Science attracts Spain. Spain takes its first important steps towards a knowledge-based economy in the premier league of European research
Michela Bertero is Scientific Project Manager for the Systems Biology Programme at the CRG.
The Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB) in Spain does not resemble the usual research institute (Fig 1). Located on the waterfront, the sophisticated oval building with its wooden panels and open balconies that face the beach looks like a residential or office building rather than the home of, among other facilities, the Centres for Genomic Regulation, for Regenerative Medicine, for Research in Environmental Epidemiology, and the Institute of Advanced Technology. The people of Barcelona took considerable interest in the building and those residing within it during the first PRBB open day in October 2008. Parents, students, passers-by and tourists visited the laboratories, extracted DNA from kiwi fruit, talked with the scientists and enjoyed refreshments, while they were shown the ways in which their tax money is being spent on scientific research. More recently, on June 16, INDAGANDO TV launched its web-based television channel (http://www.indagando.tv)â€”the first Spanish channel dedicated exclusively to scientific communicationâ€”that offers news, features and debates, including special reports on women in science. INDAGANDO and the PRBB are just two visible examples of the confidence and optimism that accompany Spain’s growing interest and investment in science.