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Public-private partnership in biomedical materials will give a boost to medical innovation

DSM Coating Resins : 16 May, 2006  (Company News)
A consortium of leading Dutch industrial companies, small and medium-sized companies, knowledge institutes and public organizations recently convened a meeting in the Dutch city of Den Bosch to confirm their partnership in the BioMedical Materials Program. BMM
To fulfill this mission, BMM will use the proven Dutch model of public-private partnerships to benefit fully from the strong knowledge base in Dutch industry and academia. Around mid-May BMM will submit a final business plan to the Dutch government with the aim of obtaining a grant from one of the funds that have been created for reinforcing the knowledge-based economy. The program has a provisional budget of 120 million and will run for five years. The participants in the consortium are: Koninklijke DSM N.V., Universiteit Maastricht, Medtronic, Philips Research, Organon, Fuji Photo Film Life Sciences, Pharming, Fortimedix, Innocore, Pharmacell, Polyganics, De Nierstichting, Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, Universiteit Twente, TNO, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, Universiteit Utrecht.

The ageing of the population, changing lifestyles and increasing demand for a higher quality of life have created a global need for more efficient and more effective medical applications and therapies. BMM aims to use biomedical materials to achieve medical breakthroughs that will contribute to better medical care and a higher quality of life. Hip and knee implants that function better and longer, devices that can replace damaged or dysfunctional organs and capsules ensuring controlled release of medication are concrete applications to which the BMM research might contribute. In its research programs, BMM will utilize potential synergies with other public-private initiatives in the healthcare sector, such as Top Institute Pharma and Center for Translational Molecular Medicines. A successful alignment of these initiatives will give a tremendous boost to health care in the Netherlands.

BMM will also contribute to the sustainable growth of the Dutch knowledge-based economy. In the long term, biomedical materials have the potential to become good alternatives to existing therapies for repairing or replacing tissues and organs. These existing therapies represent a market of approximately 300 billion per annum worldwide, which means that the commercial potential of this type of applications for biomedical materials is considerable. If the large industrial partners and small and medium-sized businesses involved in the consortium succeed in turning the BMM research results into commercial successes, this will lead to new economic activity and employment growth. The program is also intended to serve as a springboard for start-up companies.

BMM intends to start operations in the third quarter of 2006. From that moment onwards, partners from the consortium will be able to submit research projects. In 2007 the first research projects will start. After the envisaged period of five years, further research and development work will be carried out within the existing knowledge infrastructure.
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