Interview: Pepa Limeres (Fundación Botín)

(N) Hello Pepa, can you give us a few insights into your professional career?

(P) I have a PhD in Physics. I studied at the autonomous university of Madrid (UAM), specializing in theoretical physics, and later did my PhD in nonlinear optical materials. After 8 years, I left research and started working in the management of R&D and innovation; first in a consultancy firm and later at the European Science Foundation, in Strasbourg.

After that, I returned to Spain and worked for a year at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) before joining the Botín Foundation in 2007, where I am currently responsible for the science unit.

(N) What is the Fundación Botín?

(P) Fundación Botín was initially created to promote the social development of Cantabria, but today it also operates throughout Spain and Latin America, contributing to the integral development of society by exploring new ways of detecting and promoting creative talent as a means to generate cultural, social and economic wealth.

In the field of science, for the past twenty years, the Foundation has maintained a solid commitment to Spanish science as one of the key drivers of development. At the time, we identified the opportunity and challenge of transforming research excellence – particularly in biomedicine and biotech – into economic growth and social development. We have been working alongside some of Spain’s finest researchers in the field of Life Sciences and their institutions, in order to turn their discoveries into novel solutions to improve the population’s health and quality of life.

(N) What is the foundation’s role in Nostrum Biodiscovery?

(P) For us, Nostrum Biodiscovery is one of our most paradigmatic success stories. We started working with Professor Modesto Orozco (one of Nostrum’s founders) in 2007 as a beneficiary of our tech transfer programme, which provided funding for research and support to the management of technology transfer. On the whole, we funded Prof. Orozco’s research group with over 1 M€ between 2007 and 2012. It soon became apparent that Prof. Orozco’s work, together with his colleague Prof. Víctor Guallar, had a huge potential to have a significant impact on the pharma and biotech industry. Nostrum BioDiscovery was one of the first companies that were selected in a competitive call to receive the support of our Mind the Gap programme, including a financial investment of 0.5 M€ plus management accompaniment.

(N) What do you and the Fundación Botín expect from Nostrum Biodiscovery?

(P) Evolution, growth and impact, without a doubt. These years, Nostrum has created a very solid base and I am convinced that it will make a difference in the development of the new solutions that society at large and patients in particular need, in addition to becoming a target for investors, providing economic returns that we will reinvest in other social projects.


Fundación Botín Link