The King and Queen of Spain paid a visit to the Carlos III National Centre for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC) in Madrid on Thursday. The centre is dedicated to understanding the fundamentals of cardiovascular health and diseases. They were accompanied by the Minister of Health, Social Services and Equality, Dolors Monserrat; the Secretary of State for Research, Development and Innovation and President of the Board of the CNIC, Carmen Vela; the Director General of the CNIC, Valentín Fuster; and the President of the Board of the Pro-CNIC Foundation, Luis de Carlos.
King Felipe and Queen Letizia attended a meeting of the CNIC and had a tour of the research facilities. Afterward, they sat in on a debate on the topic “Excellence of cardiovascular research in Spain”. Several laureates of the Princesa de Girona Foundation Award for Scientific Research spoke during the debate, such as Borja Ibáñez, Guadalupe Sabio and Rui Benedito.
The CNIC was founded in 1999 by the Ministry of Health and is located inside the Institute of Health Carlos III in Madrid. Over 400 people work for the CNIC, of which 85% do direct research work. Researchers are selected through international competitions and are evaluated periodically by an External Evaluation Committee, composed of 13 scientists of international prestige. The current set-up on the CNIC began with its refounding in 2006, with a collaboration between the Spanish government at the Pro-CNIC foundations, which consists of the 14 most important Spanish companies and private foundations.
Ultimately the goal is to have all the knowledge benefit the society and have a tangible return for the Spanish public sector. It promotes the interaction of basic and clinical researchers. It also heavily focuses on training, from a secondary education to postdoctoral training.