Valentín Fuster, General Manager
Dr. Valentín Fuster, General Director of Carlos III National Centre for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC)

The Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares Carlos III or CNIC (the Spanish National Centre for Cardiovascular Research) has set itself the primary mission of improving the population’s cardiovascular health through research. Indeed, one of CNIC’s hallmarks is the translation of basic research to the clinical setting. We work to understand what constitutes health within the context of the changes occurring in medicine. Understanding what health consists of is fundamental when it comes to comprehending disease.

The CNIC’s 2022-2025 Strategic Programme does not modify the organisation’s structure, but does contemplate diverse actions in the area of science that will facilitate consolidation of the CNIC as an international reference centre for translational research in the cardiovascular field and in the study and promotion of cardiovascular health. These are the main objectives of the CNIC Severo Ochoa Project strategic plan (2022-2025), under the auspices of Spain’s Ministry of Science and Innovation.

This strategic plan brings the main focus of CNIC scientific activity from 2022 onto five large Research Programmes that aim to tackle the challenges arising in the cardiovascular field in coming years.

And one of the challenges we have to face is the need for clinical research scientists capable of integrating basic and clinical research. Another is the promotion of young researchers within the Spanish research system.

I believe that although the situation of research in Spain has improved over the last 10-15 years - today we have a more deeply rooted culture of research than 15 years ago - work still needs to be done to ensure a higher proportion of GDP reaches research.

research is essential for a country’s future

And it is here that the PERTE (Strategic Projects for Economic Recovery and Transformation) will play a major role, as Dr. Cristóbal Belda, Director of the Carlos III Health Institute has indicated, because these projects cover the need to transform our way of undertaking R&D as well as the efficiency with which the R&D is ultimately transferred to society.

The road ahead is, therefore, to continue working on public awareness that research is essential for a country’s future.