On March 15, 2006, the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB) was inaugurated with the promise of becoming the main player in biomedical research in southern Europe. Over the last 10 years, this initiative of the Catalan Government, the City Council of Barcelona and Pompeu Fabra University has succeeded in providing an open scientific infrastructure that allows the institutes at the park to perform internationally competitive biomedical research. The figures for scientific activity including 1,200 publications and 300 conferences per year or EU funding are outstanding, and the PRBB ranks alongside some of Europe’s top universities and research institutes. In just ten years the park has proven itself worthy of its place in this biomedical “Champions League”, competing for and attracting promising talent from all over the globe, and consolidating itself on the world map of biomedical research.
The six independent research organisations located in the PRBB form an inter-institutional coalition and are connected to one another via the open-plan layout with shared spaces. They represent a critical mass of 1,500 people from 50 countries, cutting-edge technical and scientific services, an incredible diversity of research perspectives ranging from molecules to populations, and internationally recognised scientists.
Jordi Camí, General Director, sees the PRBB in the future “with a reputation equal to or better than it is today, and the desire to adapt to future technological changes. Staying the same would be a failure. Maybe the centres will be different, and the distribution may alter, but it will remain an international framework for excellent research.”
Commemorative video: #10PRBB in Youtube
On Thursday May 5, the PRBB celebrated its 10th anniversary. In a moving ceremony attended by numerous figures from the political and scientific arenas, Ian Mattaj, director of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), stressed that the PRBB has been at the forefront of biomedical research in Europe, attracting international talent and increasing the sum of knowledge facilitated by interdisciplinary research. “The new Francis Crick Institute which will open this year in London is the British answer to the PRBB”, joked the Scottish scientist.
Jordi Camí, general director of the park looked back over the past decade at the PRBB “the best place for biomedical research in Spain, and possibly in southern Europe”. Arcadi Navarro, Secretary of Universities and Research from the Catalan government, highlighted the role of Camí in the creation of this great project. Jaume Casals, director of the University Pompeu Fabra, and Malmusi Davide, Director of Health at Barcelona City Council, closed the event held in the PRBB Auditorium with 250 attendees.
Then it was time for the birthday party in the PRBB’s inner square. The park’s orchestra and choir entertained everyone in an emotional afternoon for all involved, topped off by cake and champagne to celebrate ten years of successes.
Flickr: Images of the celebration