The City Council and BIST renew their commitment to turning science into a key element of the city’s development
28 April 2021
Science. ayor Ada Colau and Deputy Mayor Joan Subirats met yesterday with the top representatives of the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology and its seven research centres.
The Barcelona City Council and BIST have agreed to continue deepening their collaboration in order to make scientific research one of the cornerstones of the future development and international projection of the Catalan capital. This was stated during a meeting held yesterday by the Mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, and the Deputy Mayor, Joan Subirats, in charge of Culture, Education, Science and Community, with the chair of BIST, Andreu Mas-Colell, and the general director of the institution, Gabby Silberman.
The meeting took place at the Industrial School, where the BIST Foundation is based, and was attended by the top representatives of the seven centres that make up BIST: Luis Serrano, director of CRG, Josep Samitier, director of IBEC, Pablo Ordejón, director of ICN2, Dolors Mateu, manager of ICFO, Laia Pellejà, manager of ICIQ, Joaquim Bosch, manager of IFAE, and Margarita Corominas, manager of IRB Barcelona.
Lines of collaboration
During the event, the main projects in which BIST and the City Council are currently collaborating were reviewed. Specifically, they discussed the research and innovation hub that BIST, CSIC and UPF are promoting on the grounds of the Old Fish Market, as part of the major municipal project of the Ciutadella del Coneixement. Here, BIST will build a 25,000 square meter building dedicated to precision medicine, for whose design five of the best international architectural firms are competing.
The progress of the project to create a reference centre for training in STEAM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics), the Angeleta Ferrer Institute, promoted by the Department of Education of the Generalitat and the Barcelona Education Consortium, with the collaboration of BIST, was also discussed. The new institute, which is being completed in Barcelona’s Marina Street, will be launched next September and will be a unique centre where new strategies for science education will be put into practice, where research in science education will be carried out and where teachers will be trained.
The third line of collaboration of the City Council with BIST that was revised at the meeting is related to the activities for the popularization of science and to bring research closer to society. The BIST centres organize more than 400 outreach activities each year that mobilize more than 60,000 people. In addition, BIST also collaborates actively in the City and Science Biennial hosted by the Barcelona City Council, with IBEC’s Nuria Montserrat as one of its commissioners. The next edition of the Biennial, to be held from June 8 to 13, will include several activities coordinated by BIST to promote the visibility and recognition of women researchers and to bring science closer to the city’s schools.
Next Generation EU Projects
In the second part of the meeting, the representatives of the seven BIST centres presented to the mayor the projects in which they are involved in the framework of the Next Generation EU initiative. Specifically, they explained the objectives of the Program to promote the screening of new drugs and systems for their selective and controlled delivery, coordinated by IBEC with the participation of CRG and IRB Barcelona; the program Towards a European Quantum Internet, coordinated by ICFO with the participation of about twenty organizations and companies, including the BIST centres ICN2 and IFAE; the program Advanced technologies for the exploration of the universe, coordinated by IFAE; the program On-site correlative installation for advanced materials for energy, coordinated by coordinated by the Alba Synchrotron with the participation of ICN2; the program Alternative protein sources and improvement of resilience and sustainability of agriculture and livestock, led by IRTA with the participation of the CRG; and the program Promotion of green hydrogen and renewable energy for industrial and mobility uses, coordinated by the University Rovira i Virgili (URV) and in which ICIQ participates very actively.
The mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, appreciated the opportunity to discuss the most cutting-edge research projects being promoted by BIST and reiterated the City Council’s commitment to research. For his part, the president of BIST, Andreu Mas-Colell, highlighted the commitment of BIST and its member centres to put research excellence at the service of society to provide solutions to the great challenges we face in areas such as health or energy and environmental sustainability, which are critical for the future of large cities like Barcelona.
The Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST) is a leading multidisciplinary research institution that encompasses seven Catalan research centres of excellence. BIST promotes collaboration among the members of its diverse scientific community with the aim of playing a leading role in pushing the frontiers of science and becoming a world reference for training and developing outstanding research talent.