Welcome to BIOINICIA and the city of Valencia

In September 2022, I started my secondment at BIOINICIA in Valencia, Spain. Even before starting this adventure, I was very excited about the opportunity to work at BIOINICIA, which is an innovative company with expertise in electrospinning-electrospraying technology and industrial manufacturing. BIOINICIA stands out for its pioneering technologies for encapsulating functional and bioactive ingredients from natural sources, one of my scientific areas of interest. The truth is that expectations were fulfilled due to the great support and remarkable attention of Dr Chema Lagaron and his kind team. From the first moment at BIOINICIA, I felt very welcome! I found a multicultural team hospitable, friendly, and available to help, providing an excellent and welcoming work environment. Besides, I also had the opportunity to do some experimental studies on microparticles and extracts at IATA-CSIC under the orientation of Cristina Prieto and Zoran Evtoski, counting on the help of the research team at Lab 502, for whom I would like to thank all their support.

Furthermore, Valencia is a fantastic city! Its excellent climate stands out (the sun shines almost every day), as well as its good gastronomy (it isn’t easy to diet in this city), pleasant and safe urban environment, and good quality of life. It is a city with many green spaces, bathed by the Mediterranean Sea, being the best of both worlds for nature and beach lovers. Moreover, Valencia is known for its historical, cultural and art hubs! I felt right at home! Further, in the last days of the secondment, I was also lucky enough to experience the Christmas spirit of the city.

Working in BIOINICIA

During my three months working as a secondment within the FODIAC project in BIOINICIA, I had the opportunity to improve my knowledge about the electrohydrodynamic processes used for fabricating micro- and nanoparticles, and I was able to work the electrospinning and electrospraying equipment that BIOINICIA has designed and produced, especially he Spinbox® and Fluidnatek®. Simultaneously, I learned more about the different work parameters needed to optimise the production of micro-nanoparticles by electrospraying, namely the properties of the solution, environmental factors, and how to encapsulate the bioactive compound, among others. Besides, I get the chance to see the equipment for producing microparticles and the simultaneous drying of active ingredients at room temperature on an industrial scale with the new CAPSULTEK® technology.

Final remark

This secondment was a fantastic opportunity to improve my scientific skills, network, and experience new work environments, mainly in the industrial area. In addition, this journey was also a perfect opportunity for self-learning and improvement of some soft skills, such as agility, adaptability, and perseverance in the face of new challenges, as well as communication in dealing with different languages and cultures. I believe these skills, among others, play an essential role in being a scientist. So, everything I learned in this secondment will undoubtedly positively impact my career. Regarding my PhD work, this secondment allowed me to acquire valuable knowledge that could be applied to encapsulating the bioactive compounds from watercress by-products that I extracted through green methodologies. I am grateful to the FODIAC Project and staff for this unforgettable experience!