The agreement signed between the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST) and the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) signals the go-ahead for a new research and innovation complex of 46,000 square metres, with 1,200 researchers in the fields of biomedicine, biodiversity and planetary welfare, helping to boost the Ciutadella area as a leading hub for knowledge in Europe.
The leasehold agreement for an area of 3,000 square metres, agreed with the BIST and the UPF, will allow for the construction of a complex with three buildings, along with an underground area for collaborative work and parking:
The Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology will have a building here bringing together its biomedicine researchers to study high-impact pathologies, such as viruses and cancer and their relationship with their environment.
Work at this centre will be conducted in collaboration with the city’s most important hospitals.
Evolutionary biology to preserve biodiversity
The Institute of Evolutionary Biology is tasked with researching the past and present of living beings to understand how biodiversity works and to protect it.
The new building will enable the institute’s 130 researchers to work together and to be better coordinated. In addition, new science programmes will be opened up on conservation and the evolution of behaviour.
Planetary welfare as a tool for human well-being
This UPF building will act as an international meeting point for health projects, global challenges and technology to analyse the relationship between people’s well-being and the environmental balance and legitimacy of institutions.
Work on the complex will be in various stages, starting in April 2022 and due to be completed in 2025.
Sustainable and regenerating complex
The new buildings will be constructed according to sustainability criteria, including:
- Comprehensive management of water, waste and energy.
- Use of recycled and recyclable materials.
- Reduction of energy demands.
- Exploitation of natural light.
- Vegetation which helps regulate the microclimate.
- Architecture to integrate with the environment.
The creation of the new complex was approved by the Full Council on 26 March.
A city backing science
The new research and innovation complex comes in addition to other measures to strengthen scientific research in the city:
- Hypatia European Science Prize.
- Increased funding for research project, with an extra 2.4 million euros.
- New agreement with the Fundació “la Caixa” to create a new laboratory.
- Subsidies for research on ageing and quality of life, the environment and mobility.
These projects are included in the Barcelona Science Plan 2020-2023.