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This 17th edition broke the general public attendance record by nearly 500 visitors (Photo: PCB).

From the laboratory to CosmoCaixa

After four days of intense activity at CosmoCaixa Barcelona, more than 1,700 students and citizens were able to participate in the Live Research Fair, experiencing first-hand the most cutting-edge research taking place in research centres throughout Catalonia. This 17th edition broke the general public attendance record by nearly 500 visitors, as testament once again to the success of the event organised every year by Barcelona Science Park (PCB) in collaboration with "la Caixa" Foundation


As part of the 17th edition of the “Live Research Fair”, eleven groups of scientists moved their laboratories to CosmoCaixa from 6 to 9 March so that visitors could participate in experiments for their most cutting-edge projects. To encourage interaction with the public, an enigma was formulated at each stand that the attendees had to solve following a scientific methodology.

Making insect snacks with a 3D printer and trying them; applying the CRISPR gene editing technique in organ regeneration; implementing superconductivity and levitation; analysing mutations of various types of cancer with bioinformatics tools and looking for possible therapies with gold nanoparticles; creating a Higgs Boson and other elementary particles to understand the great enigmas of the Universe; or finding out how genes influence drug addiction, are some of the experiments in which participants were given the opportunity to take part.

The eleven research groups that participated in this 17th edition belong to the following institutions: Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), IBMB-Molecular Biology Institute of Barcelona, ICFO-Institute of Photonic Science, ICMAB-Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona, ICP-Catalan Institute of Palaeontology Miquel Crusafont, IFAE-Institute for High Energy Physics, Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC), Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), University of Barcelona and Rovira i Virgili University.

As in previous years, three participants in the BATX2LAB programme, specifically set up for first-year baccalaureate students undertaking the practical part of their research work at the PCB, were in attendance at a stand to explain their project.

Following the fair, 33 posters were published, 3 by each of the participating groups, in order to explain their research techniques in a very visual way. Given the interest shown by the educational community in the topics covered at the fair, this material is available to the centres on the website as files that can be downloaded for subsequent work in class or as reference material.

The aim of the Live Research Fair –organised annually by the Barcelona Science Park’s Scientific Culture Unit as part of its Research in Society programme, in collaboration with  “la Caixa” Foundation and with the support of Barcelona City Council and the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT), dependent on the the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities– is to bring research closer to citizens, encourage dialogue between the public and researchers, awaken vocations among young people and contribute to the scientific culture of society.

The research world and the virtual world, in real time

The great novelty this year was the pilot test of RecercAPP, a new educational application with augmented reality created by Barcelona Science Park with the collaboration of ENTIDAD-UB. This application emulates the experiment “Investigate with cells and genes“, one of the workshops of the PCB’s Research in Society programme. The aim of this application is to bring scientific knowledge and laboratory techniques to schools and people interested in the subject.