@vediamociancora is the name of the new awareness raising campaign launched by the University of Trento to collect donations in the upcoming tax season.
The donations will be used to support research and, specifically, will benefit the Laboratory of Neural Development and Regeneration at CIBIO (Centre for Integrative Biology), which has long been studying retinal diseases.
«The purpose of our work – explained Simona Casarosa, head of the laboratory – is to create a model of retinal degeneration that replicates the genetic and symptomatic characteristics of the human disease. The model will then be used to develop new drug treatments to stop the advancement of the disease, towards a personalised medicine for patients».
Every year the Academic Senate selects a research project that will receive funding through “5x1000” pre-tax donations. Providing information on the intended use of donations ahead of time, telling citizens how their money will be spent, is a way to ensure the transparency of the whole process since the very beginning.
To support the initiative, simply enter the University’s tax id in the relevant box in your tax return form (under “Finanziamento della ricerca scientifica e dell’università”): 00340520220.
Last year, two projects received funding through pre-tax donations, with which two year-long research positions were created: one project at the Biotech Center (Center for Biomedical Technologies, department of Industrial Engineering), on prosthetic hands for children, and another project at the Observation, Diagnosis and Education Laboratory (ODFLab - Department of Psychology and Cognitive Science), which focused on care for children with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
In a meeting today, after biologist Simona Casarosa, Rector Paolo Collini addressed the audience, underlining that research deals with people and their needs in the present time and in the medium and long term, with innovations that improve the quality of life. «We are asking people to be on our side, be sensitive and support research. Because research is about all of us. And supporting research in our society also translates into employment opportunities for our young researchers». He then commented on the choice of advertising the project selected for funding in advance: «We want to ensure the transparency of the process, tell taxpayers from the very beginning how their donations will be used, and show them what we have done so far with their resources».
The meeting was attended by the representatives of several professional associations that support the University’s project. «The percentage of GDP invested in research in Italy is below the EU and OECD average» commented Pasquale Mazza, president of the Provincial accountants and auditors association in Trento and Rovereto. «That is why, when resources for research are decreasing, it is important to collect funding from private citizens and businesses. The board of the association, which took office in 2017, praises the University’s initiative to direct all donations made through the 5x1000 campaign to a single project, and is giving its support, inviting all its members to donate personally but also, most importantly, to promote the initiative at their clients, so that they donate their 5x1000 share to the University of Trento».
«On the one side, our region aspires to become a leading community for knowledge in science and the humanities» explained Andrea de Bertolini, president of the local Bar association. «On the other, we also feel responsible to do our part to make a better world. Research is a driving force for our aspirations and reminds us of our responsibilities through specific actions that involve young people in a key role. Legal professionals, with their social function, want to participate. That is why the bar association supports the initiative».
The Italian pharmacists association, too, expressed their appreciation for the initiative: «These initiatives are very important for health policies – said Bruno Bizzaro – and we all admire the fact that the Academic Senate decided to support this patient-oriented project. This commitment is in line with the efforts of professional associations, that are opening up to society and citizens’ needs. The most positive aspect of University research is that it takes an innovative perspective to understand diseases».
Mauro Leveghi, secretary general of the Chamber of Commerce commented with these words: «The Chamber of Commerce of Trento immediately welcomed the University’s invitation to cooperate in advertising the 5x1000 campaign. The Chamber of Commerce, as an institution representing local businesses, acknowledges and promotes the role of research not only as a driving force for economic development but also as a crucial element for a better quality of life. Research is a driver for innovation, and our Autonomous region, Trentino, is very proud of its University».