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Photo: Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST).

Five new projects to receive a “Seed Grant” through the BIST Ignite programme

The Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST) announced the five winners of the first phase of this year’s BIST Ignite Programme. This is the fifth edition of this initiative, which promotes multidisciplinary collaborations at the frontiers of knowledge to solve scientific and societal challenges. Ten research teams from various BIST centres -including the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) and the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), located at PCB- will combine their capabilities in genetics, chemistry, molecular biology, bioengineering, photonics, biosensors, and new materials to provide new scientific answers to major open challenges in health and fundamental physics.

Once again this year, most of the grant-winning projects focus on health and more specifically on the search for new therapeutic alternatives for diseases that have no cure. These include neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington’s chorea, triple negative breast cancer, muscular dystrophies such as Duchenne disease, and the pathological accumulation of senescent cells. The independent panel of experts who selected the projects also valued the scientific advancement that the TeraFox project, which will explore the interaction between light and matter in the field of new materials, has proposed.

Each of the five projects will receive a grant of 20,000 euros to carry out the first ten-month phase, after which, depending on the results obtained, a panel of experts will select two of the projects to receive additional funding of 50,000 euros. The aim of the programme is to help projects with a highly innovative approach and strong potential, which may subsequently apply for competitive funding calls, to get off the ground. Since the launch of the first call in December 2016, there have been five editions of the BIST Ignite Programme, with a total of 23 projects receiving funding, for a total amount of €810,000, and with the participation of more than 170 researchers from the seven BIST centres.

» More information: BIST [+], IBEC [+] and l’IRB Barcelona [+]