Palermo, November 27 - Italian Health Minister Renato Balduzzi said on Tuesday that the projected Biomedical Research and Biotechnology Center (CBRB) to be located in Carini, a few miles from the Palermo International Airport, represents a "great opportunity not only for Sicily, but also for the entire Mediterranean". Construction of the new 25,000-square-meter center CBRB, presented Tuesday in Palermo, is slated to begin in 2013 and be completed in 2016. When fully operational, the center will employ some 600 people and approximately as many jobs will be created in the allied industries the center will help develop. The staff will include researchers, biologists, physicians, engineers and specialized technicians. In addition, the CBRB will have a positive impact on the Sicilian economy, said Balduzzi. "The interaction between a research facility and its adjacent research hospital will provide an important opportunity for our country that will give Italy a significant advantage". The center is backed by the Ri.MED Foundation, established in 2006 through an international partnership between the Italian Government, the Region of Sicily, the Italian National Research Council (CNR), the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Research at BRBC will focus on structural biology to develop drugs and vaccines, tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, biomedical device development, computational biology, drug discovery to identify new primary compounds, vaccine development, molecular imaging and neuroscience.