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IRB launches a fundraising campaign with a dance video featuring its scientists



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Scientists at IRB Barcelona have produced a dance video that aims to boost awareness of their research into medical advancements, treatments and search for cures, as well as to advance recruitment efforts of new scientists and graduate students, and attract much-needed philanthropic support.

“This is a pioneering initiative in Europe for a centre devoted to basic research. Using a fun, friendly, and community-spirited approach, we highlight the fundamental role that science plays in society’s well-being, and take a look at some of the critical work that we do at IRB,” explains Joan Guinovart, founder and director of the institute, which was set up in 2005.

See video #IRBdances

Today the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) has launched an innovative video ­– featuring its scientists as dancers. Departing from formats more traditional to research institutes, the YouTube video is a key element in a viral fundraising campaign aimed at raising awareness and support for IRB Barcelona and its activities as a world-class research centre devoted to understanding fundamental questions about human health and disease.

The video is accompanied by a three-pronged fundraising campaign that aims to help ensure that the video goes viral. For each viewing of the video on YouTube, IRB will receive a donation from its sponsors (*see full list below), who in addition to covering production costs of the video, have pledged contributions in direct support of IRB research. Donations can also be made by texting IRBBARCELONA to 28014 (in Spain only**), and via IRB Barcelona’s website (

The hope is that the more exposure this video achieves, the more interest and support there will be for IRB’s critical work in biomedical research, from students and scientists from across the world, future sponsors, and society at large.

The communications campaign will be especially focused on social networks, through IRB Barcelona channels on YouTube, on Twitter with the hashtag #IRBdances, on Facebook and on LinkedIN.

IRB, “Safe and Sound”

Members of IRB Barcelona groove to the rhythm of “Safe and Sound”, a popular song produced in 2011 by the North American band Capital Cities and whose reproduction rights have been granted by Sony/ATV and Universal Music.

The 5-minute video was recorded in various locations: in IRB Barcelona labs (located at the Barcelona Science Park), and also in emblematic settings in the city—thanks to the support of the BCN Film Commission of the Barcelona City Council. The dance routines are interspersed with direct messages from the scientists about the key research challenges at IRB: cancer and metastases, Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases and diabetes.

Coordinated by the Office of Communications and External Relations at IRB, the video has taken a year to produce and included three days of rehearsal and five days of filming. It involved an international team of professionals and was produced by Heidi Berger (Montreal, Canada) and co-produced and directed by Richard Santiburcio Miranda at Fiction Films Barcelona (affiliate of Fiction Films in Munich, Germany), with choreography by Sergi Orduña and Úrsula Aguilera. Volunteers, secondary school students in the “Crazy About Biomedicine” training programme and IRB Barcelona personnel also participated in the video.

“The medicine of the future starts here”, motto of the Institute

The video also feature children and older members of our society to highlight the intergenerational aspects of research. “The cutting-edge research that we do here will play a role in determining the drugs and technologies available in the future. Research concerns everyone and benefits everyone and that is why we are inviting people to take an interest in and support our activities,” says Joan Guinovart.

About IRB Barcelona

With 23 research labs and 7 in-house scientific platforms and more than 400 people covering 36 nationalities working there, IRB Barcelona is one of the largest biomedical research centres in Spain. It holds 7 ERC Grants, the most competitive European research awards, and it develops around 154 scientific projects. Eleven of its 23 group leaders are ICREA Research professors and two hold ICREA Academia titles (ICREA is run by the Catalan Government). IRB Barcelona publishes an average of 200 papers yearly, of which 80% appear in scientific journals of high impact (Quartile 1: Q1).

Since its creation by the Catalan Government and the University of Barcelona in October 2005, IRB Barcelona has produced three spin-offs: Omnia Molecular—technology for new antibiotics, Iproteos—drugs for diseases such as schizophrenia, epilepsy and Parkinson’s, and Inbiomotion— prognoses for breast cancer metastasis. As part of it commitments to scientific training, in 2012 IRB Barcelona launched the yearly programme “Crazy about Biomedicine” for baccalaureate students. This initiative, sponsored by the Catalunya-La Pedrera Foundation has met with great success. Another of the consolidated activities run by IRB is the “Barcelona Biomed Conference” series, funded by the BBVA Foundation. The 26 conferences held to date have involved the participation of more than 3,500 international scientists.

IRB Barcelona was given the distinction of Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence—an award presented to the most competitive centres in Spain—in the first edition of this call by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness in 2011, and in 2012 it was presented with the Narcís Monturiol Plaque by the Catalan Government, in recognition of scientific merit.


Banc Sabadell
Sanofi (in support of diabetes research)
Fisher Scientific
PanReac AppliChem ITW Reagents

With the collaboration of:

Barcelona Science Park
*S,C,P,F (Pipo Virgós and Toni Segarra)
Mateu Hernández and Barcelona Global
320c&m (Gloria Codinas and Eduard Abadía)
Sony/ATV  Music Publishing (Spain)
Universal Music Spain
Barcelona Film Commission, Barcelona City Council

**Servicio de SMS solidario operado por Altiria TIC,, y la Asociación Española de Fundraising,, nº. atn. clte. 902 00 28 98, apdo. correos 36059 – 28080 Madrid; colaboran Movistar, Vodafone, Orange, Yoigo y Euskaltel.

About IRB Barcelona

The Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) pursues a society free of disease. To this end, it conducts multidisciplinary research of excellence to cure cancer and other diseases linked to ageing. It establishes technology transfer agreements with the pharmaceutical industry and major hospitals to bring research results closer to society, and organises a range of science outreach activities to engage the public in an open dialogue. IRB Barcelona is an international centre that hosts 400 researchers and more than 30 nationalities. Recognised as a Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence since 2011, IRB Barcelona is a CERCA centre and member of the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST).