Over the past few years, Barcelona has become a magnet for high-level scientists, who have found the city to be a great place for conducting research, especially in the areas of biotechnology and biomedicine.
Barcelona has established itself as major science hub, and biomedicine is by far its most powerful engine. In just a few years, this highly diversified field has turned the city and its sphere of influence into one of the most appealing career destinations in Europe and beyond.
The Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA) was founded in 2001. He aimed to establish centres brimming with international talent in order to compete at the highest calibre of research.
Research in biomedicine would not be possible without the massive use of data. It is the only way to find solutions in the fight against cancer, to explain how millions of neurons give structure to our brains or to carry out virtual trials for drugs.
It is unusual for centres where the workforce is mainly made up of doctors and biologists to have a chemistry department. Yet this very department is one of the elements underpinning Barcelona’s Institute for Research in Biomedicine.
Scientific advances have increased life expectancy by thirty years in the last century. This increase comes with a price: ageing-associated diseases like cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Researchers focus on finding ways to keep these diseases from advancing.
Photonics encompasses the science of light and its derivative technology. The Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO) is one of the Catalan centres with dozens of researchers dedicated to improving medical diagnoses and the effectiveness of therapies, as well as delving deeper into the origins of biological processes.
The future of the research system in Catalonia requires following through with the good decisions made to date and garnering public support for scientific research.
An imaginary yet perfectly plausible scenario: a ICREA researcher is receiving a Nobel Prize in Stockholm, and in her acceptance speech she reviews the institution’s history and the challenges it still faces.