July 13, 2012 — Royal Philips Electronics announced that it has embarked on a five-year joint research and development (R&D) program with the St. Petersburg State Polytechnical University, the Vavilov State Optical Institute and the Ioffe Physical Technical Institute. Philips will be investing up to €2.5 million in the program, comprising direct funding and in-kind support, including research staff.
The joint R&D program will focus on the development of so-called scintillation materials to improve the sensitivity of the detectors used in CT (computed tomography), PET (positron emission tomography) and SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography) scanners. Improved detector sensitivity can ultimately translate into shorter scan times, lower radiation doses for the patient or enhanced image quality, depending on the application. In addition, the researchers will develop new computer algorithms for more efficient image reconstruction and processing.
The St. Petersburg State Polytechnical University will serve as the central hub in the joint R&D program and support in coordinating the research. It will connect the spokes as represented by the Vavilov State Optical Institute, the Ioffe Physical Technical Institute, and Philips’ research laboratories in Eindhoven (The Netherlands), Hamburg (Germany) and Paris (France).
“This ambitious joint R&D program is in line with our policy of open innovation to team up with partners that possess complementary strengths,” said Frans van Houten, CEO of Philips. “As a leading global player in medical imaging systems, Philips will be able to tap into Russia’s scientific expertise, as well as its development and industrialization capabilities, via the three St. Petersburg-based research institutes. At the same time, I am convinced that our collaborations can catalyze growth in the Russian medical imaging industry.”
“The launch of the joint R&D program in medical imaging gives an added impetus to Russian activities in this field. It is a unique opportunity for Russia’s scientific community and the universities involved to directly interact with one of the industry leaders in medical imaging,” added Andrei Rudskoy, president of the St. Petersburg State Polytechnical University and corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
“It will also allow us to make the important step from theoretical and experimental research to advanced equipment production. The collaboration has the potential to formulate and solve the technological challenges associated with improving existing scintillation materials, detectors, image processing and reconstruction technologies, ultimately moving us towards an entirely new level in the medical equipment industry,” said Rudskoy.
For more information: www.philips.com/healthcare