Illustrious Minister of Health prof. Orazio Schillaci, Illustrious Chief of Staff MUR lawyer. Marcella Panucci, Illustrious President of ANVUR prof. Antonio Felice Uricchio, Illustrious Authorities, all civil, military and religious, Magnificent Rectors and Magnificent Rectors, Delegates and Delegates, President of the CNR Prof. Maria Chiara Carrozza Carrozza, INAIL Commissioner prof. Fabrizio D'Ascenzo, President of the Higher Institute of Health prof. Rocco Bellantone, Delegate of the Extraordinary Commissioner Mario Pezzotti of CREA - Council for agricultural research and analysis of agricultural economics, our prof. Emanuele Marconi and Director of the CREA Center for Research on Food and Nutrition, President of the Accademia Lancisiana Dr. Laura Gasbarrone and external member of the Commission for the honorary degree to Samuel Modiano, Delegate of the President of the Accademia dei Lincei Roberto Antonelli, our professor emeritus Massimo Ingusciodoor, President of the Academy of IngEngineering and Technology, Prof. Speranza Falciano, Distinguished Representatives of Institutions, Research Bodies and the industrial world, Dear Colleagues and Dear Colleagues, Teachers, Students, Dear Guests, I would like to extend my warmest welcome to everyoneingthank you for your presence at the inauguration of the 2023-2024 academic year of theUniversità Campus Bio-Medico di Roma.
Today we will have the pleasure and pride of completing the thirtieth and starting the thirty-first Academic Year since the foundation of our University and the Departmental Faculty of Medicine and Surgery.
To celebrate our most senior departmental faculty, I want to aringthank, for their fundamental contributions to our development, the 4 of our teachers who have entered into retirement this academic year: the profs. Vittorio Altomare, Stefano Bonini, Roberto Coppola, Flavio Keller.
As anticipated by the President and the CEO\DG, today we also confer our first Honoris Causa master's degree in Medicine and Surgery to Samuel Modiano. We see in this contribution a fair tribute to his extraordinary life and his precious testimony which strongly aligns with the new concept of personal health, as the ability of each of us to adapt and thrive in the right way in all our living conditions, even the most challenging and dangerous ones in times of crisis. As strongly indicated by Nobel Prize winner Albert Einstein: "Without crisis there are no challenges, without challenges life is routine, a slow agony... The only threatening crisis is the tragedy of not wanting to fight to overcome it... Precisely in moments of crisis we can be more creative and innovative". Fundamental messages on the extraordinary strength and determination that a human being increasingly can and must have, values that must first and foremost inspire the commitment and work of all Doctors, also thanks to a conscious, appropriate and sustainable use of new technologies.
This aspect is connected in particular to the awarding of our first honorary Master's degree in IngBiomedical engineering in 2018, at the start of the twentieth year since the foundation of our Departmental Faculty of Ingengineering, to prof. Paolo Dario, now professor emeritus of the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna in Pisa and member of our International Research and Innovation Advisory Board: an international pioneer of robotics applied in medicine, who brought robots out of the industrial world with cooperative approaches with the human component on which we are carrying out many advanced research and innovation activities.
Having started my mandate as Rector at the beginning of our thirtieth academic year, we worked in this first period with the entire Rectorate team, the three Vice-Rectors, the 28 Delegates and Contacts, and the Rectoral Service, with three managers focused on three fundamental academic missions, implementing relevant activities to support the growth of our university and which have already led to significant results that I would like to briefly share.
First of all, we are happy that theUCBM entered a rank for the first time this yearing international, THE-WUR Times Higher Education - World University Ranking positioning itself in the first 15% of the general ranking out of approximately 2700 universities belonging to over 100 different countries around the world, and in 18th place among Italian universities with significant strengths in particular with regards to the quality of research, the student\teacher ratio ( 18,4 - now around 15) - which also places us nationally in 11th place and 8th place in the gender balance (62% women) as regards students.
THE-WUR suggestions on continuous improvement are fundamental, in particular to further increase the number of students coming from abroad, which has already grown by over 40% in the last academic year and we have around 100 foreign students from 32 countries from all 5 continents. RingI sincerely thank the Delegate for Internationalization and SDG, prof. Leandro Pecchia, for a careful critical analysis and all the work done with the group that allowed us to enter the ranking with this good positioning at global and national level.
With the excellent guidance of our Pro-Rector for Teaching, Laura De Gara, also Vicar of the Rector, we are continuing to design educational paths based on interdisciplinary approaches, problem-based & research-based learning as a necessary condition to encourage innovation in the teaching offering and the methods of delivering the courses. In this context, I would like to mention the working table with Unindustria coordinated by the professor De Gara which 10 companies from Lazio join, for the development of skills\reverse-placement, for the planning of a multidisciplinary teaching activity that is transversal to all degree courses, centered on the great challenges to be faced both at a global and national level , in particular in the biomedical, agri-food and energy and artificial intelligence fields. Regarding innovative research-based training approaches, we are strongly interested in developing pilot projects in strong synergy with the industrial world and also with other universities and research institutions, starting with those here today participating in our event and with whom we have strategic collaborations.
For all students of the University, group work, innovative, problem-based and research-based teaching methodologies combined with the presence of personal tutors encourage constant active and proactive involvement in the learning process. Great importance is also attributed to multi- and interdisciplinarity, leading to a strong contamination and a natural tendency towards collaboration also between teachers and students of the different study courses and the different Departmental Faculties. It is truly a pride to have more and more groups of inter-degree courses, for example medicine and ingengineering, who work together on degree theses and innovative ideas and to our alumni founders of spin-offs also participated by our university and subject to significant awards. In this thirtieth academic year we also founded and activated the Doctoral School and the School UCBM Academy, for increasingly solid and integrated post-graduate training.
As already anticipated by the President, we attribute value to humanistic subjects and in particular to those linked to the ethical aspects of professions, both from a theoretical and practical point of view, with various volunteering and international cooperation activities in developing countries that offer the opportunity to live, already in the years of training, enriching experiences of personal service and preparatory to future practice, in order to promote the integral education of the student.
In line with our Charter of Purpose it is a real honor to announce that we have signed an MoU with Harvard University “The Human Flourishing Program at Harvard's Institute for Quantitative Social Science”, for an innovative interdisciplinary training and research program of our students, our tutors and our most junior teaching staff in collaboration with professors from Harvard University: we will be the first university in the world to develop and apply human flourishing to the training of students, who will be increasingly capable of managing the dilemmas of research and innovation, as strongly urged by prof. Clayton Christensen of Harvard, promoter of rampant, disruptive innovation, which does not always have to make large companies already present on the market fail. Heartfelt thanks to our Vice-Rector for Integrated Academic Development Simonetta Filippi for promoting this strategic collaboration.
A ringspecial thanks also to our former President, Dr. Felice Barela, current contact person for our Consulting Committee which this year organized two international events attended by hundreds of students and teachers, on the topics of robotics and digital environments and human ecology". Also decisive for the student's integral education are the cultural, sporting and social activities carried out with great enthusiasm by our Vice-Rector for Integration and Social Impact, Sara Ramella, by the Delegates in these areas and by the Student Council and the Campus Shar associationing.
Among the many activities with social impact, I like to mention the last European Researchers' Night in which we opened the doors of our University to the territory, hosting up to 1500 students for the first time, including students from the Marta Russo Comprehensive Institute who are here with us today too.
This year has also seen growth in terms of research activities, reaching a success rate on competitive tenders of around 30% and enjoying great success in national tenders, including the MUR-PRIN tender, and in European tenders with projects funded in the last semester on various European programs Horizon Europe, EU for Health and European Defense Fund, etc.
As explained in a fundamental message by the Nobel Prize winner prof. Giorgio Parisi, of the Sapienza University of Rome and former President of the Accademia dei Lincei, at the CNR Centenary event in which we participated with the President of the Republic Mattarella and the Ministers Bernini and Urso as well as various guests present here, it is essential that the State and Industries consider the resources to be increasingly associated with research as a fundamental, essential investment for the future well-being of our society.
We have received significant support from the Rome Foundation for the launch of an "Integrated Center for Research and Treatment on Alzheimer's Disease", which will also include a new facility for pre-clinical research, the subject of disruptive evolution with parallel activities on translational research based on modeling, simulation, regenerative medicine, organoids and artificial intelligence which will be able to increasingly reduce and optimize the use of animal models.
INAIL has just approved the new strategic project 3DAID++ to be implemented in synergy with the INAIL Prosthetics Center which promotes innovative approaches to medicine for patients with strong different motor skills through sustainable solutions for global health, for example personalized 3D printed prostheses and orthoses, also for children in schools. And the schools, as anticipated to all the Universities of the Lazio Regional Committee by Commissioner D'Ascenzo, will now be the subject of significant investments to train students on safety and healthy living for which our University's maximum availability to participate in projects pilot, hosting young students in our laboratories and educational experiences for continuous orientation and all the other initiatives including research and innovation that are most useful for this fundamental in our country which is subject to a declining birth rate.
The valorisation of knowledge is also a priority for our University, building one-to-one relationships with large corporations, SMEs and start-ups to map the needs and strategic priorities of innovation and also by launching co-innovation projects in the agritech sector , energy transition, digital health, One-Health and Global Health, always with concrete approaches and solutions with full economic, ethical and social sustainability. On this front, our youngest Departmental Faculty SteSh, led by the very broad Dean Prof. Marcella Trombetta is contributing in an increasingly significant way to the development of our University in these areas, as strongly highlighted also at the latest edition of the STSforum in which we also participated last October this year. Congratulations to the Dean for having won the position in Rome to lead our University of the OneHealth 2025 international conference.
Furthermore, our promoter CBM Spa founded Campus Investment Holding and Terravita, an investment company, as fundamental levers to support the valorization of knowledge and the incubation, acceleration and investment in innovative companies, not just our spin-offs, focused on the issues of our relevance.
Surely all these teaching, research and innovation activities will also contribute to continuous improvement by increasingly increasing our network also at an international level, without prejudice to the priority of attracting, training and distributing our students\alumni from and around the world. Before concluding I would like to share with you a short video made by some of our foreign students.
Being able to hear from our students that they feel "at home" in our University is the greatest satisfaction for me and for this reason IingI commend our teaching staff and the technical-administrative staff who with "big hearts", as Blessed Alvaro del Portillo encouraged us on the occasion of the start of our first academic year, work daily, in silence and with a job well done, to make our University not only a place of culture, scientific research and significant social impact, but, as we heard from the student in the video, "a place of value" that must remain in memory in the minds of our alumni and employees throughout their healthy life.