Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

RCSI Announces Major International Scientific Agreement in the Area of Diagnostics and Drug Discovery

03 June 2009

The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) today signed a major scientific international agreement in Naples with research bodies from Ireland, France, and Italy. The event was attended by His Excellency Ambassador O'Huiginn, Ireland Ambassador to Italy.

The new EU consortium will promote academic and industry research and development (R&D) partnerships in drug discovery and medical diagnostic devices and will be run through the Regional Centre of Competence in Diagnostic and Molecular Pharmaceutics (DFM) in the Campania region of Naples.

As part of the agreement, the research bodies from Ireland, France and Italy will be funded through national and EU programmes and from research contracts from the pharmaceutical industry. They will jointly apply for EU funded programmes as well as promote the exchange of training and knowledge among scientists.

Pictured from l-r are Director of Research, RCSI; Professor Carlo Pedone, Director Institute of Biostructures and DFM, Naples and HE Ambassador Sean O'Huiginn at the international conference and scientific agreement in Diagnostics and Molecular Pharmaceutics, Naples, Italy

Speaking at today’s signing ceremony, Ambassador O’Huiginn said that: “RCSI has for more than 200 years played a major role in medical education and training in Ireland, and in recent generations, as the centre of a significant international outreach in the Middle east and elsewhere.” 

Ambassador O’Huiginn also paid tribute to the role of the EU in supporting the €17 million project, noting: “This project is a text- book example of how the European Union can use its influence to pool resources from different parts of the Union which might otherwise not have come into contact. In biostructures are dealing with a cutting edge modern medical research where any breakthrough could have great medical significance.”


Professor Brian Harvey, Director of Research at RCSI said “This strategic agreement will further enhance the transfer of technology and joint research activities in biotechnology research between Ireland, France and Italy. Joint EU projects such as this one will ensure that researchers from Ireland and RCSI will access a quality pool of research technology and expertise. It will also strengthen Ireland’s links with academia and industry in Europe, to sustain an innovative, knowledge-driven economy.”


Professor Harvey signed the agreement on behalf of the National Biophotonics and Imaging Platform Ireland (NBIPI) which includes the NUI and the Universities of Montpellier. The €30 million platform is funded by the Higher Education Authority of Ireland and is led by RCSI.


The mission of NBIPI is to provide an integrated national access and training infrastructure in research, education, technology development and industry collaboration for Ireland’s investment in Biophotonics and Imaging.



(1) Partners in the scientific cooperation are;  the Diagnostica e Farmaceutica molecolare Scarl (DFM)) Naples-Italy, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), coordinating institution of the National BioPhotonics and Imaging Platform Ireland (NBIP), the Dublin City University, coordinating Institution of the Biomedical Diagnostics Institute, (DCU) Dublin-Ireland, the Institut des Biomolécules Max MOUSSERON (IBMM) Montpellier-France, and the Laboratoire BiosCiences, Institut des Sciences Moléculaires de Marseille, UMR  CNRS 6263 Université Paul Cézanne Aix-Marseille III (BiosCiences) Marseille-France.