The Institute of Bioengineering of Catalonia is a leading-edge multidisciplinary research centre based in Barcelona that conducts excellent interdisciplinary research at the frontiers of engineering and life sciences in order to generate new knowledge by putting together fields like nanomedicine, biophysics, biotechnology, tissue engineering and the applications of health information technology.

The model envisaged by IBEC is inspired by a creative, innovative new ecosystem based on interaction between research experts in different technologies (nano-bio-info-cogno) to generate new knowledge and engineering solutions in health technology.

The knowledge that exists in the IBEC research groups is structured in three broad avenues of knowledge: nanomedicine, cellular and tissue engineering and ICT for health. These are placed at the service of science and society to progress in three major research programmes, namely:

  • Bioengineering for future medicine, with the aim of developing technology that goes beyond the existing paradigm of medical care in hospital to incorporate new areas such as personalize medicine, optopharmacology, biomimetic materials and diagnosis and therapies based on mechanobiology.
  • Bioengineering for active ageing, with the aim of developing care and technology to meet the needs of an increasingly ageing population. Biomedical engineering can contribute greatly to improving the quality of life of older people. Assisted living technologies such as mobile health (m-health) solutions including home-based devices and services for – remote monitoring, consultation and diagnosis – can help support independent living at home, keeping patients out of hospital and residential care for longer.
  • Bioengineering for regenerative therapies, with the aim of developing regeneration technology to allow the creation of implants able to bring about the regeneration of damaged tissues or organs and to develop cell therapies.

IBEC was formally set up in 2005 by the Departments of Innovation, Universities and Enterprise and Health of the Government of Catalonia, the University of Barcelona and the Technical University of Catalonia, but started its research activities in 2007 with the first IBEC Bioengineering and Nanomedicine Symposium.

In just ten years IBEC has positioned itself among the best research centres in bioengineering at an international level. The major results obtained by IBEC’s research groups, which can be summarized in the quality of scientific publications (commonly appearing in the highest impact journals) and the 13 prestigious ERC Grants developed at the institute have resulted in international recognition of IBEC as a leader in mechanobiology, nano-characterization at molecular and cellular levels, nanomedicine for diagnostics, biomaterials for regenerative medicine, and biomedical signals.

IBEC’s excellence has been acknowledged by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness through its Severo Ochoa Award, which labels IBEC as one of Spain’s top research centres at the highest international level in terms of research, training, human resources, outreach and technology transfer.