• 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 giving 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" this afternoon formalized the creation of the Alliance Severo Ochoa and María de Maeztu (SOMMa) in their first official meeting. Chaired by the Secretary of State for R + D + i, Carmen Vela, the meeting was attended by 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 promote 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 one more step to generate synergies and reinforce the quality of the Severo Ochoa and María de Maeztu research centers and units," assures Carmen Vela, Secretary of State for R & D & i . “The future of impact research and innovation in both Spain and Europe lies in the convergence of technologies, methodologies and disciplines, capable of developing ambitious projects carried out in collaboration between centers, units and teams from different institutions. This alliance is an important step in this line, as it allows us to strengthen the collaborative 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 aim to achieve a new avenue of collaboration with the creation of the Alliance of Severo Ochoa and María de Maeztu centers and units of excellence (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.

"Alliances 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 give rise to a long-term synergistic effect and will have an exponential impact on the recruitment of talent and the advancement of research in Spain and abroad. These types of initiatives are essential to guarantee stimulating, creative and excellent environments ”, concludes Serrano.

SOMMa seeks 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 key stakeholders; collaborate with the rest of the research centers in Spain to strengthen the R + D + i system; and have a voice in Spanish and European science policy.

Ready to carry out the first actions

SOMMa will have various working groups to achieve its objectives, among which are, for example, improving visibility, collaboration, scientific policy, the dissemination of results, or the sustainability of the project, 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 to the world of excellence in science 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 started in 2015 in La Palma and that this year will hold its second edition in Alicante on November 2 and 3. The SOMMa centers and units will meet again in this second edition of 100xCiencia, which, under the title “Co-creating Value in Scientific Research”, will focus on the transfer of knowledge generated in research centers and units and their value in the face of society.

About the Severo Ochoa centers of excellence and María de Maeztu units

The alliance centers and units cover a wide range of scientific disciplines, from biology and medicine, mathematics, chemistry, physics, engineering, economics, and the 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 Center for Oncological Research (CNIO)
  • Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona)
  • Center for Genomic Regulation (CRG)
  • Plant Biotechnology and Genomics Center (CBGP)
  • National Center for Biotechnology (CNB)
  • Neuroscience Institute of Alicante (IN)
  • Institut de Bioenginyeria de Catalunya (IBEC)
  • Agricultural Research Center (CRAG)
  • Association Coop Research Center in Biosciences (CIC bioGUNE)


  • Department of Experimental and Health Sciences (DCEXS)
  • Structural Biology Unit (SBU)
  • Institut de Ciencia i Tecnologia Ambientals (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)
  • Canary Islands Institute of Astrophysics (IAC)
  • Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO)
  • Institute of Theoretical Physics (IFT)
  • Institut de Física d’Altes Energies (IFAE)
  • Corpuscular Physics Institute (IFIC)
  • Institute of Chemical Technology (ITQ)
  • Catalan Institute for Chemical Research (ICIQ)
  • Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2)
  • Barcelona Institute of Materials Science (ICMAB)
  • Madrid Institute for Advanced Studies in Nanoscience (IMDEA)


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

Social Sciences and Humanities


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


  • Department of Economics
  • Centers for Monetary and Financial Studies (CEMFI)

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