The biohealth sector is key for economic develoment

The biohealth sector is key for economic develoment

Salamanca boasts a significant number of researchers.

The biohealth sector is key in the economic and social development of Spain and of Castile and Leon. Salamanca is an area with a longstanding and important tradition in research and development. One of our research centres, IBFT (combined with CSIS) originated in the Institute of Microbiology-Biochemistry, founded by professor Julio Rodriguez Villanueva 40 years ago.

This was followed by the Neurosciences (1998) and Cancer, also combined with CSIS, (2000) Institutes, and most recently IBSAL. Altogether, and including the work done by student researchers in the different departments at USAL and the faculties and centres in the area of biohealth, we have a significant number of researchers.

We must also highlight our collaboration with the hospitals of Salamanca in joint research projects, and our collaboration in teaching material, as well as the increased collaboration in different areas of knowledge within the University, which allows researchers in fields unrelated to bio-sciences, such as engineering or computing, to join multidisciplinary teams and promote high impact solutions or innovations with very good prospects in the form of patents and collaboration with business partners.

The strength of the University of Salamanca biohealth research groups is evidenced by the fact that among the Units of Consolidated Investigation accredited by the Regional Government of Castile and Leon in September 2015, 15 of those in the biohealth sector are led by researchers from Salamanca, representing 30% of the total amount at our university and 12% of the total number of groups of the entire public R&D system in all of Castile and Leon.

This information can be corroborated by other internal data, given that among those who responded to the call for Programme XIII at the University of Salamanca, which finances the activities carried out by the research groups, the vast majority with accredited publications in some of the most prestigious journals in the scientific world, such as “Nature” and “Science”,  are from the field of biohealth. This has occurred in calls from the Regional Government of Castile and Leon, the Government of Spain, and the European Commission, through such programs as Horizonte 2020, in which we have already presented a number of important projects, the majority of which were coordinated by USAL. The same situation is also present at an international level through such programmes as Interreg, among others.

In a field such as biohealth, collaboration is critical. This is why the University of Salamanca promotes cooperation among its research centres and departments with hospitals, and in particular with the Health Centre Complex of Salamanca. The role of IBFG, IBSAL, INCYL and CIC is fundamental and is paying off.

The biohealth sector is key for economic develoment
The biohealth sector is key for economic develoment

This activity also leads to an increase in business activity. In fact, it is not surprising that the University would put in place a bioincubator in the Science Park to foster the creation of businesses focused on the area of biohealth. Nor is it surprising that to this day new companies in the sector are headquartered in the park. Their role extends beyond the generation of economic and work activity – their relationship with USAL encourages the launch of joint projects in which they work together with our groups and centres, making it possible to create solid projects that can access important funding, and to implement initiatives which, without a joint effort, would be entirely unfeasible.

It would be good to have more information about the biohealth companies currently located in our Science Park:

The biohealth activity in the Science Park in Villamayor occupies more than 600 square metres along the five different spaces throughout the facilities. The Science Park provides these companies with fully equipped laboratories with scientific-technological furnishing and equipment to assist in the development of their lines of research, thus minimizing the initial investment required during the first steps in developing a new company, and promoting the development of their respective lines of research. Services include pick up and processing of any waste generated in the laboratories of our buildings. Special rates for research support services are offered from the Nucleus Platform. Direct, permanent and priority contact with USAL research groups specific to this field. Management of researchers from different fields and biohealth degrees on placement and scholarship.

Inmunostep Develops, produces and markets reagents and diagnostic devices for their use in cytometry.

Have also created a series of technology platforms to detect soluble markers using flow cytometry. At present, they have more than 850 different product references in their catalogue for specialities such as immunology and hematology.

Cenit Created within the Science Park bioincubator, they offer support services for research in areas such as genomics, proteomics and microbiology, using cutting edge techniques in molecular biology.
Innovagenomics Created as a spin-off with a biotechnology basis focused on providing genetic diagnostic tools in the field of hereditary and onco haematological diseases.
Intropharma Consulting firm targeting the pharmaceutical sector and specializing in the design of installations for sterile laboratories, as a result of their experience in the sector.
Kapiott Medical Oriented towards obtaining high resolution medical images for early detection of cancer. Received USAL Emprende 2015 award.
Vivia Biotech International company with headquarters in Malaga and Madrid dedicated to what technicians refer to as Screening: scanning thousands of drugs directly in blood samples of patients.
Abiocisa Specialised in the area of food safety, they offer water, food and surface analysis services, pest control, and the prevention and treatment of legionella, among others.
Biorama Created from a joint effort of biologists, biochemists, veterinarians, engineers, chemists and pharmacists, among others, the company serves and a laboratory to study water and food, including the use of chromatography as an analysis technique.
Neurofix Created in 2014, the company works to obtain molecules adapted to the treatment of pathologies in the central nervous system, such as spinal cord injuries. To do so, they work with various compositions, some in experimental phases with animals.

Additional advantages provided to all businesses in the Park include financial and accounting services, assistance in preparing a business plan, business advice, assistance with international tenders, participation in trade shows and events, priority access to services available at the University of Salamanca, entrepreneurship and leadership training, special access to Park infrastructure and the University, advertising through different channels of communication at the Park, and contact with institutions.

Report published in La Gaceta de Salamanca Sunday 22 May.


The biohealth sector is key for economic develoment
The biohealth sector is key for economic develoment







Juan Manuel Corchado

Full Professor in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence, Department of Computer Science and Automation, University of Salamanca, Spain.


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