CaixaResearch Institute, a new health and life sciences research and innovation centre

The ”la Caixa” Foundation has promoted the creation of a new research centre specialising in life sciences and health, whose activity will revolve around three key strategic objectives: international excellence, strong support for innovation and transfer, and bringing science closer to society.

Factsheet


Geographical scope: Spain and Portugal, Europe, global.
Source: ”la Caixa” Foundation.

1. Context

For over a hundred years, the ”la Caixa” Foundation has been supporting biomedical and health research as a key pillar of its philanthropic activity which strives in the pursuit of social wellbeing. With the aim of tackling new tendencies that affect the biomedical research field, and of strengthening its commitment to research with the greatest social impact, the ”la Caixa” Foundation has launched a new transformative project with its creation of the CaixaResearch Institute.

2. Debate

The CaixaResearch Institute will be progressively developed over the next four years. Physically it will be located in Barcelona, it will cover a surface area of over twelve thousand square meters and will host over three hundred researchers. It will house top-class laboratories and equipment, which will enable it to retain local scientific talent and attract international talent. The investment that the ”la Caixa” Foundation plans to assign to constructing the new building and equipping it is in the region of sixty million euros.

The new institute is founded as a catalyst to be incorporated into the pre-existing value chain with a strong translational vocation. Its research activity will revolve around infectious diseases, global health, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and neurosciences, seeking complementarities and synergies with research centres with which it currently maintains a strategic collaboration. Specifically, four research centres will become part of the initiative and dubbed CaixaResearch Associated Centres: the Barcelona Global Health Institute (ISGlobal), the AIDS Research Institute (IrsiCaixa), the Vall d’Hebron Oncology Institute (VHIO) and the BarcelonaBeta Brain Research Centre (BBRC).

The CaixaResearch Institute will be built on land neighbouring the CosmoCaixa Science Museum, forming a science campus that will link research of international excellence with the experience of one of Europe’s finest science museums in bringing science closer to society. In line with the best practices of centres of excellence, the CaixaResearch Institute will endeavour to promote a research culture that places emphasis on scientific integrity, responsible research and innovation, and open science, as well as on policies of equality, new models for scientific evaluation, assessment of the social impact of research and accessibility of results.

3. Conclusions

The new centre consolidates and strengthens the ”la Caixa” Foundation’s support for leading-edge research and innovation. The ”la Caixa” Foundation Research and Health programme is one of the most important among those developed by philanthropical organisations in Europe, and last year, the organisation assigned 66 million euros to health and research programmes. Highlights among these, as well as strategic collaborations with state-of-the-art centres, include competitive research calls in health, the promotion of knowledge transfer, and the founding of new biomedical businesses through specific innovation calls.