Six years later, the site of the 2015 Universal Exhibition has become a real hive. From morning to evening, the construction machinery is activated. And the Covid-19 pandemic has not slowed down their whereabouts. Here, they destroy some pavilions; there, they are constructing the buildings which will very soon welcome their first occupants. Already, the Italian pavilion Palazzo Italia has become the headquarters of Human Technopole and accommodates all of the people who provide administrative services for this new research institute. In Milan, the site was renamed MIND, to Milan innovation district, and wants to prefigure the city and the health of the future. The tone is set. Around the Decumano, the 1.5 kilometer long central alley that crosses the site from the west, a campus dedicated to life sciences is born. It will soon bring together the new Galeazzi hospital, the scientific faculties of the University of Milan, the research laboratories and advanced scientific equipment of Human Technopole, as well as the Triulza foundation for societal innovation.
70,000 people before 2030
Around this will develop office buildings, homes, shops, hotels, green spaces and places of exchange for the occupants of this “city within the city” which promises to be sustainable, connected and intelligent. Before 2030, they will be nearly 70,000 living or coming to MIND every day to work, study, walk … First occupant of the site, Human Technopole (HT) is a research center in human biology of a new kind. , promoting interdisciplinarity, open innovation and translational research. The center begins to carry out work in the fields of genomics, computational biology, neurogenomics or structural biology.
It is ” contribute to the improvement of the health and well-being of all ”, In other words to develop preventive and personalized medicine. To do this, HT has state-of-the-art equipment – electronic cryomicroscopy, DNA RNA sequencer, data center and High Performance Computing center – which will be accessible to the entire research community, including internationally. The center intends to promote technology transfer via start-ups or partnerships in order to accelerate the application of scientific advances.
So many ambitions shared by the Galeazzi hospital team. ” The hospital was to be renovated and it had just merged with the Sant’Ambrogio Institute. We decided to create the hospital of the future on the MIND site », Explains Elena Bottinelli, general manager of the Galeazzi and San Raffaele hospitals. Built near Human Technopole, along the Decumano, the new hospital will have 589 beds and 35 operating theaters. The 16-storey building will be surrounded by green spaces and covered with solar panels. After fitting out and qualifying, it should be operational in the second quarter of 2022.
It will then welcome more than 9,000 people every day, including 1,500 employees. Soon, the scientific faculties of the University of Milan will join HT’s research centers and the hospital on a campus designed by the architectural firm Carlo Ratti Associati. No less than 23,000 people are expected to get there every day by 2025. To complete the ecosystem, the Federated Innovation organization was created last February. It brings together companies – 32 at the time of the launch – which are committed to developing innovative projects in the fields of life sciences and the city of the future. The developments will be carried out in collaborative mode according to the principle ” collaborate and compete », Under the aegis of MIND, in order to accelerate the translation of innovations into products and solutions for the benefit of all.
Health: other major projects in Milan
In the northeast of the city, in Sesto San Giovanni, on the site of the old Falck steelworks, the Città della Salute e della Ricerca (city of health and research) will emerge. After years of reporting, cleaning up the site and waiting, the site is starting this year. The project imagined by Renzo Piano will be reviewed by Norman Foster. In 2024, it will bring together the Cancer Institute and the Besta neurological center and will have some 650 beds in the middle of green spaces. South-east of the city center, it is the Ca’Granda hospital, one of the oldest in Italy, which has a new modern complex in which the architect Stefano Boeri has collaborated. The roof of the central building will be covered with a “therapeutic garden” of 6000 m2.
Operational in 2023, it will have been built without ever interrupting the care and research activity. The hospital had a giant work produced by the street art group Orticanoodles: 75 portraits of the personalities, leaders or benefactors who made Ca’Granda over the six centuries of its history cover the palisades that surround the site.
The preventive medicine of tomorrow
In addition to the dual function of care and research, all of these new sites have in common their focus on open innovation, interdisciplinarity, the acceleration of exchanges and the digitization of their activities to develop the preventive and personalized medicine of tomorrow. What the Covid-19 pandemic has further accelerated!
” Until then, the medical fabric had not been digitized much, as was patient monitoring. The pandemic is changing our model and it is accelerating the transition to digital. Data analysis, telemedicine, a multidisciplinary approach, proximity to research, all of this will help us to know patients better, to monitor them better and to do more prevention. Caring for healthy citizens, that is to say not having to look after them, this is the new model! »Says Elena Bottinelli.
To achieve this preventive and personalized medicine, establishments aim to go beyond health. Everyone now talks about well-being and takes an interest in the patients’ lifestyle. This is to minimize the risk of illness and the time spent in hospital. The coronavirus crisis has shown the effectiveness of translational research. ” The development of a vaccine does not arise only from a research axis, but from the crossing of several specialties. Faced with the unknown, on a need to cross disciplines She continues.
Thus, faced with the pandemic, the San Raffaele hospital is leading the creation of interdisciplinary teams to better understand. This approach has earned it a distinction from the Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA) as the first independent research institute on Covid-19 in Italy. ” We wrote and published more than 400 scientific communications on the subject between March and December 2020, it is 30% more research production compared to the previous year », Emphasizes Fabio Ciceri, scientific director of the San Raffaele hospital and professor of hematology.
And this does not remain at the level of research and publications. San Raffaele also manages the transfer of technology. ” We represent around 80% of life science technology transfer from all over Italy! »Congratulate Fabio Ciceri. In addition to numerous patents, the hospital has given birth to four start-ups in genetic therapies and the treatment of tumors. All the players are now focusing on new health centers to strengthen the ecosystem and ensure that, “from the bench to the patient’s bed”, the journey is virtuous, but also faster. The health sector will then launch the birth of companies that will create jobs and participate in the revival of the country’s economy. While improving everyone’s health!