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Interbio or how to promote international technology cooperation networks

This spring saw the close of Interbio, a collaboration project carried out by five European regions: 18 transnational interdisciplinary research projects, a map of technological platforms and workshops to promote synergies. The second part of the project, Transbio Sudoe, will begin in 2013.


By Isabel Muntané

This spring saw the close of Interbio, a collaboration project carried out by five European regions with funds from the European Commission’s ERDF under the Interreg program. Bordeaux, Catalonia, Lisbon, Toulouse and Valencia have participated in this project in the Sudoe area (southwest Europe) of transnational cooperation that aims to boost sustainable growth and development by driving innovation projects. Since 2009, when the Interbio program was started, participative dynamics have been established that have led to fruitful networking through joint projects, training seminars, a trimestral magazine and a website, and to interregional socialization among researchers and businesspeople from the sector.

The Interbio project was born out of the need to promote innovation and the creation of lasting, large-scale technology cooperation networks that would allow for the use of shared platforms in the life sciences arena. This project to internationalize technology transfer has, over its two years, promoted transnational interdisciplinary research, fostered sharing of technology resources and boosted public/private collaboration to promote the transfer of research results. “The well-coordinated efforts of the various bodies working on this project has made the results of these two years truly satisfying,” explains Nerea Alonso, project director in the Innovation Department at Biocat, the organization that coordinates Catalan representation in the project in collaboration with a scientific committee made up of representatives from the Barcelona Science Park, Autonomous University of Barcelona and UAB Research Park.

Thus, 18 transnational interdisciplinary research projects have been carried out, seven in Catalonia, which have covered various topics of science and technology including regenerative medicine, nanomedicine, bioinformatics, structural biology and drug discovery. The research projects conducted in Catalonia include Invasiveness of pneumococcal serotypes and clones circulating in Catalonia during heptavalent conjugate vaccine period carried out with support from a research group in pediatric infectious diseases from the Sant Joan de Déu Foundation through a stay with the Institute for Chemical and Biological Technology (ITQB) Molecular Microbiology of Human Pathogen Group; Exploring delta-aromatic carboxamide foldamers and alpha-peptides compatibility, led by the Barcelona Science Park (PCB) with the aim of exploring the compatibility of quinolone and peptide folding modes; and Nanochannels for single molecule studies led by the ITQB research group.


More than 250 researchers in the 1st Interbio Week, last June 2011.

Under the framework of developing technology platforms set out by Interbio, various actions have been carried out to establish a solid policy for shared use of development and technology platforms for the life sciences field including the creation of a map of platforms, included in the Biocat Directory, which already features 81 platforms and facilities. An initiative that, for Nerea Alonso, “not only raises awareness of the network of platforms and facilities in the zone but also helps it expand and develop around the world and allows for improved training of researchers.” Biocat has promoted this research through more than 100 training, research and mobility grants to participate in training sessions, events and exchanges among technology platforms and joint research projects. Thus, over the past year, the 50 grantees were able to participate in the Frontiers in Protein Research Symposium in Lisbon; the 4th Young Scientist Symposium in Bordeaux and the 1st Interbio Week in Bordeaux.



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Biocat has organized a number of workshops, scientific seminars and symposia over these two years.