• The Secretary of State for R & D & I, Carmen Vela, has chaired the first meeting of the new Alliance of Excellence Severo Ochoa and María de Maeztu
  • The main objective of the alliance is to promote and strengthen internationally the centers and units accredited with this distinction, as well as give greater visibility to the research they carry out

The 25 centers and 16 research units accredited with the distinctions "Excellence Severo Ochoa" and "Excellence María de Maeztu" have formalized this afternoon the creation of the Severo Ochoa Alliance and María de Maeztu (SOMMa) at its first official meeting. Chaired by the Secretary of State for R&D, Carmen Vela, the meeting has had directors and representatives of all the centers and units that have approved the creation of the Alliance and defined the strategic and work plan for the coming months .

The Spanish Excellence Program of "Severo Ochoa Centers" and "María de Maeztu Units" promotes excellence in scientific research. Its objective is to boost Spanish science by recognizing existing cutting-edge research centers, as well as helping them increase their impact, and international scientific leadership and competitiveness.

“Excellence attracts excellence, so this alliance is another step to generate synergies and strengthen the quality of the Severo Ochoa and María de Maeztu research centers and units,” says Carmen Vela, secretary of state for R & D & I . “The future of research and impact innovation in both Spain and Europe is in the convergence of technologies, methodologies and disciplines, capable of developing ambitious projects carried out in collaboration between centers, units and teams of different institutions. This alliance is an important step along this line by strengthening the collaboration links between the centers and the excellent research units that we have in Spain, ”says Vela.

As a result of the consolidation of this excellence program, the Severo Ochoa centers and María de Maeztu units intend to reach a new way of collaboration with the creation of the Alliance of centers and units of excellence Severo Ochoa and María de Maeztu (SOMMa). Luis Serrano, director of the Center for Genomic Regulation, will preside over the alliance for the next two years and Teresa Garcia-Milà, director of the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics will be the vice-president.

"Partnerships in science are always positive and joining efforts at all levels enriches the R & D & I ecosystem," says Luis Serrano, director of the Center for Genomic Regulation (CRG) and president of the new Alliance of Excellence SOMM. “We hope that this union of centers and units of excellence in Spain will lead to a long-term synergistic effect and will have an exponential impact on the recruitment of talent and the progress of research in Spain and abroad. These types of initiatives are fundamental to guarantee stimulating, creative and excellent environments ”, concludes Serrano.

SOMMa aims to increase the national and international visibility of science in Spain; promote the exchange of knowledge, technology and good practices among its members, the international scientific community and the main stakeholders; collaborate with the rest of research centers in Spain to strengthen the R&D system; and have a voice in Spanish and European scientific policy.

Ready to carry out the first actions

SOMMa will have several working groups to achieve its objectives, among which are, for example, improving visibility, collaboration, scientific policy, dissemination of results, or project sustainability, among others.

Coming soon, the portal www.somma-excellence.es will collect all the information about SOMMa. This page, in addition to being a window into the world of science of excellence that is being carried out in Spain, will also be a unique resource for the scientific community, those responsible for scientific policy, journalists and the general public. Another of SOMMa's actions will be the organization of future editions of the 100xCiencia conferences, thus continuing the series that began in 2015 in La Palma and that this year will celebrate its second edition in Alicante on November 2 and 3. The centers and units of SOMMa will meet again in this second edition of 100xScience which, under the title “Co-creating Value in Scientific Research”, will focus on the transfer of knowledge that is generated in the centers and research units and their value in the face of society.

About Severo Ochoa centers of excellence and María de Maeztu units

The centers and units of the alliance cover a wide range of scientific disciplines, from biology and medicine, mathematics, chemistry, physics, engineering, economics and social sciences. According to the classifications by scientific area, the accredited entities that participate in the alliance are:

Life sciences


  • National Center for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC)
  • National Cancer Research Center (CNIO)
  • Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona)
  • Center for Genomic Regulation (CRG)
  • Center for Plant Biotechnology and Genomics (CBGP)
  • National Biotechnology Center (CNB)
  • Institute of Neurosciences of Alicante (IN)
  • Institut de Bioenginyeria de Catalunya (IBEC)
  • Research Center in Agrigenomics (CRAG)
  • Association Coop Research Center in Biosciences (CIC bioGUNE)


  • Department of Experimental and Health Sciences (DCEXS)
  • Structural Biology Unit (SBU)
  • Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA) – ictaweb.uab.cat
  • Department of Gene Regulation and Morphogenesis (GEM)

Mathematics, Experimental Sciences and Engineering


  • Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC-CNS)
  • Institute of Mathematical Sciences (ICMAT)
  • Basque Center for Applied Mathematics (BCAM)
  • Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (IAC)
  • Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO)
  • Institute of Theoretical Physics (IFT)
  • Institut de Física d’Altes Energies (IFAE)
  • Institute of Corpuscular Physics (IFIC)
  • Institute of Chemical Technology (ITQ)
  • Catalan Institute of Chemical Research (ICIQ)
  • Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2)
  • Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB)
  • Madrid Institute of Advanced Studies in Nanoscience (IMDEA)


  • Barcelona Graduate School of Mathematics (BGSMath)
  • Center for Research in Condensed Matter Physics (IFIMAC)
  • CIEMAT- Particle Physics
  • Institut de Ciències del Cosmos (ICCUB)
  • Institute of Molecular Science (ICMOL)
  • Department of Information Technology and Communications (DTIC-UPF)
  • Institut de Robòtica i Informàtica Industrial (IRI, CSIC-UPC)
  • Galician Institute of High Energy Physics (IGFAE)
  • Department of Signal Theory and Communications (COMMSENSLAB)
  • CIC nanoGUNE Association

Social Sciences and Humanities


  • Graduate School of Economics (Barcelona GSE)
  • Basque Center on Cognition Brain and Language (BCBL)


  • Department of Economy
  • Monetary and Financial Studies Centers (CEMFI)

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