The research environment in the biomedical area, and other related scientific fields, has progressed a lot in Catalonia during the last 20 years. One of the reasons for this growth has been the implementation of new Research Institutes, that complement the research carried out at the Universities and at the Research Centers of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). The implementation of Scientific Parks (like Parc Cientific Barcelona (PCB, www.pcb.ub.cat) or Parc de Recerca Biomèdica de Barcelona (PRBB, www.prbb.org) and the creation of the Bioregion of Catalonia (Biocat, www.biocat.cat) have also put biomedical research in Catalonia at the forefront in Southern Europe.
A key factor in this development has been the availability, for public and private entities carrying out Research and Development processes, of Technology Platforms and major Research Infrastructures. Public Research laboratories and Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology companies may access highly sophisticated equipment, trained researchers and technical staff, in these technology facilities.
Biocat has been collecting information on a large number of these Technology Platforms and Major Research Infrastructures in the last year. The current annotated list gathers around 100 of these technology providers in around 20 different entities (Science Parks, Hospitals, Research Institutes, etc.) throughout Catalonia. Most of these platforms are also open to access by external researchers from all over Europe, and they could therefore offer opportunities for enlarging the research and innovation capabilities and projects within the Interbio community.
One particular sub-group of these Technology Platforms are called “Instalaciones Científico-Técnicas Singulares” (ICTS), which are large scale facilities which are distributed throughout Spain, and are reference sites for European researchers; ICTS are summarized in the book: (http://www.micinn.es/stfls/MICINN/Investigacion/FICHEROS/Instalaciones_Singulares/Libro_ICTS.pdf).
In Catalonia, ICTS cover from major Supercomputing facilities (like the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) or the Center for Supercomputing of Catalonia (CESCA), to the newest ICTS, officially opened in 2010, the first Synchrotron Light Source in Spain (ALBA). Other ICTS in Catalonia related to the biomedical area are the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance laboratory in Barcelona or the Metabolic Mouse Clinic, for Animal Biotechnology and Gene Therapy.
In addition, 2010 saw the incorporation of the National Center for Genomic Analysis (CNAG, www.cnag.eu), located at Parc Cientific Barcelona (PCB), which is currently participating in large genome sequencing multinational projects using around 15 next-generation sequencers.
The Interbio partners and community will have direct access to all these Technology Platforms and Research Infrastructures in Catalonia thanks to the work carried out by Interbio partner Biocat to include their validated information on the Interbio website.
Jordi Quintana, Parc Científic Barcelona (PCB)