Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Community of Madrid (one of Spain’s 17 autonomous communities, which includes the capital city of Madrid) have announced a new joint initiative designed to advance Spanish leadership and innovation in biomedical imaging research and practice. The Madrid-MIT M+Visión Consortium will strengthen one of Europe’s fastest growing centers for biomedical innovation.
The Community of Madrid tapped MIT to establish the Consortium on the model of the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST), one of the first and longest-standing organizations that cross-trains leaders in engineering, science, and medicine in an environment of real-world problem-solving. The Madrid–MIT M+Visión Consortium’s goal is to establish Madrid as a global epicenter of “bench-to-bedside” biomedical imaging innovation.
“The vision and leadership of the Community of Madrid in creating the necessary infrastructures, programs, and networks to accelerate a flourishing biomedical cluster attracted us to this exciting international partnership opportunity,” says Martha L. Gray, PhD, J.W. Kieckhefer Professor of Medical and Electrical Engineering at MIT and past Director of HST, who heads the Madrid-MIT M+Visión Consortium. “To realize this ambition, the Consortium will engage medical enterprises, the public sector, and industry, as well as the science community.”
MIT Professor Elfar Adalsteinsson, a founding leader of the Consortium, agreed. “Universities can’t do this alone. Hospitals can’t do it alone, and industry can’t do it alone. The M+Visión premise is that you bring them together, and then catalyze their effort to bring promising discoveries to patients, and patient experience back to the laboratory, through technology and the businesses that develop it.”
This Consortium will leverage the incredibly productive, multi-institutional capabilities in advanced imaging technologies that already exist at MIT, the cutting edge clinical practice research centers such as the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, and the world’s leading hospital infrastructure of Massachusetts General Hospital and the Harvard Medical community to nurture Madrid’s growing scientific and medical influence.
Jeffrey H. Shapiro, Director of the MIT Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE) and the Julius A. Stratton Professor of Electrical Engineering in the MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, noted that “as the most intellectually diverse research laboratory at MIT with a strong history of driving discovery and innovation into practical benefit for society, RLE is excited and committed to making this partnership a global model for merging complementary, interdisciplinary strengths in basic discovery and clinical practice.” The M+Visión Consortium will draw upon RLE for infrastructure and resource support for its U.S. operations.
“The M+Visión Consortium builds on Boston’s incredible biomedical innovation ecosystem, which is driven by strong collaborative networks of internationally-recognized research institutions, hospitals, regulatory agencies, and businesses,” said Karl Koster, Executive Director of Corporate Relations at MIT. “As globalization accelerates the spread of knowledge, people, and capital, the M+Visión Consortium is an international partnership with the potential to radically accelerate the impact of these networks in an emerging European biomedical center.”
Madrid’s recent infrastructure improvements and commitments to innovative research, education, and hospitals are establishing the region as an important European Union healthcare provider. The new partnership with MIT will further stoke Madrid’s rivalry with other European biomedical centers in a competition to develop better science and medicine, and to translate their discoveries to the public health, medical care, and business faster and more economically.
“This strategic partnership with MIT, and by extension the world class community of innovative people in Boston, will complement and strengthen the community we are building in Madrid,” said José Eugenio Martínez Falero, Chief Executive Officer of the Fundación madri+d para el Conocimiento (Government of Madrid), who is a key supporter of the M+Visión Consortium in Madrid. “By joining our networks, sharing our resources, and collaborating, we will be well positioned to inspire great advances in science and medicine that could benefit patients everywhere, while contributing to our region’s economic growth.”
A central focus of the new Consortium is the Biomedical Imaging Fellowship. “A cohort of ten Fellows, bright young talent from all over the world—engineers, physicians, scientists, and entrepreneurs interested in biomedical imaging—will engage in structured learning experiences for one summer in Madrid, followed by a semester in Boston developing a research direction,” says Dr. Gray. After this initial training period, Fellows will conduct a research project with the potential for global effect, using their Consortium network of academic, medical, industry and public leaders.
The Consortium officially formed in November 2010, and the first cohort of M+Visión Fellows will begin training in Madrid in July, 2011.
About the Madrid–MIT M+Visión Consortium
The Madrid-MIT M+Visión Consortium is a partnership of leaders in science, medicine, engineering, business, and the public sector dedicated to strengthening Madrid’s position as a global center of biomedical research by accelerating innovation in biomedical imaging, promoting translational research, and encouraging entrepreneurship. For more information about the Consortium or the Biomedical Imaging Fellowship, go to http://mvision.madrid.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.