Founded in Brindisi on May 25, 1999 by forward-looking people coming from medical, scientific and entrepreneurial fields, ISBEM (Euro Mediterranean Biomedical Science Institute) is inspired by universal models of sustainable development. Therefore, it pursues a modern view according to which healthcare and quality services can stem from research (scientific work generates innovation) and from education (training is essential to acquire skills). Therefore, today a proactive interaction among institutions, research, enterprises, active citizenship, school and the media for communications is highly needed. ISBEM is actively engaged in Social Innovation as a mandatory pathway to revive the South of Italy, thus it implements focused research projects as well as interdisciplinary training (Life Long Learning) in topics related to health, environment, nutrition and lifestyle. Such an approach brings constantly out the relevance of science, of new technologies and of human/social capital. Thus, ISBEM interweaves research projects and training with the creation of interdisciplinary working groups, enabling them to compete on a national and international scale. The ultimate goal is to increase the number of citizens willing to change, and therefore able to act as engines of progress and as attractors of investments for their own community. In this perspective, in order to increase the rate of research and of social innovation, ISBEM invests in young people, supporting their growth both on human and scientific side in order to have them capable to become leaders and effective flywheels of development .
Located in Mesagne (Brindisi), ie in the Salento peninsula of Apulia (the historic bridge across the Mediterranean cultures), ISBEM is a small, peripheral and non-profit institute that acts as a recruiter and incubator of talents who, otherwise, would be destined to emigrate. ISBEM offers graduates and beginners of professional life to become ready as agents of change in the South, by means of research and education.
Numbers tell us that the approach is sound, since in one and half decade of activity, more than 100 researchers (including about 50 with PhD degree for doctorate) have been educated and subsequently recruited by universities, CNR, ASL, hospitals, biomedical companies, healthcare enterprises, other research institutes in Italy and even abroad.
Acting as incubator of modernity, ISBEM also hosts a variety of cultural and artistic events, such as concerts, plays, exhibitions, conferences, workshops, courses to orient choices at university, Summer as well as Winer schools of Statistics and Epidemiology, courses of European project design, master, etc.
As a matter of facts, ISBEM has given life in the South to an innovative community care model based on the paradigm of the Gift in which it offers citizens a number of elements to grow culturally and improve themselves and the community with generosity and with great foresight. According to this paradigm, this type of investment returns back, even more enriched, to benefit people as whole.
Having often triggered the concept idea, ISBEM is leading a number of projects – won at EU, Ministry of Education and Research, and at Apulia Region level – such as Coheirs, Toys, Popeye, Sispu, Credits4health, Kiss_Health, Recrire, SISTEMA, etc. These projects reflect a smart policy to promote health, environmental protection, appropriate nutrition, correct lifestyle and even an open European identity.
Hosted by the City of Mesagne in a former Franciscan monastery that has 22 rooms refurbished to house scholars, graduate students, researchers and teachers. Today ISBEM is focused to create a Monastery of the 3rd Millennium, a place of social and cultural cohesion, where the latest knowledge and technology are tested in pilot projects that generate innovation and new skills, to be exported outside the Monastery borders for the benefit of all the community. Despite its roots in the past, the former Cappuccini convent (1503) is looking forward to the 3rd millennium, which is characterized by the knowledge society and by the birth of smart communities that gradually become capable to integrate and widespread the culture of innovation. Having in mind to be a protagonist of new and multiple ways to develop skills based on knowledge intensity, ISBEM is acting as a central hub for making innovation by means of activities/functions that enhance social responsibilities in human resources. In fact, they often need to learning to learn.
In this context, it does clearly emerge the rationale to support ISBEM generously and with all the available sources, individual, family, local, regional, national, European and even international. The good ideas, when successfully tested in the institute, can be transferred to the community which will gain useful and sustainable as well as skilled human capital. A concrete example of seed money (insemination) is the governmental program named 5x1000 that in 2012 saw ISBEM to be the 1st in Apulia, the 20th among the 395 research institutions and the 200th among the total 49075 recipients of 5x1000 existing in Italy. This all happened despite a bitter but real observation: just only one out of 10 Apulian citizens allocates the money of 5x1000 to institutions operating in Apulia region. Financially wise, this means Apulian citizens are transferring about 25 million € each year since the last 7 years to large recipient organizations of North and Central Italy.
It is our strong belief that, in order to close the existing gap with the North and redeem itself in a reasonably short time, the South must be able to build the future today by its own from bottom.
The following two books of the late prof. Aldo Romano argument such a rationale and represent a spiritual legacy rich of civic and scientific passion:
a) Costruire l'università post-fordista. Sperimentare il futuro nel presente (Cacucci, Bari 2008);
b) Mezzogiorno 2025. I cantieri immateriali per la crescita e l'occupazione (Cacucci, Bari 2013).
In conclusion, ISBEM is a model of goodwill and of multiple synergies focused to generate both value chains and scale of values, without fearing the global challenges and encouraging Citizens - primarily the young - to be themselves the protagonists of their future.
Where should you start now?
We believe that it is wise and smart to start by implementing in our own community the 8 European strategic competences that are indeed essential to be able to enrich ourselves deeply inside and to be able to benefit all the other people in the community: