11th Barcelona Cognition Brain and Technology summer school taking place at IBEC’s newest location

More than thirty students from all over the world have arrived at the UPC Campus Diagonal-Besòs for the 11th Barcelona Cognition Brain and Technology summer school (BCBT2018), an annual event co-organised by IBEC’s SPECS group.

As in previous years, the summer school has invited top speakers in the fields of brain research, cognitive science, neuroscience, and artificial intelligence, including Tony Prescott from the University of Sheffield, who’s co-organiser of the event alongside SPECS group leader Paul Verschure and senior researcher Anna Mura. This year, the event is also supported by the Human Brain Project.

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Horizon Europe revealed – but budget could be bigger

The European Commission has published its proposal for the next framework programme in research and innovation, Horizon Europe.

Succeeding Horizon 2020, Horizon Europe will run from 2021 to 2027 and aims to strengthen science and technology in the EU to help tackle the major global challenges of our time. The framework programme is based on the conviction that Europe’s success increasingly depends on its ability to transform excellent scientific results into innovation that will have a beneficial impact on the economy and quality of life, and create new markets with more skilled jobs.

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IBEC an ‘outstanding’ example of H2020 success

IBEC is listed as an ‘outstanding’ Spanish research centre for Horizon 2020 funding in a recent report published by the Centro para el Desarrollo Tecnológico Industrial (CDTI).

The institute, which coordinates eight H2020 projects and is a partner in two more, appears in the table ‘20 asociaciones de investigación más destacadas por retorno en H2020’ (pictured) in the CDTI’s ‘Participación española en Horizonte 2020: Resultados provisionales (2014-2017)’. This report presents the facts and figures behind the participation of Spanish universities, research centres, companies and other organisations in the EU’s current framework programme, which took over from FP7 in 2014.

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ESOF provides a showcase for COMIET project

This week IBEC group leader Elena Martinez is in Toulouse for the EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF), the largest interdisciplinary science meeting in Europe, where she is taking part as a speaker.

Elena, who heads IBEC’s Biomimetic systems for cell engineering group, was invited to take part in the ‘Growing mini-organs on a petri dish: myth or reality’ session by the ERC, which funds her COMIET project with a Consolidator grant. COMIET aims to engineer epithelial tissue models that mimic the physiological characteristics found in the human intestine. Around 40 of the ERC’s grantees have been invited to take part in the funding body’s sessions at ESOF this year.

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BBVA funds IBEC research into more efficient cancer drug delivery systems

An IBEC project has won funding from the BBVA Foundation under its ‘Ayudas a Equipos de Investigación en Biomedicina’ funding programme.

ICREA research professor Samuel Sánchez’s Smart Nano-Bio-Devices group will receive the support for three years to develop their project ‘MEDIROBOTS: Precision nanobotomy against tumors’.

The project will develop biocompatible robots driven by enzymes with applications as drug release systems whose progress in vitro and in vivo can be traced using advanced molecular imaging techniques such as super-resolution microscopy.

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Tackling challenges to research excellence

Last month IBEC Director Josep Samitier was one of the panelists in a round table organised by the Cercle de Salut, an association devoted to improving the health system so that it may respond adequately to the challenges posed by society.

In the discussion at the Parc de Recerca Biomèdica de Barcelona (PRBB) entitled ‘L’excel·lència en la recerca, reptes immediats’, Josep and the other participants – ISGlobal director Antoni Plasencia and IrsiCaixa director Bonaventura Clotet – discussed the current situation of biomedical research in Catalonia. In particular, the hot topic under discussion was the impact that recent regulatory and administrative changes may have on its competitiveness.

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Prize for IBEC in Technology Transfer competition

An IBEC project pitch won third prize in a Technology Transfer Competition at last week’s Onco Emergence Forum.

The project, which is the brainchild of IBEC group leader Pere Roca-Cusachs and proposes the targeting of tumor mechanics to develop new drugs for oncology, specifically with pancreatic cancer in mind, was pitched by IBEC Technology Transfer manager Diana Gonzalez at the meeting on Friday.

Diana, involved in the project from its onset, was one of twelve finalists chosen to present in six-minute pitches to a panel of judges. The project was shortlisted because of its solid focus on an unmet medical, market or patient need, and because it proposed using innovative technology to create a product or service.

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IBEC researchers take to the stage at second BIST conference

Today more than 300 researchers are meeting at CosmoCaixa to debate the latest scientific advances in cutting-edge fields at the yearly conference of the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST).

The gathering, promoted by the “la Caixa” Banking Foundation – which currently holds the vice-presidency of the BIST Board of Trustees – kicked off with a keynote speech by US scientist Barry C. Barish, winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics, entitled ‘Gravitational Waves: From Einstein to a New Science’.

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IBEC researcher presents the state-of-the-art of advanced materials for 3D bioprinting

IBEC group leader Javier Ramón presented the state-of-the-art in 3D printing of biomaterials at a workshop organised by CatalunyaBio & HealthTech last week.

At ‘IDEACIÓ: Connecting CataloniaBio & HealthTech and Advanced Materials’ held at the headquarters of INNOVAMED in Barberà del Vallès on Friday, Javier presented the new and potential advanced materials being used in 3D bioprinting in the area of regenerative medicine.

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IBEC at the 12th Festival de la Ciència

Last weekend IBEC participated in Barcelona’s twelfth Festival de la Ciència with a host of activities.

Kicking off IBEC’s proceedings on Saturday morning were some activities led by the SPECS group, starting with the workshop ‘Biomimetic Robots to Understand Our Behavior’, which offered a glimpse at the way robotics can help us study aspects of brain function, such as learning, and our behaviour. SPECS’ robot, Nao, was one of the volunteers helping to run the workshop.

Attendees could also try out the group’s Rehabilitation Gaming System, a virtual-reality tool that helps restore motor activity and cognition after a brain injury.

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