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The Sant Pau Biomedical Research Institute (IIB Sant Pau) has just been accredited by the Ministry of Science and Innovation (Micinn) as a healthcare research institute, which allows them to join the network of research institutes linked to the National Health System and is an external recognition of their excellence in research.

The Micinn decided in favor of the report presented by the Evaluation Committee, before the Carlos III Health Institute, which is the healthcare science and technology accreditation body for this process. This accreditation is established by Royal Decree 339/2004 to foster associations of universities, public research bodies and other public and private research institutes in the National Health System, and thus build multidisciplinary and multi-institutional organizations.

The IIB Sant Pau, was created in 1992 as an association of healthcare bodies that carry out their own research, including the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau Healthcare Management Foundation, the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau Private Foundation, the Santa Creu i Sant Pau Research Institute, the Catalan Institute of Ageing, the Catalan Cardiovascular Sciences Institute (ICCC), the Puigvert Foundation, the Blood and Tissue Bank, the Cochrane Iberoamerican Center, the Sardenya Primary Care Team, the Barcelona City Council Public Health Agency and the Autonomous University of Barcelona.
The Sant Pau Biomedical Research Institute aims to become an international center of excellence in translational research and innovation. It starts from a solid base, ranked fifth in Spain in terms of scientific productivity, and has published articles in prestigious journals, participated in international collaborations, and has the necessary resources:

  • 6,000 square meters of space,
  • 7 themed research areas, 
  • 6 science/technology services platforms to support top-notch research,
  • more than 400 basic and clinical scientists, 
  • more than 60 research groups and 
  • more than 80 active projects.

Currently, the center is leading research projects in 7 priority therapeutic areas: cardiovascular diseases; genetic, metabolic and inflammatory diseases; hematological and oncological diseases; neurological, mental and age-related diseases; uronephrology and experimental surgery; public healthcare and services; and the molecular, genomic, mobile and cinetodynamic basis of diseases and their treatment.

This year, open innovation with i2HealthSantPau

The IIB Sant Pau has recently created its own innovation and transfer unit to facilitate technological transfer of research created in the center and promote collaborations with the industry. The center has signed patent licensing agreements with three companies from the biotech sector (Genetrix, Athena Diagnostics and Digna Biotech) and is in the process of applying for four additional patents. The first spin-off has been created by researchers from Sant Pau (Argon Pharma).
Moreover, IIB Sant Pau, in collaboration with the i2CAT Foundation, has built an open innovation center on the hospital grounds, focusing on information technology applied to healthcare and dependency, called i2HealthSantPau. Through the Living Lab methodology, the center has 400 square meters to carry out projects promoted by teams of doctors, engineers and patients, among others. These projects can be funded through public calls or by the private sector.  The management team moved facilities last week —as they explained on Twitter (@2HealthSantPau)— and the center will begin to offer its services in the second quarter of this year.
Platforms available to scientists and companies
The IIB Sant Pau makes their science and technology platforms available to the science and business communities. These include advanced confocal and fluorescent micsocopy services; genomic, proteomic, transcriptomic, cytometric and immunohistochemical services; a biobank and an experimental in vivo platform. They also have a Medication Research Center (CIM-Sant Pau), which is devoted to carrying out Phase I clinical research and is a member of CAIBER (Spanish Network of Clinical Research Facilities).
Currently, the center is working on a nuclear magnetic resonance imaging and nuclear medicine platform, as well as a platform to evaluate spontaneous and stimulated neurophysiologic activity, neurophysiologic reactivity and sleep alterations. It is also preparing a white room for advanced cell therapy trials.
New research buildings

The Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau Private Foundation has received financing from the Council of Europe Development Bank, through "la Caixa" and the Ministry of Health, to build new research and innovation buildings. The first stage of the project, which encompasses 18,000 square meters, will be inaugurated at the end of 2014, bringing together all the IIB Sant Pau research activity. A second stage, with 10,000 additional square meters, will be funded through a loan from the European Investment Bank, which is pending confirmation.
With these new facilities, Sant Pau, which is one of Barcelona’s oldest hospitals, will be able to increase its research activity, gain critical mass, attract talent and strengthen its position as a leader in quality scientific production.

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