Established in 1218, the University of Salamanca (USAL) is the oldest university in Spain. Once the model on which many of the universities of the New World were based, USAL is now an internationally renowned university, which has recently gained a great popularity in Asia, due initially to the university's pre-eminence in teaching Spanish as Foreign Language, but which has later extended to other areas, such as Biomedicine.
An important feature of USAL in relation to Biomedicine is that this university has taught throughout its history most of the degrees related to this field. Currently these are: Medicine, Pharmacology, Biology, Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Environmental Sciences, Chemistry, Dentistry, Nursing, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy. All these studies are being adapted to the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) according to the Bologna process, and the number of biomedical studies is therefore increasing. In addition, all these degrees are located within the same campus, the Miguel de Unamuno Campus, very close to the University Hospital of Salamanca. In said campus, or its vicinity, we can also find some of the university's research institutes, such as the Institute of Cancer Molecular and Cellular Biology (IBMCC), the Institute of Neuroscience of Castilla y León (INCYL) and the Institute of Functional Biology and Genomics (IBFG). Most of the biomedical research is carried out in a department building, strategically located between the faculties of Medicine, Biology and Pharmacology, and which brings together the research of the departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Physiology and Pharmacology, and Microbiology and Genetics.
A new opportunity for the development of Biomedicine in USAL arises from the Campus of International Excellence Programme, in the framework of the University Strategy 2015 to modernise Spanish universities. This programme aims to foster strategic appointments between universities and other institutions located on campus to create "knowledge ecosystems" that favour the creation of jobs, social cohesion and regional economic development. It will also help to adapt its degrees to the European Higher Education Area (and adjust the teaching facilities as needed), transfer the knowledge and technology derived from academic research to the productive sector and promote the interaction between the campus and its environment. On the 21st of October 2010, the University of Salamanca became a Campus of International Excellence for the European Region (CEIR) for its project "Studii Salamantini", based on the teaching and learning of Spanish and the development of Life Sciences studies, granted with 3 million euros.
USAL is currently developing its Strategic Plan for the full implementation of the European Higher Education Area in coordination with the Campus of International Excellence, with emphasis on the improvement of quality, coordination and efficiency of the Biomedical Research and on the transfer of knowledge to the productive sector.
Although it is not located in the Miguel de Unamuno Campus, the Science Park of USAL also plays an important role to encourage the transfer of technology developed through research.