Pons, Iviomics
Iviomics, success stories of R&D with Technology Platforms
Mr. Manuel Martínez, Adhbio
Adhbio, success stories of R&D with Technology Platforms
Mr. Francesc Mas, Lafitt
Collaboration between a research center and a company to develop a medical device
Mr. Philippe Baralon, Scanelis & BioMedical Alliance
Success stories of R&D with Technology Platforms
Mr. Manuel Pérez-Alonso, Instituto de Medicina Genómica (Imegen)
Technology Transfer by Creating Five Spin-Off Biomedical Companies
Mr. Damià Tormo, BiOncoTech Therapeutics
Bioncotech, Technology Transfer success stories in Farma&Biotech
Mr. Eduard Valentí, Esteve
Esteve, Technology Transfer success stories in Farma&Biotech
Mr. Xavier Berthet, Lacer
Lacer, Technology Transfer success stories in Farma&Biotech
Ms. Julie Plane, Floufarma
High Content Screening approaches for drug discovery
Mr. Marc Dubourdeau, Ambiotis
Collaboration in practice: What about from the relation between academic and Ambiotis?
Ms. Amelia Martín, Farma-Biotech/ Farmaindustria
Farma-Biotech Cooperation Project
Technology platforms: Combined expertise and resources A selection of Interbio Platforms was introduced in the session “Technology Platforms: Key instrumentation and expertise available within the Interbio network”. These conferences aimed at letting companies know the strengths and capacities of technology platforms in the SUDOE region of INTERBIO and the possibilities of collaboration they could find. These presentations were only a sample of the capabilities of technology services available in the Interbio network.
Research to Business in Health Sciences and Technologies
Speakers-Technology Platforms session Ms. Consuel Guerri, Centro de Investigación Príncipe Felipe (CIPF)
Animal Facilities and Operating Theaters
Mr. Jacobo Martínez, Centro Superior de Investigación en Salud Pública (CSISP)
Valencian Biobank Network Service Platforms
Mr. Juan Nácher, VLC/Campus
Imaging living life: Confocal Microscopy Unit at SCSIE, Universitat de València
Mr. Mònica Bayés, Centro Nacional de Análisis Genómico (CNAG)
The sequencing revolution: experiences from the Centro Nacional de Análisis Genómico (CNAG)
Mr. Mariano Domingo, Centre de Recerca en Sanitat Animal (CReSA)
Centre de Recerca en Sanitat Animal (CReSA)
Ms. Cecile Courreges, and Mr. Brice Kauffmann, University of Bordeaux (IECB)
Nanotech Structural Analysis
Ms. Virginie Nahoum & Mr. Laurent Maveyraud, Toulouse Integrated Screening Platform (PICT)
Supramolecular assemblies and nanotechnology at the Structural Biology Platform IECB
Mr. Philippe Cochard, Toulouse TRI Imaging Platform
Ligand discovery using an academic integrated facility
Mr. Pedro Fernandes, Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC)
Multiscale imaging of living organisms
Ms. Ana Varela, Mass Spectrometry Laboratory (ITQB/IBET)
Skills in Bioinformatics via training courses
Moderator: Mr. Claude Chevalet, Interbio Coordinator for Technology Platforms
Mass spectrometry expertise at ITQB
Sharing best practices Besides conferences, flash presentations and one-to-one meetings, the meeting provided an opportunity to share best practices in Technology Transfer. During the meeting, Nerea Alonso, Interbio coordinator at Biocat in Barcelona, announced the release, by the end of 2011, of a comprehensive white book on technology transfer. Contributing to technology transfer and innovation in the Southern Europe “I believe the human size format of this Interbio meeting greatly facilitates interactions among participants” said Maria Flocco. In fact, the head of strategic research partnerships in Europe at Pfizer, who was much solicited during the event, approved the Interbio approach: “When we think about European research and technology transfer in the field of health sciences, we tend to focus on Northern Europe. I believe it is important to draw attention on the activity of Southern Europe in this domain” she explains. Julie Plane, sales manager at Fluofarma in Bordeaux, had 3 interviews and some additional contacts with the speakers of the roundtable she participated in: “After the conference, I contacted some of the speakers that were part of my round table. They replied me quickly and were willing to transfer my contact to the right person in their company. The fact that people keep helping each other after the event shows that there is a true network spirit.”
Ms. Maria Flocco, Pfizer. Plenary session.
Participants of the session: “Elevator pitch” - Technology Transfer
1. Mr. Cristóbal Aguilar Gallardo, Centro de Investigación Príncipe Felipe. 2. Mr. Xavier Sánchez-Vallvé, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. 3. Ms. Claire Métais, Université de Toulouse. 4. Mr. Christian Massus, Université de Bordeaux. 5. Mr. Antonio Pineda, Centro de Investigación Príncipe Felipe. 6. Ms. Sonia De la Rocha, from Novaptech, IECB, Bordeaux.
For the organizers, the meeting was a success: “Up to now, we were teaming up with other organizations to set up business-oriented events, explains Alain-Michel Boudet, Director of Interbio. With this first “Interbio-only” meeting, we proved that our network was capable of bringing together and creating interactions between the many players that contribute to technology transfer and innovation in the field of life and health sciences in south-west Europe. I believe the FIVEC team in Valencia and the Interbio workpackage on technology transfer, led by Jean-Pierre Santouil in Toulouse, did an excellent job”
Big pharmas, start-ups, researcher units and technology transfer offices 40 companies, 2 bioregions, 6 bioclusters, 35 research centers, 26 universities and 14 technology transfer offices were represented in Valencia. According to Arturo Ortigosa, director of FIVEC, this first experience in the organization of a business-oriented event in the frame of Interbio bodes well for the future: “The event was attended by big pharmas, start-ups and technology transfer offices from all the Interbio regions. Participants provided us with very positive feedback, which is encouraging at a time when we prepare the future of Interbio, with a second INTERREG SUDOE application for the period 2012-2013 that will focus on technology transfer”.
INTERBIO EDUCATION AND TRAINING
Oncology course, Young Scientist Symposiums, Summer Schools
Besides scientific collaborations and technology transfer, Interbio also contributes to set up interregional training sessions and summer schools directed to professionals and students. Because of its practical and interdisciplinary orientation and the international participation, these educational activities have become a valuable opportunity for networking and to open a wide range of professional horizons. According to IJsbrand Kramer, who coordinates the Interbio work package on interdisciplinary research and training, “collaboration at the educational level is important as we may attract good students and young scientists to our regions, not only by offering high quality research, but also through internationally recognized teaching and training courses”.
INTERBIO Interdisciplinary training course “General Oncology and Antitumor Therapeutics”: Medical decisionmaking process & employment opportunities
like to especially thank the teachers and stress one more time that it was a high quality course. I hope to see new events organized by the medical staff of Institute of Claudius Regaud in the frame of INTERBIO project.”Galina Boldina, INSERM U869, IECB, University of Bordeaux, Post-Doc.
Topics covered during the course First session · Cancer initiation and metastatic progression · Cancer incidence, morbidity and survival rates · The clinical classification of tumors (TNM) - cancer disparities Second session · Cancer prevention and screening · Overview of conventional cytotoxic drugs
Oncology course attendees.
The INTERBIO interdisciplinary training course “General Oncology and Antitumor Therapeutics” was held in Toulouse from 5 till 8 of July of 2010. Its main objective was to teach the participants how to deal with medical decision-making process, but it also focused on the biological characteristics of tumor cells and related therapeutics, the exploitation of diverse expertise at the service of the patient, employment opportunities resulting from new partnerships and networks, research, industry and social services. The target public of this course was students and professional from all scientific fields, master, engineers & PhD students, post doctorate & researchers from lab, engineers & researchers from industry. At the end of each session, the attendees could visit laboratories, units and departments of some of the research Toulouse institutions. “The course was very dynamic and interesting. We had lectures from doctors working at Institute of Claudius Regaud. That was a really good experience, through which I became more familiar with the advances in the field of cancer diagnostic and treatment. I would
· Advances in personalized medicine and targeted therapies Third session · Predictive and prognostic biomarkers · Basic principles of radiotherapy · Debate on the mechanism of angiogenesis: Introduction to biological aspects and clinical point of view · Chemotherapy side effects : PK/PD relationships · Focus on cardiac side effects Forth session · Functional Imaging techniques · Understanding and overcoming resistance to hormonal therapy (breast and prostate cancer cells) · Innovative trials design · Quality of life: from cure to care
Young Scientist Symposium 2010 & 2011: Interdisciplinary collaboration, technology transfer and much more Since it was created in 2008 by PhD students and postdoctoral fellows from the European Institute of Chemistry and Biology (IECB), the Young Scientist Symposium has pursued 3 main goals: to give to young researchers in chemistry, biology and physics the opportunity to present their work through oral presentations and posters, to encourage interdisciplinary interactions, and discuss different career paths with professionals working in academia and technology transfer.
(Microflora, ISVV, Villenaved’Ornon, France) gave an overview of her career in microbiology and how she was able to apply this to the production of wine.
Participants of 2010 Young Scientist Symposium
Initially a conference directed towards French researchers, the Young Scientist Symposium obtained in 2010 the Interbio-SUDOE label, and therefore in its 3rd edition, on May 27-28, 2010, it was open for the first time to young researchers of the Interbio Network South-West Europe (Bordeaux, Toulouse, Barcelona, Valencia and Lisbon) and gathered over 100 participants. On May 19-20, 2011, over 110 PhD students and post-doctoral researchers from the Interbio community attended the 4th edition of the IECB Young Scientist Symposium. 15 oral communications and 26 posters were presented. At the end of the meeting, prizes were awarded for the best oral communications and posters.
Spanish participants: Isabel Casas (Barcelona), José Medrano (Valencia), Ana Mª Martínez (Valencia), Sara Santiago (Valencia), Daniel Blasi (Barcelona), Ali Hosseini (Barcelona) y Mario Inclán (Valencia).
“This year we had a strong Spanish delegation. It is good to broaden the audience and think about research and career opportunities from a European perspective”, explained Daniel Dasilva, president of the 2011 YSS organizing committee.
“I have my PhD… now what?” This session was to discuss the different career pathways available after graduating with a PhD. Dr. Stephen Hilton (School of Pharmacy, University of London, UK) highlighted the academic options available to students. Dr. Marc Chevalier from Whizzat, Bordeaux, for example described his experience in starting a company. And Dr. Joana Coulon
On the left, Sara Santiago next to Mario Inclán, along with two other awarded scientists.
Best oral communication 2011 First Prize
Christophe Ravey, PhD, Bordeaux
InfraRed thermography for ice formation characterization in microchannels
Mario Inclan, PhD, Valencia
A new family of scorpiand ligands. DNA intercalation and interaction with ATP, ADP and AMP
Best poster 2011 First Prize
Sylvain Tollis, Post-doc, Bordeaux
Uncovering the mechanisms of cell polarization
Sara Santiago Felipe, PhD, Valencia
Multiplex pathogen detection by compact disk technology.
INTERBIO EDUCATION AND TRAINING
Oncology course, Young Scientist Symposiums, Summer Schools
Attendants to the 2nd edition “Summer School on Medicines: The whole process from ideas to drugs”.
SUMMER SCHOOLS: MAKING THE MOST OF KNOWLEGDE In the context of the work package number 3 “Activities of Interdisciplinary Research in the european southeast”, a Programme of Summer Schools was planned. This programme included several summer Schools for PhD students and young researchers dedicated to the promotion of the interdisciplinarity and to the communication of science to the society.
The New tendencies of pharmaceutical Innovation in Summer School on Medicines: The whole process from ideas to drugs The 1st Summer School on Medicines – SSM1 took place in Barcelona, from 7th – 18th of September, 2009. This unique 60 hrs Summer School was structured to cover the whole process that leads from ideas and projects to drugs reaching the market, including visits to research centers and pharmaceutical companies of Barcelona and
Toulouse, two of the key capitals in medicines development in South Europe. In 2010, from 31st of August to 10th of September, the second edition was co-organized by two Interbio Partners, Toulouse and Barcelona, on three locations Toulouse (most of the time) Barcelona (two days) and Albi near Toulouse (one day). In this occasion, it included guided visits to research centers and pharmaceutical companies of the 3 cities. The attendants benefited from 47 oral presentations delivered by representatives of academic research in Biology and Chemistry, representatives of clinical research, representatives of Big Pharma and representatives of start-ups and SME/SMI. On a total of 23 participants - PhD students, post-doc and some advanced scientists - , 21 were issued from all Interbio regions.
Attendants to the “International Interbio Summer School on Structural Biology: NMR applications in Protein Research”.
Summer School dedicated to protein research in 2011: An excellent opportunity to learn new skills Between 22 and 30 of September 2011, ITQB in Lisbon hosted the international Interbio Summer School on Structural Biology ‘NMR applications in Protein Research’. For 2 weeks, 14 participants within INTERBIO had the opportunity to focus on topics such as protein dynamics, protein-protein, protein-drug interactions and biomolecular Solid State NMR.
their work and would recommend it to others. Most participants thought that this initiative provided a very good opportunity for scientific networking and their overall impression of the course was very positive.
The first module of practical sessions on the study of protein dynamics, protein-drug and protein-protein interactions involved INTERBIO researchers as tutors. Joining efforts with the 3rd EU/CCPN Conference, this module was followed by tutorials on the use of CCPN suite and its applications to Solid state NMR. The summer school concluded with a 3-days symposium covering a wide spectrum of biomolecular NMR application and cutting edge research in the field.The symposium’s poster session was an additional opportunity for participants to share their own experiences. According to the assessment of the participants, the summer school was an excellent opportunity to learn new skills they could apply in
COLLABORATIVE PROJECTS: THE SEEDS FOR FUTURE SUCCESS
Interbio funds have provided mobility support - transport & accommodation - for scientists interested in setting up collaborative research projects.
These projects involve at least two laboratories from two different partners or associated partners, and may lead to further fruitful collaborations within Interbio or other transnational programs.
Until now, in the framework of Interbio, 19 collaboration projects have been established, covering areas from RNA biochemistry in bacteria and plants to chemical catalysis, passing through nanobiotechnology, chemical and structural biology, and human diseases.
In the context of the work package number 3 “Activities of Interdisciplinary Research in the European southeast”, task 3.4 was defined: “Emergence of collaborative projects with defined content and partnership”.
Helen Starck prize for an Interbio project aimed to drug development against cancer The collaborations projects have been very successful. As a good example of research of excellence we could enhance the collaborative project between Neil Owens, a researcher from the group of Gilles Guichard in Bordeaux with the team of Fernando Albericio at the Parc Cientific Barcelona. In October 2011, this young researcher at the IECB (also affiliated with the CBMN lab in Bordeaux) was awarded the Helen Starck prize for his research project and first results obtained in part through the Interbio collaboration by the French Association for Cancer Research (ARC).
The objectives of this activity are to stimulate the formation of interdisciplinary research teams in the network that work on interdisciplinary research projects in the field of health & life sciences and position and support the setting up of projects within calls for proposals for funding.
“Interdisciplinarity is undoubtedly where creative research takes place. This is why the Interbio project, although focused on biology and medicine, has no predefined scope: to favor interdisciplinary interactions”. Alain-Michel Boudet, Interbio director.
As he explained: “Most chemotherapy treatments affect both healthy and cancer cells. As a result, patients suffer from numerous adverse side effects. In the 90’s, American researchers identified a protein that the human body naturally produces to trigger apoptosis, that is to say cell death, only in cancer cells. Based on this finding, the aim of our research project consists of creating mimics of this human protein with artifi-
With european funding or application for european funding Project without mobility at november 2011
Thematic of Research
Using metabonomics to understand fatty acid oxidation disease
Exploring delta-aromatic carboxamide foldamers and alpha-peptides compatibility
Miriam ROYO EXPOSITO
GT4.- Proteomic analysis of cellular responses to protein-aggregation-mediated stress
Salvador VENTURA ZAMORA
Ana VARELA COELHO
Integrating probabilistic maps and 3Cbased data for determining high-resolution 3D structure of yeast chromosomes
Jacqueline GRIMA PETTENATI
Jorge PINTO PAIVA
Nanochannels for single molecule studies
The MicroRNAs in Eucalyptus tension wood world
Molybdenum complexes containing chiral oxazoline ligands: coordination and catalysis
Studying functional diversification and evolution of regulatory sequences after a gene duplication event
High-Throughput Screening of one-bead/one-compound (OBOC) foldamer libraries against protein targets
Molecular Simulations of Hemagglutinin from Influenza virus
GT4 Comparative proteome analysis of C. albicans strains SC5314 and CAI4
Structural and functional aspects of the Cu/Fe-amyloid-beta complex
TGFbeta signaling incaridovascular alterations associated with the Marfan Syndrome
Stabilome E coli
Invasiveness of pneumococcal serotypes and clones circulating in Catalonia during heptavalente conjugate vaccine period
Bruno BRUNO VICTOR
Xavier XAVIER DAURA
Lucas DEL CASTILLO AGUDO
Study of the influence of peptide flexibility on metal ion coordination properties
Investigating the subcellular trafficking of human recombinant proteins expressed in plants
José maría SEGUÍ
Evaluation of mitochondrial beta-oxidation flavoenzymes in a cellular model of Friedreich ataxia
Studies on human S100 protein-aptamer complexes
cial chemical compounds, with the view of creating new drugs against cancer.” “Our approach required specific instrumentation and scientific expertise which were not available in Bordeaux. With the support of Interbio, we were able to set up collaboration with Fernando Albericio’s team in Barcelona. Thanks to their expertise in high-throughput screening of on-bead peptide libraries, it took me only 8 days to screen 200 000 compounds from which I identified 100 candidates capable of interacting with the receptor that causes apoptosis in tumor cells. Moreover, I felt very welcome at the PCB, and am very happy with the results obtained through this partnership.”
Valencian contribution to collaborative projects Until now, Valencian scientifics participate in 5 projects, in collaboration with researchers from Lisbon and Toulouse, and at least one with application for European funding. Metabonomics, bioinformatics, proteome analysis, recombinants proteins or investigation in a rare disease are some of the research areas implied in these interdisciplinary scientific teams. • Using metabonomics to understand fatty acid oxidation disease: Antonio Pineda-Lucena and Claudio Gomes from ITQB (Lisboa). • Integrating probabilistic maps and 3C-based data for determining high-resolution 3D structure of yeast chromosomes: Marc Martí-Renom, Valencia and Olivier Gadal, Toulouse. • Comparative proteome analysis of C. albicans strains SC5314 and CAI4: Lucas Del Castillo, Valencia and Bernard Monsarrat, Toulouse.
• Investigating the subcellular trafficking of human recombinant proteins expressed in plants: José María Seguí, Valencia and Rita Abranches, Lisboa. • Evaluation of mitochondrial beta-oxidation flavoenzymes in a cellular model of Friedreich ataxia: Francesc Palau, Valencia and Cláudio Gomes, Lisboa.
The collaborations initiated in the frame of Interbio are meant to last All the collaborations initiated in the frame of Interbio are meant to last. For instance, the collaborative project between Dr. Ivan Huc, group leader at IECB, and Dr. Mariam Royo Exposito, from the Barcelona Cientific Parc, now extends beyond the Interbio context. In February 2011, they submitted a joint application for a Marie-Curie European programme (Initial Training Networks) in order to maintain student exchanges between the two labs. Another example is the project between Marc Martí from Valencia and Olivier Gadal from Toulouse - Integrating probabilistic maps and 3C-based data for determining high-resolution 3D structures of yeast chromosomes -, who are going to present in brief a Marie Curie Initial Training Network titled European Nucleolus and Chromating Team and coordinated from Holland by Prof. Attila Nemeth. The aim of this project is to implement the Integrative Modeling Platform to explore how to integrate the image data produced by the Gadal group into a set of probabilistic maps of yeast chromosomes.
TECHNOLOGY PLATFORMS INTERBIO NETWORK: FINDING COMPLEMENTARITY ON SIDE OF SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL EXPERTISE Technology platforms – the combination on a single site of advanced instrumentation and dedicated scientific expertise – are indeed key resources for fostering research and innovation in South-West Europe. One of the priorities of the Interbio project consists in pooling the scientific resources available in South-West Europe through a network of technology platforms. Scientific instrumentation is expensive, very specific and gets obsolete very fast. Through Interbio, technology platforms can broaden their reach and thus optimize the use of their instruments. In 2010, the Interbio work package on technology platforms started to list all the technological resources available within the project pe-
rimeter. This information is now available on the Interbio website: www. interbio-sudoe.eu. The Interbio work package 4 (WP4) aims at developing a network of technology platforms in South-West Europe in the field of life and health sciences. Technology platforms – the combination on a single site of advanced instrumentation and dedicated scientific expertise – are indeed key resources for fostering research and innovation in South-West Europe. Optimizing the use of the technological resources available throughout the Interbio regions, supporting the exchange of best practices between platforms and promoting technology platforms as R&D resources for start-ups and SMEs, are thus the main operational objectives of the WP4.
A first inventory of Technology platforms Dr. Claude Chevalet, Director of the Genopole in Toulouse, who coordinates the Interbio WP4, explains: “We started from scratch! Our first endeavour was therefore to produce information. In 2010, we started to list all the technological platforms available within the Interbio community. We then made this information public through the Interbio website.
A second step consisted in creating human exchanges between the platforms. We invited technology platforms’ staff to technical workshops and training sessions so that they can get to know each other. Those events also gave us the opportunity to promote staff exchanges, which are supported by Interbio through mobility grants. Finally, in 2011, Interbio partners also got involved in the organization business-oriented event, the Valencia R2B meeting for instance, so as to demonstrate the value of such resources to companies”.
Pooling and sharing technological expertise and instrumentation According to Dr. Claudio Gomes, team leader in structural biology at ITQB (Portugal) and coordinator the Interbio work package on technology platforms in Lisbon, “with the mapping of the Interbio technology platforms, we learned two key things. First, we found that the Interbio regions are very similarly equipped. Second, we found that the local scientific and technical expertise which is associated to a given instrument is always very specific. It is therefore on the side of expertise and know-how rather than on the side of instrumentation that complementarity is to be found”. Brice Kauffmann, coordinator of work package on technology platform at the IECB, Bordeaux, shares this view. “Whilst making up the inventory we
came to the conclusion that we had considerable overlap with respect to advanced instrumentation but not with respect to scientific expertise -application of technology-. This is a very important point when it comes to making our technology available for collaborative projects both with the industry and the academia. Interbio has created an opportunity to rethink our way of bringing to the forefront the qualities of our technology platforms. Now that a good network of personal contacts has been established, it is essential to create mutually beneficial activities as well as organizational structures that allow us to set up common strategies to make our technology platforms still more accessible for technology transfer”. In June 2011, the WP4 team delivered a brochure about the Interbio technology platforms that has been disseminated in several international meetings, such us the BIO Washington 2011 or the Interbio Research to Business in Health Sciences and Technologies. This document presents the different types of technology resources available in each Interbio region. “The outcome of our work is unexpected”, Claude Chevalet comments. “We now think that cooperation should be organized according to specific scientific fields, the role of Interbio being to bring together research teams, technical resources and companies interested in such areas”.
AN OVERVIEW OF THE PARTICIPANTS
“Beyond obvious advances in collaborative research, mutualization of technology platforms and original initiatives for improved technology transfer and company development, the Interbio network has succeeded in demonstrating how much transnational exchanges and cooperation can induce innovating tools and concepts. This true European added value proceeds from the progressive creation of a network spirit based on mutual trust and knowledge. It results from positive collisions between different formalisms and cultural codes highlighting the potential of collective intelligence for solving society challenges”
Alain-M. Boudet, Interbio Director. Université Paul Sabatier
The Université Paul Sabatier (UPS), leader of the Interbio project, is by scale one of the largest French universities. It is a component of the Pôle de Recherche et d’Enseignement Supérieur (PRES) (the research and higher education cluster) of the Université de Toulouse, which has a total of 110,000 students and more than 5000 public researchers. The UPS boasts a strong research potential to answer the challenges of ultimately understanding matter and living things, key societal problems and, finally, technological and industrial requirements. The Interbio project involves a number of key entities from Toulouse in the fields of life and health sciences: - The life sciences research potential of the Université Paul Sabatier in association with the main public research bodies CNRS, INSERM, INRA and the medical sector - Le Genotoul, a network of infrastructures (advanced instrumentation) in life sciences: 12 technology platforms looking at genomes. - The cluster (Pôle de compétitivité) Cancer-Bio-Health, which brings together public and private laboratories (230 industrial ones). The launch of Interbio is occurring at a time when a significant part of Toulouse’s research potential in the bio-health sector, particularly cancer, is coming together in a technological park, the Toulouse Cancer Campus, created to host, alongside the industrial pharmacologist Sanofi-Aventis and the Pierre Fabre Laboratory, to the Institut Avancé des Sciences du Vivant (ITAV), a university cancer clinic, incubators and spaces reserved for multi-disciplinary teams.
“INTERBIO as a platform for knowledge exchange between scientists of five regions in Europe has proven to be an important asset of the whole program. Two main tools have been effective to this end, namely the scientific workshops and the bilateral exchanges. In the scientific workshops, a relevant number of participants from each region were gathering in one of the cities in the network, to discuss on a specific topic. On top of gaining interaction among the scientists from the various Interbio regions, the workshops had the added value to touch on multidisciplinary areas with high scientific interest, such as stem cells for regenerative medicine, nanobiotechnology and information technology applications in health. It can be clearly concluded that these workshops contributed to the objective of Interbio, to generate a better common knowledge and establish a good basis for specific interactions. In respect to the bilateral exchange actions, they were fostering to strength the links between specific groups from the different regions, helped cross-fertilization of ideas, and preparation of new research projects, on top of training young people in specific subjects and technologies.”
Francesc Gòdia, Full Professor at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Work package 3 coordinator at Barcelona
Biocat is the organization that coordinates dynamizes and promotes biotechnology, biomedicine and medical technology sector in Catalonia. It is fostered by the Government of Catalonia and the Barcelona City Council and, since it was created in 2006, has included companies and organizations from this sector in its governing bodies. Biocat works to achieve the following goals: Facilitate relationships and synergies among members of the BioRegion of Catalonia, drive the sector to make it an economic engine in this country, promote the sector on an international level, and improve the public’s knowledge and perception of biotechnology. For the Interbio project, BIOCAT has mobilised among its key players: - The Parc Científic de Barcelone (PCB), an initiative of the University of Barcelone with three strands: research, innovation and technology. The PCB has three research centres, more than 45 companies, a company start-up centre and technological platforms providing R&D support in the emerging sectors of chemistry, pharmaceuticals, biotechnologies and nanotechnologies - The Parc de Recerca UAB (PRUAB), whose aim is to stimulate and improve technology and knowledge transfer activities of its members, to promote entrepreneurship activity through new technology-based companies and, in general, to provide interaction between research and industry.
“INTERBIO has provided an opportunity to Technology Platforms in different institutions in South-West Europe to know each other, share knowledge and experiences, and establish new partnerships, starting with exchanges of researchers / technology platform members. This project has also established an Interbio Technology Platforms website, with open access information about a large number of high-quality Technology Platforms in the 5 Interbio regions. The Interbio Technology Platforms gathered in the Interbio Research to Business meeting, where they could present their technologies and achievements to companies, academic centers, technology transfer offices, and other technology platforms, in a highly productive meeting. After this Interbio project, Technology Platforms in South-West Europe are ready to take their next challenges, to successfully apply these technological capabilities to public-private partnership projects.”
Jordi Quintana, Head of Drug Discovery Platform at Parc Científic Barcelona. Work package 4 coordinator at Barcelona
Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica (ITQB) is a high level scientific and training research centre which is part of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa. The ITQB now leads over 100 national and international research projects, and cooperates with other entities, in particular the IGC (Institut Gulbekian de Ciencia, dedicated to research and training in the areas of cellular imaging, bio-computing, genomes, biomedicine, …) and the IBET (Instituto de Biologia Experimental e Tecnológica dedicated to applied research and the transfer of technology in the fields of bio-pharmacy, vaccines, proteins, in partnership with the Industry, Agriculture and Education Ministries). It is within the framework of this trio, a cluster of over 600 researchers and 11 companies supported by the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologique, that the ITQB develops the Interbio project in an inter / multi disciplinary scientific environment. This collection of institutes represents Portugal’s strong potential in the field, and this grouping, still unique in Portugal, allows the ITQB to cooperate effectively on a domestic and international level.
“In a time in which European economy is in turmoil, Interbio is an example to be continued putting together the three main ways to accomplish the Lisbon agenda, namely fundamental scientific research combined with technology transfer. Focusing on interdisciplinarity in research, a cornerstone in biosciences research, success within Interbio is well documented by the nineteen on-going collaborative projects, covering areas from RNA biochemistry in bacteria and plants, to chemical catalysis, passing through nanobiotechnology, chemical and structural biology and human diseases. These projects may lead to further fruitful collaborations within Interbio or other transnational programs. It is also worth mentioning that these projects constitute an excellent way to train our PhD students and post-docs, together with the remaining Interbio teaching initiatives (Workshops, Summer Schools), which have also been quite successful. A deeper interaction with the entrepreneur world will be a must for the continuation of this network, but always based on the development of basic knowledge in the life sciences.”
Miguel S. Teixeira, Full Professor at ITQB-UNL. Coordinator of Interbio Lisbon
L’Institut Européen Chimie et Biologie (IECB) is involved with the Interbio project under the auspices of the Aquitaine-Limousin offices of the CNRS. This office is responsible for the management of over twenty European projects within the framework of the 7th PCRD, several INTERREG and a SUDOE. The IECB, placed under the responsibility of the CNRS, the Inserm and Bordeaux University, is developing top rank scientific programs in physics-chemistry and chemistry-biology, and seeks to encourage multi-disciplinary interaction. One of the founding principles of the university is the non-permanent nature of teams. These are selected by the Conseil Scientifique International at the highest level for a two year trial period before being hired on a four year contract, renewable once. The IECB provides logistical support to young researchers from all walks so they can develop their projects. The IECB has several top level technical specialities including structural biology (NMR, crystallography, electronic microscopics, mass spectrometry, molecular modelling, and surface plasmon resonance).
“Starting with the first partnering conference in Valencia, January 2010, Interbio has grown out into a very active bio-cluster with a rich portfolio of activities; ranging from scientific and business meetings, collaborative projects, to workshops and teaching courses. Being involved in the organization of nearly all events, I experienced an increased commitment and professionalism of the Interbio coordinators. We may now say that a core of dedicated Interbio people has been established and with that core the project has obtained a clear “identity”. This, combined with an increasing skillful communication strategy, has put Interbio on the interregional political-agenda, and that is a laudable achievement for two years of hard work.”
IJsbrand Kramer, Professor, Coordinator of work packages 3 and 5 at the IECB, Bordeaux
FIVEC is a young foundation established in 2006 with the aim of promoting the knowledge economy, innovation projects and to strengthen the economic development of certain technological sectors so as to make Valencia internationally competitive. To achieve these goals, Fivec acts as a catalyst to create synergies between research centers, companies and financial institutions looking for an efficient management of knowledge transfer process. FIVEC has created different networks of cooperation and transfer of technology and knowledge, among which is VIT Salud cluster that acts as a platform and meeting point for all experts, stakeholders and key players in the Health Sciences and Technology sector. Valencia boasts a scientific environment comprising universities, technological institutes and research centers. Prince Felipe Research Center, international center of excellence in biomedical research, is the main player mobilised as part of the INTERBIO project. VIT Salud, after five years since its inception, has more than 180 entities members, including companies, hospitals, universities, research centers, organizations that support innovation and technological institutes. Fivec, through VIT Salud cluster, organizes and participates in events promoting networking and facilitates the convergence of different socio-economic actors through various activities, publications and projects, which are a big support to researchers and entrepreneurs.
“Interbio has facilitated the possibility of bringing together scientific experts from different locations in France, Portugal and Spain. It has also provided an excellent platform for scientific exchanges through the collaborative project´s initiative, and a powerful network of interactions that will last over time. Having been offered the opportunity to being involved in this project has allowed me to get a better understanding of the technological platforms available in the five Interbio regions. The interdisciplinarity of the people involved in this project has also fostered a culture of curiosity for the integration of scientific approaches that would have not been possible without the support provided by Interbio. I am sure that the scientific participants in any of the many events organized during these years have a distinct memory of the enthusiasm displayed by the organizers, presenters and attendees. Clearly, the success of this experience has laid the basis for new integrative experiences”
Antonio Pineda-Lucena, Principal Investigator at CIPF. Coordinator of work package 3 at Valencia
To learn more about Interbio visit www.interbio-sudoe.eu Joint the Interbio network • Find a partner • Know our Technology platforms • Upcoming events 28
Published on Jun 4, 2012