We would like to welcome you to the Biodonostia Health Research Institute, the first institute for health research in the Basque Country.

Osakidetza – Servicio Vasco de Salud (the Basque Health Service, SVS) performs its main Research and Innovation activities through its 3 Health Research Institutes: Bioaraba HRI, Biocruces-Bizkaia HRI, Biodonostia HRI and its Kronigune Health Services Research Centre. These four R&D&I Centres, together with the Basque Foundation for Health Innovation and Research (BIOEF) which acts as their corporate head, make up the Map of R&D&I Institutions in the Basque Public Health System.

BiodonostiaHRI preferentially boosts translational research focusing on the patient; it covers all research carried out in Gipuzkoa within the framework of the Basque Health Service (Osakidetza – SVS) and aims to improve people’s health through its multi-institutional and inter-disciplinary collaborative structure. This website aims to be a showcase of our activity.

There have been many milestones along the way since it was created back in 2008, thanks to the commitment shown by the researchers, public bodies and other funding bodies. Out of all these milestones, the inauguration of the renovated building in 2010 and its accreditation in 2011 as a Health Research Institute by the prestigious Carlos III Institute of Health (Instituto de Salud Carlos III) should be highlighted. What is more, the Biodonostia Health Research Institute (HRI) was re-accredited in 2016 which meant that it remained at the elite group of accredited Health Institutes at a national level.

Our research is arranged in 7 subject areas that bring together around 350 researchers in 26 groups. With the purpose of boosting scientific advances, the Biodonostia HRI has managed to establish a unique composition that makes it stand out from all the other Institutes, through the integration of the most important technological agents in Gipuzkoa.

The core of the Institute is the OSI Donostialdea (Integrated Health Organisation), and its field of reference is constituted by the IHOs in the territory of Gipuzkoa: Bidasoa, Debabarrena, Debagoiena, Goierri-Urola Garaia and Tolosaldea. Like the majority of Health Research Institutes, it is also part of the University, in our case the University of the Basque Country (UPV – EHU). Also incorporated at this level are the Gipuzkoa Provincial Council, the Euskampus Foundati on and the Ikerbasque Foundation, thanks to which it has been possible to increase the critical mass of researchers by incorporating personnel of widespread international renown.

The Institute’s singular nature lies in its other members. The Gipuzkoa Science and Technology Park is home to a vast number of technology-based centres, among which are the centres forming part of the Institute: Vicomtech, Cidetec, Osatek, Matía Gerontological Institute and Onkologikoa, as well as other partner centres not falling within its Governing Bodies: BCBL, CIC nanoGUNE, CIC biomaGUNE, Tecnalia, CITA Alzheimer and the Dr Carlos Elosegui Foundation at the Policlínica Gipuzkoa. The research subjects tackled are: micro and nano biotechnologies, biomaterials, molecular imaging, audiovisual technologies, e-health, gerontology, cognition, brain and language, among others.

The Institute aspires to be a centre of reference in the field of health research on an international level, and preferentially promotes innovation in medical and health technologies to advance in the system’s sustainability. This is why it participates in the ITEMAS network (Medical Technology Innovation Network), being one of its 31 units on a national level. The Biodonostia HRI nowadays takes part in the ITEMAS Management Board whose role is to support the network Coordinator on its key duties. It also participates in the SCReN (Clinical Research and Clinical Trial Units Platform), being one of the 31 hubs belonging to 13 Autonomous Communities making up the endeavour at state level.

The Institute is also part of REGIC, the first Association of Clinical Research Managing Bodies, created in Spain at the instance of professionals to share experiences and create a space for interaction and training in the management of health care R&D.

Lastly, worthy of note is the fact that since 2016 the Institute has been participating in the EATRIS (European Infrastructure for Translational Medicine) Platforms for Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products, Biomarkers and Vaccinations. Recently, EATRIS Spain, in collaboration with the Carlos III Health Institute, within its functions of reinforcing its strategic agenda and promoting the participation of accredited HRIs in international activities, has created a Scientific Committee to provide support in the making of strategic decisions at EATRIS Spain. Dr. Estefanía Carrasco from the Oncology Area of the Biodonostia HRI has been selected to sit on that Committee.

For me, it is both a challenge and a responsibility to lead this team of professionals, and I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate them on the extraordinary work they are doing.

I would also like to express my appreciation for the continued support we have received from all the Bodies that make up the Institute, working together with the common purpose of improving people’s health and generating wealth in our region.


Julio Arrizabalaga Aguirreazaldegui

Scientific Director of Biodonostia HRI