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Aims Academy is a high-level surgical training project that came into being on 9 March 2010
The desire to put together the wealth of experience from a life dedicated to laparoscopic surgery is what led Professor Raffaele Pugliese, ex-President of Istituto Lombardo di Chirurgia Avanzata Mininvasiva (Lombardy Institution for Advanced Minimally Invasive Surgery – ILCAM), to pursue this ambitious project: the creation of a multi-disciplinary training centre dedicated to teaching and developing minimally invasive surgery, inside Niguarda Hospital.

Two international experiences that have strongly inspired the achievement of AIMS Academy: the IRCAD – Institut de Recherche contre le Cancers de l’Appareil Digestif de Strasbourg led by Prof Jacques Marescaux since 1992 and the MATTU – Minimal Access Therapy Training Unit of Guilford – UK led by Prof Michael Bailey.

Comparing with the experience of the IRCAD in Strasbourg was an important milestone in the history of the AIMS Academy for the meeting with Dr. Antonello Forgione who worked for them for several years and who moved to Milan in 2007 contributed to the Designing and starting the activities of the center until then becoming the Scientific Director of AIMS Academy in 2010.

Aims Academy was built thanks to important contributions from Lombardy regional council, Fondazione Cariplo, and many industrial partners who believed in the project, allowing Aims to equip itself with next-generation-technology machines and modern infrastructures for web mentoring, even at a distance, making it easier to collaborate with the most prestigious international training centres within a knowledge-sharing framework.
A network of top-level faculties work with the academy, allowing it to offer a complete range of courses, tailored to the real needs of healthcare organisations and universities.
In the last 20 years, the world of surgery has made huge strides thanks to the development of technology. Patients therefore have a right to operations carried out using the very latest procedures and in the utmost safety, cutting hospital readmissions due to inexperience to a minimum, especially as they inevitably translate into social costs for the state. To achieve this aim, it is essential to try out these practices and assimilate them systematically through a new TUTORSHIP model that is not just reserved to the more gifted surgeon.
This is what makes AIMS Academy the only centre of its kind in Italy, since it provides an all-round training experience both for expert surgeons and residents who are interested in practical learning using virtual simulators, robotic machines and wet labs under the guidance of a community of international experts, and also for whole surgical and nursing teams.
Broadening the horizons of science and using them for the good of humanity is a mission that has always pushed Aims Academy in its continuing research into technology. Working with national and international research centres, as well as with small businesses in the biomedical field. Aims Academy is committed to developing new virtual simulators. Valuebiotech is a start-up that has been created to develop an original robotic system for abdominal surgery and a virtual reality system that will contribute to making another step forward in scar-free surgery!
These are some of the figures achieved by Aims Academy between 2010 and today; but there is still much more to do … together!

4000
Surgeons
20
Countries of origin
60
Connected countries
150
Courses developed

Raffaele Pugliese

President and Founder of Aims Academy
Emeritus Chief of the Surgery Department at Niguarda Ca’ Granda Hospital

“The Aims project has taught me that if someone believes in a project, then – God willing – surprising things can happen and can exceed original expectations by far.
I don’t care about the numbers. For me that would mean betraying the origin of it all, losing the purpose of this work, which is to serve the mystery of life, embodied by the other, and answer for the project shared by those who wanted it with me. I say this with a tremor in my voice. I believed it could happen, but what actually did happen went far beyond my expectations. We have learned about this work as it has been happening and we are still learning, watching the possibilities it continues to offer come to fruition.”