More than one hundred people participate in the institutional event marking the 20th anniversary of the Barcelona Science Park
Today, the Barcelona Science Park (PCB) held the institutional event commemorating its 20th anniversary at the Antoni Caparrós auditorium, thus bringing the activities scheduled to mark this milestone to a close. The event, chaired by the rector of the Universitat de Barcelona, Joan Elias, was attended by more than one hundred people from the worlds of academia, science, business and government.
After welcoming all the attendees, Maria Terrades, director of the Barcelona Science Park, dedicated a few words to the people and institutions involved in the creation and consolidation of this ambitious project — a first-of-its-kind in Spain — promoted by the Universitat de Barcelona in 1997 to promote the pursuit of excellence, knowledge transfer and entrepreneurship in the healthcare industry.
Terrades then drew parallels between the event and a journey that begins with basic research and culminates in innovation: “On this journey, we will be accompanied by people from the PCB who represent the community that we have created in the course of these 20 years and the key aspects that are required to achieve such innovation”.
After screening a commemorative video, the director of the PCB outlined the key data that reflect the growth of the park.
Twenty years after the first brick was laid, the Barcelona Science Park is one of Europe's leading scientific, technological and business innovation ecosystems. With a surface area of 100,000 m2 and a community of 2,700 professionals — 54% of them women — the PCB has become a magnet for talent, where more than 100 public and private organizations interact in a privileged setting, generating synergies that strengthen collaboration and knowledge exchange in order to create a new business environment.
Closing her address, Terrades referred to the future challenges facing the institution: “Eight years ago, the park had a workforce of 1,300, a figure that has now doubled, and there is still room for growth. As some of you may already know, there are still some 9,000 m2 of office and laboratory space yet to be fitted out, which is one of the biggest challenges currently facing us: Sourcing the funding to fit out these spaces and enable the community to grow to up to 3,500 health professionals”.
Ms Terrades was followed by prominent members of the PCB Community. Meritxell Teixidó, research associate at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), as spokesperson for the scientific community; Josep Samitier, director of the Institute of Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC), representing the public sector; Joan Feixas, director of Enantia, a spin-off of the Universitat de Barcelona (UB) and one of the first companies to set up in the Park, as a success story of entrepreneurial initiatives; and Carlos R. Plata-Salamán, CSO, CMO and Head of R&D of Esteve: a paradigm of an international ‘Big Pharma’ based in the Park.
Joan Elias, rector of the Universitat de Barcelona, closed the event by saying that the PCB is “an absolutely exceptional concentration of talent that contributes to creating value in our city and in our country. A leading institution in transferring knowledge to industry and to society in general, well ahead of other initiatives on which a great deal of money and resources have been spent”. The rector added that “[The PCB] brings together two Severo Ochoa Centres of Excellence, two Maria de Maeztu Units of Excellence and three ground-breaking Scientific-Technical facilities: the CNAG and the material electronic microscopy and magnetic resonance facilities”.
Elias revisited the PCB's history, paying tribute to the people who played a key role in its early days: Antoni Caparrós, Marius Rubiralta and Josep Maria Bricall, all of them former rectors, Francesc Santacana, and Josep Maria Puig-Salellas, former president of the Social Council.
This institutional event, which, like the party held in honour of the Park’s Community on 20 September — brings the activities celebrating the first 20 years of the PCB to a close, was made possible thanks to the sponsorship of Enantia, Esteve, the Ordesa Group, the Molecular Biology Institute of Barcelona (IBMB-CSIC) and Qiagen, as well as support from Bellavista, the Science and Technology Centres of the Universitat de Barcelona (CCITUB), the Biotechnology Business Institute Barcelona (IEB), Ferrer, Iproteos and ProteoDesign, and the collaboration of Estrella Damm, Ferrovial Servicios and Suez.
►Website of the 20th anniversary of the PCB [+]