Quique Bassat will be the new Director General of the Barcelona Institute for Global Health

Bassat will succeed Antoni Plasència, who has held this position since October 2014.

The Board of Trustees of the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) has appointed Quique Bassat as the new Director General of the institution. Bassat will succeed Antoni Plasència, who has led the institution since October 2014.

A paediatrician and epidemiologist, Quique Bassat is ICREA Research Professor and Director of the Malaria and Neglected Parasitic Diseases programme at ISGlobal, as well as Associate Professor at the University of Barcelona and researcher at Hospital Sant Joan de Déu. Throughout his professional career, which has included long stays in the Manhiça Health Research Centre (CISM), in Mozambique, he has combined his clinical work with biomedical research on infectious diseases affecting the poorest and most vulnerable populations, with his two main areas of interest being childhood malaria and respiratory infections (bacterial or viral).

“I am honoured and thrilled by this opportunity that the Board of Trustees has given me,” says Bassat. “ISGlobal plays a critical role in advancing global health and equity, and I look forward to continuing to work with the incredible team of professionals that make up ISGlobal in my new role to further our positive impact around the world.

A rigorous selection process

On behalf of the Executive Committee of ISGlobal’s Board of Trustees, a selection committee made up of experts appointed by the Board of Trustees, with the support of the CERCA system of the Generalitat de Catalunya, carried out the selection process for the new director through a public and international call for applications. From the list of applications received, a group of highly qualified candidates were interviewed to assess their scientific solvency, management skills and strategic proposals for ISGlobal. Quique Bassat was the unanimous choice because of his proven scientific, clinical and translational track record and his commitment to ISGlobal’s mission and values. His experience in the field, his ability to lead multidisciplinary teams and his innovative vision were key aspects in the Committee’s final assessment.

In relation to the change of Director, the Board of Trustees expresses its deep gratitude to the outgoing director, Antoni Plasència, for his strong commitment and exemplary leadership, and expresses its full confidence in his successor, Quique Bassat. “Through a rigorous selection process we have chosen the best candidate to lead this new cycle. The “la Caixa” Foundation is proud to continue to support ISGlobal in its strategy to address the major global health challenges and promote equity in health through excellence in research and the transfer and application of knowledge”, said Javier Solana, Chairman of the Executive Committee of ISGlobal.

CITISYSTEM sustainable urban solutions present in the Smart City Expo World Congress

The project is to support regions and cities in promoting the bio-based circular economy

The CITISYSTEM consortium has been present in the Smart City Expo World Congress, the biggest event for cities and urban innovation, held in Barcelona from 7-9 November.

Catalan agents and stakeholders involved in the European project CITISYSTEM gathered on 9 November 2023 with representatives from all other CITISYSTEM partner countries at the Smart City Expo World Congress to learn from a dissemination event where experiences, good practices, and new strategies to strengthen circular bioeconomy were shared.

As presented by Katerina Medkova, CITISYSTEM’s Lead Partner from LAB University of Applied Sciences, Finland, the project aims to develop circular bioeconomy on the systemic and stakeholder levels and, by sharing knowledge and potential solutions, allow everyone to capitalize on already tested solutions.

Sharing Catalan Expertise

In representation of the Department of Climate Action, Food, and Rural Agenda, Miriam González showcased the 2030 Catalan Bioeconomy Strategy (EBC2030), defining it as an opportunity to advance toward economic, social and environmental sustainability while guaranteeing territorial balance.

EBC2030 is coordinated by a cross-cut technical unit and fosters complicity between stakeholders to take actions such as spearhead R+D+i and technological transfer, encourage the use and consumption of bioproducts, bioenergy, and biomaterials, or strengthen the role of the administration to adapt policies in favour of circular bioeconomy,

Already in motion, the 1st Action Plan focuses on improving forest management, creating resilient agroforestry landscapes, and recovering coproducts and byproducts from the food chain and livestock dejections and organic waste to be reused as, for instance, biogas and biomethane or innovative organic fertilizers.

Representing Strategic Planning of the Catalan Waste Agency, Director Francesc Giró addressed Catalan policies regarding waste collection. In 1993, Catalonia’s Waste Law already obliged its citizens to separate biowaste: then, separate biowaste collection was 1.4%; in 2022, it had risen to 47.2%. Nevertheless, there are still many challenges to overcome: from advancing in efficient separate collection systems in large cities and densely populated municipalities to facing the appearance of compostable materials in the collection and treatment of biowaste.

Thus, as of 2023, a new law is being drafted on waste prevention, management, and efficient use of resources, and a Circular Economy Roadmap is being developed to tackle these challenges and continue taking steps toward a greener society.

Towards a better future

The event concluded with a dynamic round-table moderated by Lluis Rovira, CERCA’s director, and Maria Jäppinen, LAB’s communication officer, who put forward insightful and thought-provoking questions that sparked debate and left everyone involved invigorated and motivated to continue working towards creating healthier and more sustainable cities for future generations.

Presentation of the Citisystem Project at the Smart City Expo World Congress