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From the Publisher
April 1, 2015   
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The Polish Science Voice usually focuses on individual projects, describing the specific goals behind them and the path leading to achieving these goals. This time we report on a collection of many projects that together form a megaproject whose common denominator is medicine.

This megaproject is called Biotechnology and Advanced Medical Technology, BioMed for short, and it is ongoing at the EIT+ research center in the southwestern city of Wrocław. EIT+ is a modern research and development facility where biomedical experts work on innovative medicines, vaccines, bionanomaterials for medicine and new methods to diagnose and treat lifestyle diseases. The project began in 2009 and focuses on the treatment of diseases such as cardiovascular conditions, osteoporosis, cancer and diabetes. This large-scale project has been funded in its entirety under the European Union’s Innovative Economy Operational Programme. Funds for the project, zl.27.6 million in total, have been disbursed by the National Center for Research and Development (NCBR).

Researchers working on the BioMed project are seeking to develop new methods to diagnose breast cancer and design new anti-osteoporosis drugs and antibiotics based on new chemical compounds.

According to Anna Laskowska, manager of the BioMed project, a total of 250-odd researchers have contributed to the BioMed project over the past seven years. The project will soon end but by the time this happens, it is expected to produce around 150 publications and 20 patents. In addition to new technology, the lasting outcomes of the project will include state-of-the-art research equipment, know-how and expertise as well as valuable ties between academia and business.

In another major project related to medicine and health, Polish researchers have found a way to enrich food with fatty acids of the omega-3 class that are known to help prevent cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases and have anti-cancer properties. The researchers also want to develop new pharmaceuticals containing omega-3 acids.

The research on omega-3 acids is being conducted by a consortium led by the FLC Pharmacompany, which produces dietary supplements. FLC Pharma has contributed zl.635,000 to the research project and has teamed up with the Faculty of Chemistry of the University of Wrocław and the Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences, forming a project consortium. The project has been co-financed with zl.712,000 provided by the National Center for Research and Development under its Innotech program.

Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), one of the several types of omega-3 acids, is essential for all living organisms to function, according to Tomasz Wysoczański, CEO of FLC Pharma. The ethyl ester form of ALA is among the most stable and easily absorbed by humans. This form is used to produce medicines and so-called nutraceuticals, or healthy food additives.

In yet another major project, a new research laboratory is being built at the Gdańsk University of Technology in northern Poland to help engineers design and test cutting-edge equipment for the power industry, including installations used at wind farms and solar as well as nuclear power plants.

The new lab is being developed as part of the Linte^2 project co-financed to the tune of zl.44 million by the National Center for Research and Development under the European Union’s Innovative Economy Operational Programme. Of this, zl.10 million has gone to finance the construction of the lab building. The research equipment and installations have cost around zl.30 million, and the rest are management, promotion and related costs. Enterprises will come to Linte^2 to conduct research on their own or together with local researchers. Linte^2 will have enough room for 10 independent research groups to work in the lab at a time.

When the Linte^2 lab opens, engineers will be able to test new devices in electrical grids without having to shut off the entire infrastructure used to produce, transmit and distribute electricity.
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