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Address by the Ambassador of Italy, Gianluigi Benedetti on the occasion of the webinar “Italy-Japan nanotechnology approaches to therapies and regenerative medicine” – Tokyo, February 14, 2022

Dear Speakers,

Dear Participants,

It is my special pleasure to greet you all at the opening of this very timely and interesting webinar “Italy-Japan nanotechnology approaches to therapies and regenerative medicine”.

This is the second webinar organized during my tenure of Ambassador of Italy to Japan and, unfortunately, we are still obliged to use digital media for the meeting. I hope that the evolution of the virus will soon allow us to travel again and therefore organize meetings and seminars in person.

The webinar is part of a series organized by the Embassy of Italy in Tokyo, through our Scientific Counsellor Prof. Enrico Traversa, and it is the first event to mark this year celebration of the “Italian Research in Japan”.

In addition, this webinar is a concrete initiative in the framework of the Memorandum of Cooperation in the Field of Health and Medical Sciences between the Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare and Italy’s Ministry of Health. The agreement was signed in 2020 and foresees exchanges of best practices and know how between Italy and Japan in the Medical fields.

The disruptive innovation of nanotechnology, introduced since about a half century ago, has lately been applied in the medical fields with great success. Nanomedicine, in particular, is considered a promising tool for drug delivery, precision therapy, in vivo imaging and diagnosis. Recently, nanotechnology found encouraging results also for regenerative medicine.

Italy and Japan, two of the most advanced countries in the world for science and technology, have developed very advanced research and investigation on the application of nanotechnology for drug delivery and regenerative medicine, which will be the subject of this webinar.

It is a great honor to have among our speakers Professor Kataoka, one of the pioneers in the field of drug delivery and probably the most influential researcher in the field worldwide, who will present his latest research in engineering nanosystems for precision therapy of intractable diseases.

Our other distinguished speakers are promising younger scientists. Professor Tosi will tell us about how nanomedicine can contribute from Covid vaccines to brain diseases; while Professor Rossi will present us his research on selective drug delivery in spinal cord injury. Finally, Professor Fujie will give us a glimpse on regenerative medicine, presenting his work on second skin electronics for future medicine.

I am looking forward to hearing our distinguished speakers sharing their knowledge, and I am sure that this webinar will greatly contribute to exchange information about our mutual researches and to foster the collaborations between Italy and Japan in the area of nanomedicine with a view of increasing clinical applications.

In this regard, I would like to take this opportunity to inform you that under the EU framework, the Next Generation Italia Plan will allocate 1.6 billion Euros to frontier research in five priority areas, including biopharma technologies. In this sector, a new hub and spoke National Center will be created, receiving from 200 to 400 million Euros for infrastructures upgrading, research activities and spin off development in the next three years.

Please, enjoy the webinar, I wish you a very fruitful discussion, an inspiring learning experience, and above all, new opportunities for bilateral cooperation.

Thank you very much