The French General Consul in Barcelona, Cyril Piquemal, visited ISGlobal on March 11 with the aim of learning more about the institution and fostering further collaborations and synergies with French institutions. The visit forms part of an effort by the French Consulate to strengthen ties between research centres in Catalonia and France.
Antoni Plasencia, ISGlobal General Director and Rafael Vilasanjuan, director of Policy and Global Development, underscored the institution’s interdisciplinary and translational character and its public-private partnership model. In turn, Joana Porcel, research coordinator, presented the different research programmes, while Quique Bassat (ICREA researcher) and Azucena Bardaji (researcher in Maternal and Child Health) briefly described projects and training activities carried out in partnership with French institutions.
The Consul, who was advisor on International Cooperation and Development Aid for the French Government between 2006 and 2008, underlined the importance of reinforcing European collaboration to face global health challenges including public health emergencies, as well as the need to help strengthen health systems in low-income countries. In this regard, “there are opportunities of interacting with French entities at multiple levels of ISGlobal’s activities, from research to implementation or advocacy,” he said, and he proposed a series of actions to increase ISGlobal’s visibility in France and identify possible synergies, particularly with regard to global development.
The event ended with a visit to the laboratories in the Esther Koplowitz Building, led by Cara Ballesté, coordinator of the Antimicrobial Resistance Initiative, where the challenges related to drug innovation were raised.