In Spring 2014, the new Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias (Central University Hospital of Asturias, HUCA) opened its doors. With its singular architecture and conceptual design, the facility is equipped with cutting-edge diagnostic and therapeutic technology, complemented by fully-digitised systems, this being the first paper-free hospital in Spain. A defining feature of modern hospitals is how they combine the highest level of care, teaching and research. That is why, a few months before the HUCA opened, the Fundación para la Investigación e Innovación Biosanitaria en Asturias (Foundation for Biomedical Research and Innovation in Asturias, FINBA) was established, whose Board of Trustees includes representatives from the Principado de Asturias (Asturian Regional Government), Universidad de Oviedo (University of Oviedo), Ayuntamiento de Oviedo (Oviedo City Council) and ten private companies.
On 5th April 2016, the Principado de Asturias, Servicio de Salud del Principado de Asturias (Asturian Health Service, SESPA), Universidad de Oviedo and FINBA – the managing organisation that also provides the Institute with legal personality and public-private financing – signed a Cooperation Agreement to create the Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria del Principado de Asturias (Health Research Institute of Asturias, ISPA). At almost exactly the same time, a building of over 4,000 m2 was inaugurated in the immediate vicinity of the HUCA, with dedicated spaces for research laboratories, shared services and research platforms.
This agreement highlighted the growing importance placed at a national and international level on creating research institutes and networks that are focused on excellence and able to facilitate more efficient research. Spanish legislation provides for the creation of health research institutes that bring together hospitals, universities and various public and private research bodies, with the objective of providing a scientific grounding for programmes and policies of the Sistema Nacional de Salud (Spanish National Health System). This legislation underlines the need to integrate private initiatives into the research efforts of public bodies through agreements that facilitate public-private support for a range of projects and activities in the fields of research, development and innovation.
One of ISPA’s core objectives is to perform cutting-edge work in research and innovation through interdisciplinary collaboration not only within the biomedical sciences but with technology sectors, which enables a reduction in the time taken for laboratory findings to be applied to patients or to the development of products that are suitable for marketing. To achieve this aim, ISPA has a range of research groups that make an international-level impact in their subject area.
More than 800 professionals from a range of disciplines work at ISPA. They are organised into six research divisions and two cross-disciplinary divisions that include a total of 50 groups, of which 29 are consolidated, 10 are emerging and 11 are associate groups. While many groups involve researchers from several of ISPA’s member organisations, including professionals from other hospitals in the region, such as the Hospital Universitario de Cabueñes and Hospital Universitario San Agustín, 28 research groups are assigned to the HUCA, 15 to the Universidad de Oviedo and 7 to the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (Spanish National Research Council, CSIC). In addition, ISPA has an active Primary Healthcare division, including 21 working groups and over 150 professionals.
In the near future, we expect the combined effort of ISPA’s research groups to have a ripple effect upon their local environment, making a positive contribution to building a knowledge-based economy while further improving the tangible results of an Asturian public health service that is already highly valued.
Carlos Suárez Nieto (Scientific Director of ISPA)
- Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias (HUCA) y Edificio ISPA-FINBA
Avda. Hospital Universitario s/n, 33011 Oviedo, Spain
Telephone: +34 985108000
- Facultad de Medicina (Faculty of Medicine), Universidad de Oviedo
Av. Julián Clavería, 6, 33006 Oviedo (Campus del Cristo), Spain
Telephone: +34 985103530
- Departamento de Bioquímica (Department of Biochemistry), Universidad de Oviedo
Calle Doctor Fernando Bonguera, s/n (Campus del Cristo), 33006 Oviedo, Spain
Telephone: +34 985103666
- Facultad de Química (Faculty of Chemistry), Universidad de Oviedo
Avenida Julián Clavería, 8 (Campus del Cristo), 33006 Oviedo, Spain
Telephone: +34 985103430
- Unidad de Bioterio e Imagen preclínica (Vivarium and Preclinical Imaging Unit), Universidad de Oviedo
Calle Catedrático José María Serrano s/n (Campus del Cristo), 33006 Oviedo, Spain
- Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología del Carbono (Institute for Carbon Science and Technology, INCAR-CSIC)
Calle Francisco Pintado Fe 26, 33011 Oviedo, Spain
Telephone: +34 985119090
- Instituto de Productos Lácteos de Asturias (Dairy Research Institute of Asturias, IPLA–CSIC)
Paseo Río Linares, s/n, 33300 Villaviciosa, Spain
Telephone: +34 985892131
- Centro de Investigación en Nanomateriales y Nanotecnología (Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology Research Center, CINN-CSIC)
Av. la Vega, 4-6, 33940 El Entrego, Spain
Telephone: +34 985733644