The Alliance of Health Research Institutes accredited by the ISCIII celebrates its third birthday

There are currently 34 Health Research Institutes accredited by the ISCIII throughout Spain

The Alliance of Health Research Institutes (IIS) accredited by the Carlos III Institute of Health (ISCIII), of which IRBLleida is a member, has just celebrated its third anniversary in November 2019. It is a forum for joint work between the IIS, biomedical research centres whose core are health centres and hospitals of the National Health System; its aim is to generate and transfer multidisciplinary knowledge to respond to the health needs of people and, ultimately, contribute to a fairer and more open society based on knowledge.

There are currently 34 ISIs accredited by the ISCIII, distributed throughout Spain, following the recent incorporation of the Galicia Sur Health Research Institute, with its centre in Vigo. These 34 IIS bring together 176 centres (hospitals, health centres, universities, research centres, companies...) and more than 24,000 researchers in the field of biomedicine and health in Spain, and are the link between the scientific, academic and health care systems. This model of institutes, in which researchers carry out their activities in the same physical environment, next to the care areas of National Health System centres, and in close proximity to citizens, has been in existence for 13 years.

In 2009, the first five Health Research Institutes were accredited, and by the end of 2010 the number had reached ten. In 2011 another six were added; two more in 2012; another four in 2014; seven in 2015; in 2019 another three were incorporated; in 2021 another was added, and this year has reached the number 34, a figure that is expected to continue growing in the coming dates with the incorporation of those institutes that meet the necessary criteria, to continue expanding the IIS model and to continue enriching the Alliance and progressing in the development of its objectives.

The Alliance of IIS is currently developing reports that address six topics, prioritised by their impact: Internationalisation; Data Management; Incorporation of non-scientific actors in the activity of the IIS; Integration of the management of the scientific activity of the research groups attached to the IIS; Incorporation of research in Primary Care and Nursing Care, and Dissemination of Science in non-scientific fields. Knowledge generated and forthcoming publications.

Knowledge generated and forthcoming publications

These working groups continue the work of others, generated in the last three years, which have given rise to public reports on Professional careers of researchers in IIS, Strategies to facilitate the development of Open Access in the IIS, Gender perspective and Review of indicators for monitoring the activity of the IIS. In the same way, the reports derived from the working groups formed this year within the Alliance will be disseminated in the first months of 2023.

After the start of its activity at the end of 2019, the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 set other priorities and thus slowed down the development of the Alliance. In 2021 it resumed and reinforced its activity, and throughout this year 2022 it has consolidated and renewed its objectives of boosting biomedical and health R&D&I in a coordinated manner, orienting the scientific policies of the IISs to the European research framework, internationalising its work perspective, renewing synergies and advancing in the participation of the IISs in the definition of the ISCIII's lines of action.

In line with one of the objectives of the working groups, the accredited ISIs are focusing on gender equality policies. All of them are developing their own equality plans and, on the road to greater parity, there are already 10 female scientific directors in the institutes, compared to just two at the beginning of the Alliance. According to Pilar Gayoso, deputy director of the ISCIII and head of accreditation and monitoring of the IIS, "the Alliance will continue in 2023 to advance in achieving its objectives, aimed at enhancing the scientific capabilities that Spain has in biomedicine and health sciences, through cooperation between institutions, to consolidate an international leadership position of contributions to scientific knowledge that leads to improved health and quality of life for people, and contributes to a fairer society based on participation and knowledge".

Further information:

IRBLleida is an ISCIII-accredited centre. Image: Institute of Health Carlos III (ISCIII)