Skip to main content



Executive Summary:
The BIOCAPS project was granted with 4.6 million € within the REGPOT 2012-2013 call (EUFP7). It had only one beneficiary, the Institute of Biomedical Research of Vigo, that is a joint research institute composed by the Galician Health Government (Sergas) and the University of Vigo. It started in February 2013 and finished in July 2016. It is not a research/scientific project.

Initially, the areas involved in the project were:

Neurological Sciences and Rare Diseases
Infectious diseases, Inflammation and Immunity
Endocrinology, Metabolism and Nutrition
Biomaterials, Tissue engineering and Regenerative Medicine
New tools in Diagnosis and Therapy
Aging and Cardiovascular diseases

In 2015, the Institute of Vigo changed and two institutes from South Galicia (Ourense and Pontevedra) merged in a unique institution. Due to this fusion, the new Biomedical Research Institute of South Galicia (IBI) was created. As a result, the critical mass of the Institute doubled to more than 500 scientists. As an integral part of this process, the research areas at IBI were reorganized as follows:

Neuroscience and psychiatric diseases
Inflammatory and infectious diseases and immune disorders
Metabolism, nutrition and genetic diseases
New technologies, biomaterials and tissue engineering
Large system diseases, ageing and regenerative medicine
Health system quality and efficiency, patient safety and health economics
Advanced magnetic resonance-bases clinical diagnostics. Diagnostic imaging

The project was organized in six work packages:

WP1 Management and Coordination
WP2 Recruitment of experienced researchers and managers
WP3 Twinning activities and acquisition of research equipment
WP4 Technology Transfer and Innovation Capacity Building
WP5 Dissemination and promotional activities
WP6 Ex-post evaluation

An Executive Committee, a Coordinator and a Project Manager supervised the proper development of the project.

Project Context and Objectives:
The Institute of Biomedical Research of South Galicia (Spanish acronym IBI) has the goal of promoting basic, applied and translational research in the biomedical field. The main objective of BIOCAPS project is to strengthen a national Institute of Excellence in Biomedical Research, bringing together the needs of the Health Service and the scientific and technological offers, tackling the challenges of the society through biomedical research and innovation. All activities were directed to this goal and to increase the critical mass and lines of research through the incorporation of senior scientists and equipment, collaborations with the leading research centers of Europe, and to develop technology transfer activities. The expected impacts of the BIOCAPS projects were: the increase of the quality and quantity of the research developed in the Institute, a closer interaction between basic and applied researchers, and more innovation (patents licenced, protocols, etc). The Institute started to become a dynamic actor of the European Research Area (ERA), by creating a focused research core in a region that is considered highly strategic due to its socio-economic conditions.

The BIOCAPS project established a route map with a series of specific objectives aimed at achieving its overall goal: to position the Institute as a centre of reference of Biomedical Research. These specific objectives were:

- Attraction and incorporation of talent
- Collaboration and exchange
- Acquisition of equipment
- Implementation of Technology-Transfer and Innovation protocols
- Diffusion and Dissemination for higher visibility

European and Regional context:

The Galician Government is making an effort to boost the biomedical sector, and has established the Health sector as a priority in its RIS-3 Strategy.

In Galicia, there is a high degree of scientific specialization, which highlights the Galician universities and hospitals. One of the challenges of RIS3 focuses on "New model of healthy life founded on active aging of the population." IBI’s groups work aligned with the priorities set out in this document, mainly with the number 9 and 10:

Priority 9: Active aging
Objective 9: Galicia has 23% of population over 65 years, so this line is presented as essential when speaking of the socio-economic impact. Galicia aims to position itself as a leading region in southern Europe in applying new technologies to the field of active aging and healthy life and promotion of personal autonomy.
RIS3 highlights the need to develop new products related to aging and healthy life, biotechnology products with high added value linked to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry or health and social services, issues that link directly with the main lines of IBI.
Priority 10: Nutrition-Food.
Objective 10: Diversification of Galician food sector to position it as an international innovation around nutrition as a key element for a healthy life.
In the RIS3 Strategy reflects the urgent need to support the generation of added value around nutrition, functional foods or food adapted for stage and unique life conditions (obesity, diabetes or hypertension). In addition, it is made special emphasis on improving production processes to ensure safety, quality and consumer confidence. To enhance this priority, some IBI researchers study the functional foods with antioxidants and probiotics, nutritional precursor synthesis, the study of the microbiota, and there is a specific area dedicated to obesity and metabolic diseases.

Relationship between Galicia and Northern Portugal in the framework RIS3 (biomedical field).
It is important to highlight not only the impact that IBI research has on Galicia , but also its relationship with the Strategy on Smart Specialization Galicia-North of Portugal, pioneering region in Europe in establishing smart strategies border. The Institute’s proximity with Portugal favors mutual relations.

Project Results:
First, it is relevant to mention that this project is not an R&D project and there are not results and foregrounds of Science and Technology. The REGPOT programme did not support research. Its equivalent in H2020 is the programme Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation.

Here are presented the project’s main results divided by Work Packages:

WP1 Management and Coordination

• The Coordinator, WPLs and PM worked together in order to carry out the Ex Co meetings
• The Annual Steering Meetings were organized successfully. Previously to the meetings, all the necessary documents were prepared and submitted to the members of the Committee in order to prepare the meeting having the information in advance.
• A database, with information of all participants, was created and updated periodically.
• A database including other entities that could be interested in the outcome of the project were also included. A search of other organizations and centers was made periodically.
• A Quality Policy was created. It was a key document for the management of the project. The Key Indicators are included in the QP. An Excel sheet was created in order to register the indicators
• The Work Package leaders have embraced their roles. They have successfully undertaken the responsibilities derived from the management of their WP and from the Ex Co.
• The PM and the Coordinator met, in general terms, once per week . Otherwise, nearly daily communication via e-mail occurs for the day-to-day run of the project.
• As stated in the proposal of the project, the PM created the templates to keep the semestral track of the development of the project.
• The Executive Committee met periodically.
• The Coordinator, WP leaders and PM carried out Self-evaluations of the project where they included and analyzed: the development of the project, problems detected solutions.
• The PM to collect the documents for the submission to the EC and reviewed the quality of the reports, in order to check the coherence of the data and the fulfilment with the EC rules and requirements.
• Every six months, the PM in collaboration with the WPLs, made an analysis of the financial data.

WP2 Recruitment of experienced researchers and managers

All senior researchers, technician and managers were recruited as planned in the project: seven senior researchers, one Technician for the Flow Cytometry facility, one Project Manager and one Innovation and Technology Transfer Manager.
In 2015 there were detected specific staff needs and it was necessary to hire new personnel in order to maximize the results of the BIOCAPS project and the impact of this project in the IBI. A Community Manager and a Project Management Assistant were recruited.
Once the project finished, seven hired people continued working for the Institute. One researcher, moved to the private sector.

WP3 Twinning activities and acquisition of research equipment

All the research equipment was acquired, installed and into operation. The list is the following:
• Fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS)
• Software-bio-bank management
• Ultrafreezer racks for cryopreservation
• Laser microdissector
• AFM-Raman system
• Orbitrap mass analyzer

Twinning activities were carried out with the advisory centres to establish new contacts and strengthen exchange relationships with leading European research centres. These visits have allowed to improve and know new protocols, therapies and techniques. There were performed seventeen short stays, six long stays and two Incoming visits.
The tutor centres were:

• MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (Cambridge, UK)
• German Institute of Nutrition (Postdam, Germany)
• Paris Institute of Myology (Paris, France)
• Institute of Diabesity and Obesity (Neuherberg, Germany)
• Physiopathology Centre of Toulose-Purpan (France)

Our researchers organized twenty Scientific Seminars. They were really successful and national and international figures of the biomedical field participated on them.

• 1st Scientific BIOCAPS SEMINAR: “Interdisciplinary science on Biomedicine”. Presentation of Senior Researchers incorporated to the IBIV through BIOCAPS. At the Hospital Xeral. (12/06/2013)
• 2nd Scientific BIOCAPS SEMINAR: “Recent advances on systemic lupus erythematosus”. At the Hospital Meixoeiro.(04/10/2013)
• 3rd Scientific BIOCAPS SEMINAR: “Bioinspired materials for tissue engineering”. At UVigo. (25/10/2013)
• IBIV Annual Workshop, 1st International Congress on Biomedical Research & Innovation. At the Hospital Meixoeiro. Vigo (21-22/11/2013).
• 4th Scientific BIOCAPS SEMINAR: “Seminar on Chemistry and Cancer”. At UVigo.(20/12/2013)
• 5th Scientific BIOCAPS SEMINAR: “Seminar on Epigenetic Mechanisms in Human Diseases”, at UVigo (30/06/2014)
• 6th Scientific BIOCAPS SEMINAR: “Basic and clinical strategies to study multiple sclerosis”, at UVigo (24/10/2014)
• 7th Scientific BIOCAPS SEMINAR: “Advanced Nanomaterials for Bioapplications”, at UVigo (24/10/2014)
• 8th Scientific BIOCAPS SEMINAR: “Open Galician Cardiovascular Innovation. From Research to Market”, at Aldán- Cangas (29/10/2014)
• IBIV Annual Workshop, 2nd International Workshop on Biomedical Research & Innovation, Vigo (20-21/11/2014).
• 9th Scientific BIOCAPS SEMINAR: “Discovery of targets for therapy: The case of aldo-keto reductase”, at UVigo (19/12/2014)
• 10th Scientific BIOCAPS SEMINAR: “Approach to the senior researchers work”, at University of Vigo (25/02/2015)
• 11th Scientific BIOCAPS SEMINAR: “Infants' disorders”, at Hospital Xeral de Vigo (7-8/05/2015)
• 12th Scientific BIOCAPS SEMINAR: “Rare diseases”, Colegio Médico de Vigo (15/05/2015)
• 13th Scientific BIOCAPS SEMINAR: “Melatonin and the circadian system: role in health and diseases”, at the University of Vigo (29/05/2015)
• 14th Scientific BIOCAPS SEMINAR: “Cancer genomics”, at the Sede Afundación, Vigo (04/06/2015)
• 15th Scientific BIOCAPS SEMINAR: “Comprehensive view on infectious diseases. Recent advances”, at the Sede Afundación, Vigo (19/06/2015)
• 16th Scientific BIOCAPS SEMINAR: “Frontiers in cardiovascular imaging: focus on aterosclerosis”, at the Álvaro Cunqueiro Hospital (02/10/2015)
• 17th Scientific BIOCAPS SEMINAR: “Trastornos relacionados con el alcohol. Una perspectiva clínica, experimental y económica”, at the Álvaro Cunqueiro Hospital (06/10/2015)
• 18th Scientific BIOCAPS SEMINAR: “Metástasis cerebrales. Un enfoque multidisciplinary para el abordaje clinic”, Baiona (09/10/2015)
• IBIV Annual Workshop, 3nd International Workshop on DIABESITY new strategic targets and incretins, Vigo (22-24/10/2015).
• 19th Scientific BIOCAPS SEMINAR: “Epidemiology in inflammatory bowel disease”, at the Álvaro Cunqueiro Hospital (07/11/2015)
• 20th Scientific BIOCAPS SEMINAR: “First Joint Neuromeeting IBI-ICVS”, at the Álvaro Cunqueiro Hospital (11/11/2015)

Three Annual IBI Workshops were organized:

• 1st IBI Workshop on Biomedical Research & Innovation

• 2nd IBI Workshop on Biomedical Research & Innovation. TOPIC: Aging

• 3rd IBI Whokshop: Diabesiy: New strategic targerts and incretins.

Infodays and Events on H2020 and International Programs financed by BIOCAPS:

Several managers and researchers have attended twelve info-days and other events related to R&D international programs.

WP4 Technology Transfer and Innovation Capacity Building

WP4 of BIOCAPS project was designed to Increase the Capacity of the Institute for Technology Transfer and Innovation to be able to translate the research results of the institution to the Society in a competitive way.
A total of 12 patents, seven of them awarded, have been managed in the framework of the BIOCAPS project.
The Innovation Manager, in order to achieve the main goal of the Institute related with this WP, designed different key documents for the IBI:
• A technology transfer model
• Benchmark documents
• A Technology transfer model
• An Innovation Strategy
• A portfolio of analysed patents and technology transfer
• Policies for the creation of spin-off companies
• Framework for the collaboration between public and private sector
The Innovation manager and the WP 4 leader attended to several fairs and conferences related to innovation where contact with different companies of the sector and other Research Institutions were made. Relevant conferences:
• Technology Transfer Training Programme 2014 - Fundación Barrié
• Galician Health Administration School Foundation (FEGAS) training course: Generation of Ideas and conceptualization of Innovative projects
• eHealth Congress 2014
• Annual Conference of the Spanish Biomedical Research Technological Platforms (Platform for Innovative Medicines)
• TTS Europe 2015 & Entente Health Final Conference
• Intellectual Property Management and Open Innovation in Health/Life Science
New protected technologies developed at the IBI were described in Technology Offer leaflets. These leaflets are published in the identified technology marketplaces and are also sent directly to target companies previously identified for each technology.
All contacted companies are listed in a document of fast search, in order to quickly identify target companies when a new technology is disclosed. This list is dynamic, as it is continuously updated with new companies or changes in staff.

Six seminars have been organized in to improve non-scientific skills of IBI researchers.

WP5 Dissemination and promotional activities

The general objective this WP was to promote, disseminate and reinforce results of the BIOCAPS project among other international Biomedical Research Centres, relevant industrial tissue, society and public in general.
A Communication Plan was designed in order to position IBI as a centre of excellence in which innovation and other areas in the Biomedicine field were promoted.
They were created a project’s website and Social Networks:
• :
• Youtube ( )
• Flickr ( )
• Facebook ( )
• Twitter ( )
• LinkedIn ( Biom%C3%A9dica-5143890

The BIOCAPS project covered the expenses of 32 researchers that attended, as speaker or with posters, at different conferences or workshops
Several meetings and conferences were organized to specific and general public in order to increase the critical mass. Here are listed those events that are not listed in WP3 and WP4.

▪ Kickoff Meeting (18/02/2013), Venue: Centro Social NovaCaixaGalicia (Vigo).
▪ Presentation of the BIOCAPS Project at Hospitals: “Sesiones de Investigación e Innovación. Presentación del Proyecto BIOCAPS”
▪ BIOCAPS in Brussels: A research potential capitalization exercise: thematic workshop on capacity building. Starway to excellence. “BIOCAPS”. Specific talk inside the meeting, by invitation.
▪ BIOCAPS Final Conference

BIOCAPS and Horizon 2020:
▪ Horizon2020, a new programme for Research and Innovation in Europe. Specific Talk inside the IBIV Annual Workshop
▪ Horizon 2020: Oportunidades de financiamento da I+D en saúde. Specific event in the Hospital Meixoeiro

▪ “Phosphorylation based signaling networks mediate the effect of ligand affinity of the activation of naïve primary T cells” by Mónica Carrera Mouriño (Marie Curie postDoc).
▪ “Tecnología de Vanguardia: aplicación en Biomedicina” Visitors from the Hospitals and the University.
▪ “A investigación biomédica en Vigo”. Visitors from High Schools: CEIP Escultor Acuña, CEIP Carba.
▪ “Estudio de interacciones moleculares” Resonancia de plasmones de superficie. By Pilar Canoa Román, expert on SPR technology.
▪ Seminar on Communication for scientists.
▪ Workshop on Communication skills for scientists.
▪ “Raman Spectroscopy”
▪ “Basis and Applications of Flow Cytometry and Cell Sorting”, Workshop at Hospital Meixoeiro
▪ International day of inmunology, Children’s Workshop.
▪ “A investigación biomédica en Vigo”. Visitors from High Schools: CEIP CarballaL and Esc. Acuña.
▪ “Futuras Terapias Experimentales en la Enfermedad de Alzheimer”; by Eva Carro of Instituto de Investigación Hospital 12 de Octubre (i+12) y CIBERNED.
▪ “La enfermedad de Alzheimer: preguntas y respuestas”, Open debate.
▪ “Citometría de Flujo y Separación Celular”, Workshop at the University of Vigo
▪ International Day of Immunology 2015. Bibliotecas municipales y ayuntamientos.
▪ “A investigación biomédica en Vigo”. Visitors from High Schools: CEIP CarballaL and Esc. Acuña.
▪ “Tecnologías de vanguardia en biomedicina: Orbitrap (ion trap mass analyzer) y SPR (Surface Plasmon Resonance”,
▪ “Scientific Communication: Getting Started Writing & Speaking”.

The following are the promotional materials and dissemination items handed out in the main events organized:
▪ Pens
▪ Notebooks
▪ Posters of official acts
▪ Promotional banner
▪ Leaflets (diptychs)
▪ Bookmarks
▪ Folders
▪ Briefcases

A set of audiovisual materials for dissemination of the research and the activities developed by the members of the project are being carried out:
▪ Corporative and promotional video of the BIOCAPS project.
▪ 6 videos of the research areas involved in BIOCAPS (description of the groups, main research lines, activities, ...)
▪ “3 Questions in 5 minutes”: Interviews of relevant participants of the BIOCAPS events.
▪ Summaries of the main events organized by BIOCAPS (Seminars, workshops, conferences, ...)

All these materials are uploaded to the project’s Youtube channel.

WP6 Ex-post evaluation

The main achievements of this WP were to obtain a positive the evaluation of the project and recommendations to establish a clear future of the Institute. The evaluation was performed by an External Committee fixed by the European Commission (through the figure of the Project Officer).
The evaluation committee was composed by: Costas Iacovou (Chair, Cyprus), Dr. Judith Schafer (Germany), Dr. Miguel Oliveira (Portugal) and Dr. Ruth Sepper (Estonia).
The coordinator, the WP leader and the Project Manager supported the Committee during the process. They provided the requested documentation and organized their visits and stays in Vigo. They were permanently in touch with the evaluators.
The Committee visited Vigo twice:
• First visit: 12-15 April 2016
• Second visit: 27-30 June 2016
Dr. Oliveria, visited additionally on 20 June and met with the Steering Committee.
The evaluation results and the recommendations were presented to the Authorities of the University:
• Prof. Asunción Longo, Vice Chancellor of Research
• Phd Luis Leon, delegate from the Galician Ministry of Health

The document of evaluation provided by the Committee was classified as Confidential, but it can be mentioned that it was a positive evaluation.

Potential Impact:
It should be reminded that the BIOCAPS project does not imply R&D activities that is why there were not specific activities for the exploitation of Scientific and technological results.

BIOCAPS was designed to strengthen the IBI, a national Institute of Excellence in Biomedical Research. Its work packages covered all needs and weaknesses of the institute and provided solutions to better the biomedical research in Galicia. During the execution of BIOCAPS, a new scenario around the IBI was being drawn: merger of Biomedical Institutes and Foundations in South Galicia, new location of the headquarters of the IBI to a new hospital and expansion policies at the IBI. All this, together with the BIOCAPS activities, has contributed to the generation of an improved IBI with greater research capacity and infrastructures on the basis of a context focused on biomedical research.
The implications for society of this new scenario are the following:
- To promote the rationalisation of research, investments and infrastructures in South Galicia, avoiding duplications and stimulating synergies between different research lines and areas.
- To create and maintain qualified jobs, encouraging the concentration of experienced researchers in Galicia.
- To increase the scientific and research force and the application of research results to the daily needs of the hospital.
- To bridge differences between administrations, allowing them to converge and pool their efforts towards a common goal, namely to generate knowledge, establish common valorisation mechanisms and improve patient diagnosis and treatment.
- BIOCAPS has promoted the transfer of technology between the IBI and industry. Thanks to the project, some Galician enterprises have taken advantage of the research conducted at the IBI, resulting in an improvement of the technological capacity of these enterprises and of their competitiveness.
- Through the twinning activities, the research capacity and quality of the IBI and the partnering centres could be enhanced.
- The visibility of the IBI improved both at a regional, national and international level. This was possible due to the organisation of scientific and non-scientific seminars and workshops, participation in national and international research networks, as well as through an intensive effort in publishing scientific papers in referred journals.
- The enhanced research capacity of the IBI has allowed its researchers to join and lead international scientific networks, as well as to get involved in European projects and create joint patents with other research centres.
In conclusion, BIOCAPS had a big impact as it had enabled the IBI to carry out activities that could not have been conducted otherwise. BIOCAPS has been the starter of a more internationalised, more professionalised and more extended IBI. It settled a new way of management of research and work dynamics at the institute, whose positive effects will extend beyond project completion.
It can be affirmed that the project has acted as a catalyst to enhance the innovation capacity of the IBI. Through the work packages, the strategical weaknesses of the Institute have been addressed and the IBI has become a national and international reference research centre.
Thanks to BIOCAPS, it was possible to enhance the experienced work force at the IBI. New senior researchers, specialised technicians, an innovation manager, a project manager and a community manager and a project management assistant were recruited, increasing the critical mass as well as the research potential of the Institute. Furthermore, the professionalization of the innovation and technology transfer has led to a better management of the innovation at the IBI. The innovation manager has created the basis to the promotion of an effective innovation, technology transfer and intellectual protection. A proof of that is the fact that BIOCAPS has reinforced the approach among the IBI and the industry by collaborating in some technology transfer projects with Galician enterprises.
Moreover, the innovation potential of the IBI has been enhanced due to the acquisition of new research infrastructures, as well as due to the new emplacement of the Institute at the new Alvaro Cunqueiro Hospital. Moreover, new facilities in the University Campus such as the Biomedical Research Center (CINBIO) and the Bio Experimentation Service will also help to increase the research potential.

List of Websites:
Youtube ( )
Flickr ( )
Facebook ( )
Twitter ( )
LinkedIn ( Biom%C3%A9dica-5143890 )