• He awards 7 distinctions ‘Severo Ochoa’ and 6 ‘María de Maeztu’
  • Research centers and units that stand out for the impact and international relevance of their results are recognized

The State Research Agency has granted 13 accreditations ‘Severo Ochoa’ and ‘María de Maeztu’ to centers and research units of excellence, for which it has allocated 40 million euros. Of the seven centers that have achieved the 'Severo Ochoa' distinction, three do so for the first time: the Center for Plant Biotechnology and Genomics (CBGP), the Association Center for Cooperative Research in Biosciences (CIC bioGUNE) and the Madrid Institute of Advanced Studies in Nanoscience (IMDEA Nanoscience).

The remaining four centers repeat after achieving it in 2012: the Center for Genomic Regulation (CRG), the Institute of High Energy Physics (IFAE), the Institute of Theoretical Physics (IFT) and the Institute of Chemical Technology (ITQ). These centers have not only revalidated their position of reference in national and international research but, in the opinion of the evaluators, have consolidated their scientific leadership during the years in which they enjoyed the aid 'Severo Ochoa'. Thanks to this distinction, they will receive one million euros annually for four years.

The six research units selected in the 'María de Maeztu' modality are: the Center for Monetary and Financial Studies (CEMFI), CICNanogune, the Department of Gene Regulation and Morphogenesis of the Andalusian Center for Development Biology, the Research Group in Remote Sensing, Antennas, Microwaves and Superconductivity of the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC), the Institute of Robotics and Industrial Computing and the Galician Institute of High Energy Physics of the University of Santiago de Compostela. These units are added to the 10 accredited in the previous two years and will have a financing of 500,000 euros per year for four years.

With this new call there are already 25 ‘Severo Ochoa’ centers and 16 ‘María de Maeztu’ units. The requirements, levels of demand, criteria and evaluation and selection procedures referring to scientific excellence do not establish differences between centers and units, which have been selected for their scientific results and their strategic programs after a rigorous evaluation in which more than 100 prestigious international scientists. Consequently, the quality and level of excellence of the research they carry out is guaranteed, establishing differences only in terms of governance, structure and organizational and managerial principles, as well as the minimum critical mass required of centers and units.

The purpose of the call is twofold. Firstly, the recognition and accreditation of the best centers and units that stand out for the impact and international relevance of the results obtained in the last four years. Secondly, the financing of the strategic plans drawn up by the centers and of the strategic research programs drawn up by the units for a period of four years with the aim of consolidating their scientific capacities and contributing to their international leadership.

‘Severo Ochoa’ centers

Genomic Regulation Center (CRG). It is an international biomedical research institute of excellence whose mission is to discover and advance knowledge for the benefit of society, public health and economic prosperity. The CRG believes that the medicine of the future depends on today's innovative science. For this, it has an interdisciplinary scientific team focused on understanding the complexity of life, from the genome to the cell, to a complete organism and its interaction with the environment, offering an integrative vision of genetic diseases. The CRG is a non-profit foundation financed by the Generalitat of Catalonia, by the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, the Fundación Bancaria la Caixa, and has the participation of the Pompeu Fabra University.

Center for Plant Biotechnology and Genomics (CBGP). Mixed Center of the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM) and the National Institute of Agricultural and Food Research and Technology (INIA). Its objective is to advance in the knowledge of the molecular bases of the biological processes of plant development, as well as its interactions with other organisms and the environment. His research areas are: plant development, plant interaction with the environment, and biotechnology, genomics and computational biology of plants and associated microorganisms. The CBGP with its Translational Biology program aims to contribute to the sustainable development of sectors of the Bioeconomy such as agriculture and forestry.

Cooperative Research Center Association in Biosciences – CIC bioGUNE. Its objective is to advance knowledge in the field of life and health sciences. The center has defined two integrative programs, with objectives focused on molecular knowledge and pathogen-host interactions and on metabolism and cell signaling in the disease.

High Energy Physics Institute (IFAE). The objective of the IFAE is to promote and carry out both theoretical and experimental research on the frontier of fundamental physics, that is, in particle physics, astrophysics and cosmology. It is part of its mission to develop state-of-the-art detectors, using the knowledge acquired in the laboratory for purposes of general interest. It is a consortium created by the Generalitat of Catalonia and the Autonomous University of Barcelona in 1991. It integrates its own team with staff from the Theoretical Physics and High Energy Physics Groups of the Physics Department of the Autonomous University of Barcelona.

Institute of Theoretical Physics (IFT). Mixed Center of the Autonomous University of Madrid and the CSIC was officially created in 2003 and is the only Spanish center dedicated entirely to research in Theoretical Physics. The IFT works on the frontier of elementary particle physics, astroparticles and cosmology, with the aim of understanding the fundamental keys to nature and the universe. Its researchers lead numerous research projects both nationally and internationally. The IFT is part of the strategic line Theoretical Physics and Mathematics of the UAM + CSIC Campus of International Excellence (CEI) established in 2009. Since 2012, it has been accredited as the Severo Ochoa Center of Excellence. In addition to the purely scientific activity, the IFT carries out an intense task of training young researchers and professionals through the postgraduate program in theoretical physics with mention of Excellence from the CEI and the Ministry of Education. An important work of knowledge transfer to society is also carried out through various outreach programs.

Madrid Institute for Advanced Studies in Nanoscience (IMDEA Nanoscience). Foundation created in 2007 by the Community of Madrid with the financial support of the European Investment Bank with the aim of attracting and retaining excellent multidisciplinary scientific talent focused on advanced research in nanoscience and nanotechnology. Its 10 research programs have as its main mission to produce knowledge from the fundamental science at the nanoscale aimed at solving major problems and challenges in strategic areas. Currently, projects focused on the development of nanotechnologies applied to cancer diagnosis and treatment or the development of new devices and sensors based on graphene stand out.

Institute of Chemical Technology (ITQ). It is a center of reference in the area of ​​catalysis, new materials (especially zeolites) and photochemistry. Thanks to its excellent level of fundamental and oriented research and its multidisciplinary nature, ITQ has the capacity to act at interfaces between disciplines, thus having wide flexibility and rapid adaptation to new lines and challenges. It is a mixed research center created in 1990 by the Polytechnic University of Valencia and the CSIC.

Units ‘María de Maeztu’

Center for Monetary and Financial Studies (CEMFI). It is an international graduate school focused on research and training in the field of economic science. It was created by the Bank of Spain in 1987.

CIC nanoGUNE. His research activities are developed in the following fields: advanced nanocharacterization through nanoimaging, electronics, optics and magnetic properties of nanostructures, nano devices and nanoengineering.

Department of Gene Regulation and Morphogenesis (GEM) of the Andalusian Center for Developmental Biology, a joint center of the CSIC and the Pablo de Olavide University. The objective of this center is to understand the decision-making mechanisms of cells to generate, maintain and modify the shape and organ function during animal development. His research areas are structure, dynamics and function of the genome, genetics, epigenetics and regulatory networks, morphogenesis and collective behavior of cells and morphological evolution.

Research Group in Remote Sensing, Antennas, Microwaves and Superconductivity of the Polytechnic University of Catalonia. In order to produce science of excellence and in contact with the industry, this group focuses its activities on computational electromagnetism, design of complex systems with applications in biomedicine and other areas.

Institute of Robotics and Industrial Informatics. It is a mixed center of the Polytechnic University of Catalonia and the CSIC. His research activities are carried out in the field of robotics and specifically in robot kinematics and design, mobile robots and intelligent systems and automatic control.

Galician Institute of High Energy Physics (IGFAE) of the University of Santiago de Compostela. Its objective is to advance in areas of high energy physics, particle physics and nuclear physics, as well as other related areas, such as astrophysics, medical and instrument physics, among others.

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