Universities of Maastricht and California-Irvine enter into strategic partnership
Maastricht University (UM) and the University of California-Irvine (UCI) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for a strong scientific partnership in two fields in which they both excel: regenerative and cardiovascular medicine. The Maastricht region and Irvine-Orange County will also enter into a global business partnership, which aims to create a community for businesses and organise various training programmes and events in the field of entrepreneurship. The goal is to collaborate on research projects, share laboratories, exchange personnel and strengthen each other's regions through professional cross-pollination.
In the MoU, the universities agreed to collaborate scientifically through four seed grants in the fields of regenerative medicine, cardiovascular research, stem cell research and clinical research. “The goal of the seed grants is to promote collaboration, stimulate research by young talents, introduce new knowledge in the institutes through the synergy of collaboration and use data as the foundation of major transatlantic grant requests,” explains Professor Tilman Hackeng. “This partnership will include the exchange of students, academic staff, laboratory facilities and technologies, starting with UM's regenerative and cardiovascular research institutes MERLN and CARIM and UCI's stem cell centre.”
Future economic growth
Both regions will profit from close collaboration and cross-pollination. UM and the Brightlands business parks will develop joint activities with UCI, its regional business parks and its corporate network accelerator OCTANe in Orange County. The plan includes setting up a Global Investor Forum, a Global Scaleup Programme and several programmes to stimulate new industry. This process is already underway. Two companies, founded by Professor Clemens van Blitterswijk, the scientific director of MERLN-UM, were previously launched in southern California. “We see excellent opportunities to strengthen each other and grow together, both scientifically and economically,” says professor and initiator Marianne van der Steen. “This collaboration with one of the most influential regenerative hubs in the United States may also provide positive input for Maastricht’s contribution to RegMed XB.”
* RegMed XB is a new, large-scale Flemish-Dutch partnership among researchers, doctors, governments and companies, which has 250 million euros to spend over the next ten years on developing treatments for four chronic diseases: kidney failure, type 1 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and osteoarthritis. Visit www.regmedxb.com for more information.