Navarrabiomed hosted at its headquarters the closing day of Refbio II, the second phase of the network of cross-border biomedical research of the Pyrenees, which brought together representatives of nine network partners (research centres, hospitals, universities and businesses), as well as the professionals from biomedical industry. Approximately one hundred professionals from participating regions were present (Aragon, Basque Country, La Rioja, New Aquitainia, Occitania and Navarre). They were able to learn about 20 developed projects and their obtained results.
The opening day started with the participation of Izaskun Goñi, General Director of Economic, Business and Labour Policy of the Government of Navarre; Olga Irastorza, President of the cross-border CCI Bihartean and representative of the Project Interreg POCTEFA Competitiv’eko, and Marisol Fragoso, Director of management at Navarrabiomed and leader of the initiative Refbio since the beginning of its journey in 2012.
Since its creation, Refbio aimed to consolidate cross-border cooperation in biomedical research, and during this second phase, greater emphasis has been placed on innovation, exploitation and transfer of results.
In this context, throughout the 2016-2019 period, 49 research groups have been involved in the development of 20 projects: 7 research projects and 13 innovation and technology transfer projects. These initiatives, which belong to the areas of cell therapy, oncology, neuroscience, genetics, epidemiology, cardiovascular, infectious diseases, health technologies, biobanks and clinical trials, have contributed to the creation of 23 new hires of personnel by partner entities.
In addition, in Refbio II, two interregional collaboration workshops were held in Bilbao and Toulouse, involving more than 300 professionals from biomedical sector. Amongst attendees were representatives of 20 companies, which established more than 100 contacts for the development of new cross-border collaborations.
Plenary conference on Cancer Research
During the closing day, intervened the specialist in molecular Biology and bioinformatics Mr. Xose M. Fernández, currently Director of data at the Institut Curie (Paris), France’s reference centre for cancer research and treatment. Fernandez has focused on the “tsunami” of clinical, molecular and genomic data generated by patients today and how to approach this clinical information to determine the best therapeutic options. During his session, he also announced several specific innovative methods and tools that are developed in his work centre and their application in the oncology field.
The programme has also set aside time for research management. This topic has been addressed by Juan E. Riese, National contact point of the Health Institute Carlos III, who has reported on new opportunities for financing Health R & I, and the key aspects of the upcoming European competitive calls.
More about Refbio
After seven intense years of networking, Refbio has achieved its goal by engaging professionals from both sides of the Pyrenees in the development of joint projects in the field of biomedical research. From now on, the network will maintain the channels of communication and contact created during the two phases to develop multi-centric initiatives.
The second phase of Refbio has been co-financed by 65% by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) within the framework of the Programme Interreg V-A Spain-France-Andorra (POCTEFA 2014-2020). The objective of POCTEFA is to reinforce the economic and social integration of the Spain-France-Andorra border area. Its support focuses on the development of cross-border economic, social and environmental activities through joint strategies for sustainable territorial development.
Partner entities of the second phase of Refbio:
• Navarrabiomed – Foundation Miguel Servet – project leader.
• Health Research Institute Biodonostia (BIODONOSTIA).
• Health Research Institute Biocruces (BIOCRUCES).
• University Hospital Centre of Toulouse (CHU Toulouse).
• Biomedical Research Centre of La Rioja (CIBIR).
• Health Cluster Osasuna of Aquitaine.
• Basque Foundation for Health Research and Innovation (BIOEF).
• Aragone Institute of Health Sciences (IACS).
• University Toulouse III – Paul Sabatier (UPS).