The research results: new funding and infrastructures

The University of Bologna is still among the first universities in Europe for national and international research. The crucial stages in the construction of the Biomedical Tower are now underway.

Biomedical TowerAccording to the latest data, the Alma Mater ranks among the top universities in Europe for funding for competitive research. In this scenario, the Biomedical Tower is an essential investment that will provide the University and the city of Bologna with an infrastructure that can make Italian biomedical research increasingly competitive internationally.

In fact, over the last three years, the funds received by the Alma Mater for competitive research projects have doubled. Both international and national funding have increased from 45 million a year in 2015 to 90 million in 2018.

The results achieved by the University of Bologna in Europe are also outstanding. Since the launch of the Horizon 2020 research programme in 2014, the Alma Mater has managed to attract funding worth €92 million, with 223 funded projects in total. Thus, even before Horizon 2020 has been completed, the results achieved as part of the “7th framework programme for research and technological development”, the previous research programme (in force from 2007 to 2013), through which the University received €87 million, have exceeded expectations.

In addition, the University of Bologna ranks among the top 20 universities in Europe and ranks first in Italy for “Societal Challenges”, one of the pillars of the Horizon 2020 programme. In this respect, the Alma Mater ranks third among the universities in Europe that have attracted the most funds and ranks first in Italy for “Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research, and the Bioeconomy”. It ranks tenth in Europe and first in Italy also for “Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials”. Finally, Unibo ranks eighth in Europe and first in Italy also for “Europe in a changing world - Inclusive, innovative and reflective societies”.

In order to maintain and increase its competitiveness in international research, the University, as specified in the construction plan of the Alma Mater 2016-2021, is working on the construction of the Biomedical Tower, in agreement with the University Hospital of Bologna - Sant’Orsola-Malpighi Polyclinic - AOU.

In fact, the Board of Governors of the Alma Mater has approved the agreement between the University and the Sant’Orsola University Hospital, which will start implementing the project aimed at developing and improving biomedical research activities and the training of staff, students and researchers.

The Biomedical Tower complex will consist of two buildings: one for research and the other for lecture rooms and teaching laboratories. There will be new laboratories, study rooms for academic staff and researchers, executive spaces and administrative offices, multifunctional spaces for carrying out activities of common interest and for cultural and learning exchanges, as well as bar and restaurant areas.

The Biomedical Tower complex will be located inside the Sant’Orsola University Hospital, specifically in the area of Building 22 – Ecological Island and in the area of Pavilion 17 – CUP Building.

Among the next steps scheduled, after the agreement between the University and the Sant’Orsola University Hospital is signed, the urban planning documents will have to be approved, followed by the executive design and, finally, in late 2019 - early 2020, the invitation to tender.

The overall project will be divided into two phases, as planned in the Three-Year University Works Programme 2019 - 2021: the first phase will involve the construction of a multi-storey building, which on the ground floor will house parking spaces reserved for authorised employees, patients and suppliers, whereas the five upper levels will host management, research and socialisation functions, for a total cost of €20 million, spread over the three years of the programme.

The second phase of the project of the Biomedical Tower, instead, will involve the construction of a two-floor facility that will house lecture rooms and areas for teaching – training support. Currently, for this second phase of the project, an exact cost estimate is not yet available and will be determined at a later stage. As a result, funding will be included in the University’s future work programmes.

‘A great project is about to be launched, which combines the goals of the University with those of the Sant’Orsola University Hospital. Our aim is to become an international benchmark not only for assistance and care but also for teaching and research. Therefore, a key stage in the construction plan of the Alma Mater is about to be completed, that is, a Biomedical Tower that will house state-of-the-art technological infrastructures for medical research and teaching, capable of attracting more and more funds for developing research,’ commented Rector Ubertini.

Published on: 15 July 2019