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The Board of Trustees of the Barcelona Institute, has convened for the first time last Friday in Barcelona. (Photo: Ramon Vilalta).

IRB Barcelona and five top Catalan centres constitute the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology

Six of the top research centres in Catalonia have taken a step forward in their collaboration by setting up the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology. The centres involved are: the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG); the Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ); the Catalan Institute for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2); the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO); the High Energy Physics Institute (IFAE); and the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), located at the Barcelona Science Park (PCB). The Institute, that will start its activity in September, is a scientific initiative that seeks to foster interdisciplinary research, to leverage its scientific impact, and to position itself among the leading European institutions. 


Following renowned international centres such as Caltech in California and the Weizmann Institute in Israel, the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology is an initiative promoted by the directors of the six centres that compose the Institute and five preeminent international scientists who consider that “it is time for the Catalan research system to progress by consolidating collaboration between these centres, jointly operating in a new institution that will allow them to launch more transversal scientific projects and to achieve greater international competitiveness”, in the words of Prof. Rolf Tarrach, chair of the Barcelona Institute. In addition to Prof. Tarrach, who also chairs the European University Association (EUA), Profs. Joan Massagué (Sloan Kettering Institute), Ignacio Cirac (Max Planck Institute), Miquel Salmeron (UC Berkeley) and Sergi Verdú(Princeton University) also serve on the Board of Trustees.

The Institute comes about with the support of five large foundations that also sit on the Board of Trustees: “la Caixa” Foundation (Mr. Jaume Giró), one of the top world foundations; the Banc Sabadell Foundation (Mr. Miquel Molins); the Catalunya-La Pedrera Foundation (Mr. Germán Ramón-Cortés); the Cellex Private Foundation (Mr. Jordi Segarra); and Femcat Businessman Foundation (Mr. David Nogareda). Likewise, the Government of Catalonia also belongs to the Board of Trustees, represented by Minister Prof. Andreu Mas-Colell.

The six research centres that make up the Barcelona Institute will continue their own activity while simultaneously participating in the joint undertaking that will boost their individual potential.

At the top of European rankings

The Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology ranks as the fourth European institute in the number of European Research Council (ERC) grants received on the basis of number of researchers; the six centres were awarded 49 ERC grants from 2007 to 2014, more than 1% of the total in Europe.

With respect to the publication index, the centres that compose the Institute published 144 articles in Nature and Science between 2008 and 2012.