MicroBioMap, led by an IBE research team (CSIC-UPF), has been one of the projects that has obtained financing. The Pla Barcelona Ciència aims to reinforce the scientific net of the city.
On Friday, February 7, the seven research and innovation projects that the Barcelona City Council, through the Institute of Culture and with the participation of "la Caixa", selected under the Pla Barcelona Ciència, were published. The projects will aim to nurture the scientific net of the city, with a global endowment of one million euros.
The MicroBioMap project directed by Ricard Solé and Núria Conde, researchers in the Complex Systems group at the Institute for Evolutionary Biology (IBE:CSIC-UPF), was one of the selected ones in the call. The team will analyze the ecosystem of microorganisms in Barcelona in order to understand their environmental impact and to design strategies that improve the health of citizens.
Projects had to fall into one of these thematic areas: aging and quality of life, and mobility and the respect and protection of the environment.
Research centers, universities, companies, healthcare institutions, public, private and third sector entities are among the 25 beneficiary organizations that will receive grants to execute a total of 7 research projects over the next 18 months. The requirements of the projects applying for one of the subsidies included the involvement of a minimum of three applicant organizations, of which at least one must have a registered office in the municipality of Barcelona and two must be in the field of research. In addition, projects had to be included in one of these two thematic areas: aging and quality of life, and mobility and the respect and protection of the environment.
Special value has been given to those projects that have companies or entities of the third sector within their applicant group, as this combination tightens the link between the world of research and society, as well as fostering the transfer of knowledge, scientific culture and citizen participation in science activities.
The project will involve the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) and Fab Lab Barcelona. Microbiomap analyzes the ecosystem of microorganisms in Barcelona in order to understand their environmental impact and to design strategies that improve citizens' health. To do this, they will develop an open map of the microbiome of the city by means of a genetic analysis of 500 samples distributed between all the city districts. The sampling location will be coordinated so that the data can be linked to environmental pollution, the development of pregnancy and childhood, or healthy aging. The ultimate goal is to achieve ecological models that can improve global health through innovative interventions, such as the incorporation or recovery of beneficial microorganisms.
In this first edition of the grants, 189 organizations presented a proposal, grouped in 57 projects. The call has resulted in 21 winning entities, 7 funded projects and an investment of € 900,000. With this investment in favor of research, the City Council reaffirms its desire to give the city a new impetus as a European scientific capital.