“Barcelona has become a European hub in the field of neuroscience”

On Thursday 13 June, the Representation of the European Commission in Barcelona and the Department of External Action and European Union (DEXT) organized a conference on the strategic European projects being promoted in Catalonia. Among the attendees were representatives of the European Commission and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, as well as members of the Government of Catalonia and heads of the main industrial and research projects.

In his speech, the Rector of the University of Barcelona, Joan Guàrdia, stressed that around 12% of Catalan scientific production is related to applied neuroscience and that the major public research institutions are involved in this field: the UB, the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, the Pompeu Fabra University, the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, the University of Lleida, the August Pi i Sunyer Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBAPS), the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL), the Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA), Hospital Vall d’Hebron, Hospital Sant Pau, Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, Hospital de Bellvitge, Hospital Sant Joan de Déu, among others.  

“The architecture of the brain is the fundamental paradigm for explaining a large part of the cognitive states and behaviour of human beings”, said the rector. He pointed out that many of the entrepreneurial initiatives that have emerged in the field of health are related to non-invasive diagnostic techniques for the cognitive functions of the brain. This field currently involves more than seventy-five neuroscientific research groups and some 950 people, with doctoral students playing a key role, given that at least 800 of them are dedicated to this field.

Rector Joan Guàrdia highlights Catalonia’s contribution to the field of applied neuroscience in front of 200 experts and institutional representatives.

In front of such influential attendees, Guàrdia highlighted the role of the UB as a committed and leading player in this field and, at the same time. He also stressed the importance of improving coordination in research in this area: “in the next twenty years, health research will have to face the double challenge of perfecting minimally invasive diagnostic technologies and developing the cognitive maintenance of the brain for healthy ageing”.

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