Aware that innovation represents a fundamental means to modernise Italy’s economic system, a strategic factor to reinforce its competitive position and to directly and indirectly protect and increase employment, the undertakings accomplished by the Foundation in the field of scientific research are correlated to its substantial commitment to Health.
Even in this sector Fondazione Roma has always made its decisions by impartially recognizing the centres of excellence and the priority needs in the local area. Following the first grant programme introduced in 2008, the Foundation further stimulated scientific research by launching two Calls for Proposals focused on themes selected on the basis of precise considerations of an epidemiologic, health and socio-economic nature. The first Call for Proposals was intended for researchers in the faculties of Medicine and Surgery (and/or the departments of medicine/biology) in Rome’s universities and concerned two-year research projects that aim to understand molecular mechanisms and discover new therapeutic targets for chronic-degenerative ageing associated non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The second Call for Proposals focused on Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), a rare disorder that gradually leads to blindness and has been considered as a disease with significant social and economic implications since 1985.
Still on the subject of promoting Universities’ involvement in scientific activities, Fondazione Roma has been supporting MEBIC for years. MEBIC is a consortium established by the Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata and the Università Telematica San Raffaele, which the Foundation has joined too in order to promote and coordinate the involvement of the associated universities in scientific research in the field of molecular rehabilitation to restore cerebral, musculoskeletal, cardiac, respiratory, renal, hepatic and sensorial functions. The aim of this research centre, which due to the support of Fondazione Roma is equipped with state of the art technology, is to investigate the activation of molecular and cell mechanisms at the time of neuromotor, respiratory and cardiovascular rehabilitation in order to improve rehabilitation techniques and medications.
The Foundation concurrently continues to cooperate with Fondazione Bietti, which focuses on ophthalmic research and treats the most widespread and serious ocular diseases.
Aware that the rapid transformation of society, which took place within a few years, is significantly changing the needs of local communities, the Foundation continues to renew its philanthropic mission. This innovation proved prophetic, and even became a model for other foundations, and allows the Foundation to combine its traditional attention to the local needs in the crucial fields of Welfare, which are more markedly exposed to the effects of the reduction of public resources, with its likewise careful and determined commitment to face today’s challenges.
From the latter point of view, the Foundation confirms its role as a think tank whereby it is capable of identifying and analysing socio-economic and cultural issues of global relevance and submitting ideas, considerations and medium-long term proposals to policy makers. In this regards Fondazione Roma’s undertakings continue to focus on themes concerning the welfare state, which have been achieved by supporting the ‘Wel.com.e., Welfare for Community Empowerment, research/action project, which has a high innovation ratio and aims to experiment and verify operational models, capable of combining civic engagement, subsidiarity, social inclusion and new forms of civil economy in the local area, in particular in Castel di Guido near Rome.