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BCU is an organization with the aim of facilitating all aspects of non-academic life for the foreign university community. BCU was set up in 1997 to support, coordinate and direct all activities considered necessary to promote Barcelona and its metropolitan area (from now on Barcelona) as an international university centre. BCU is a consortium who works with the Government of Catalonia, the Barcelona City Council, the Catalan Foundation for Research and Innovation and the universities located at Barcelona: UB, UAB, UPC, UPF, URL, UIC, UAO and the University of Vic.
Catalonia is viewed as one of the pillars of knowledge along the Mediterranean, whereas it is home to the National Pact for the Research and Innovation (PNRI), developed by the Department of Innovation, Universities, and Businesses. Today Catalonia produces approximately one percent of the world scientific findings, 2.5% of those in the European Union, and is responsible for 25% of production in Spain. It is the fifth largest region in Europe devoted to science and technology, with around 600,000 jobs in the field in 2007 (according to Eurostat). Of these jobs, 40,000 were in the research industry, with 25,000 people working as researchers. In Barcelona and the surrounding metropolitan area there are 113 centres of technology and research, 36 financial entities, 27 support organizations, 19 research institutions, and 69 businesses that can claim innovative success.
Following actions are carried out in order to reach such objective:
– To provide a wide range of accommodation for students, PhD students, lecturers and researchers coming to Barcelona.
– To create and spread promotional material so as to offer academic and research training.
– To manage activities aimed at helping this group of people to integrate both culturally and socially in Barcelona.
– To inform about the scientific policy in Catalonia.