The Life Sciences programme of the Italian Space Agency (ASI) began in 1990 as an integral part of the Scientific Programme. Today the Medicine and Biotechnologies Programme (MED) has the specific objective of gaining knowledge through space research and of transferring and translating this knowledge to biomedical applications here on Earth. The programme is focused, in particular, on five projects of application research that require specific equipment and flight opportunities. ASI, thanks in particular to its cooperation with ESA, NASA and the Russian Space Agency (FSA), supplies access to various kinds of space platforms ranging from parabolic flights to the International Space Station.
In order to achieve these objectives a scientific and industrial network has been created throughout the years. Today, over one thousand researchers, 164 research institutes and 18 industries are involved in this challenge.