Brett Hetherington

Banner photos: Cornelia Kraft

The science of successs in Barcelona

[This short article was first published in the new Monocle Guide to Barcelona.]

Reimund Fickert, project director at the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB), points to a plethora of businesses and projects that make Barcelona a European hotspot for biotechnology.

“Almost 50 new firms have set up here in the past decade and we now have six independent research centres with close to 1,400 people from 52 different countries working on the site.”

He puts PRBB’s success down to a change in clinical research methods across the pharmaceutical and medical industries that now emphasise biotech, and heavy local government investment in facilities and infrastructure since the 1990s.

“We have some of the most sophisticated imaging technology in Europe so when the King of Spain got sick last year he came to Barcelona for specialist treatment,” he says.