Severo Ochoa Programme

The ICN2 received its Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence accreditation in 2014, earning it a place alongside the top research institutes in Spain. Its research programme “Nanodevices for Social Challenges” is devoted to bringing the latest advances in nanoresearch to the benefit of society in the form of innovative devices and technologies.

Here we take you through the goals and achievements of the programme so far. Our Severo Ochoa newsfeed also gives a good overview.

The impact of the research developed at the ICN2 reaches far into the fields of the life sciences, energy and ICT. Together with our strong track record, this is one of the main factors that prompted the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness to award us its Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence accreditation in 2014.

This award is the highest national recognition of scientific excellence and leadership and denotes those research centres in Spain that are among the best in the world in their field. It also rewards commitment to generating social and business impact. When the ICN2 received its accreditation, only 18 research centres could boast this recognition. (The current list can be consulted here).

The funding that accompanies this accreditation is devoted to the ICN2’s Severo Ochoa “Nanodevices for social challenges” research programme (2014-2017). With resources largely allocated to the recruitment of staff and equipment procurement, it is enabling the ICN2 to make great strides in the development of devices for a broad range of applications.

Based on four interdisciplinary approaches, the programme is focused on finding ways to adapt and transform the knowledge generated at the ICN2 into real-world devices that offer innovative solutions to major social challenges in health, the environment, energy and ICT.

Other key areas of work lie in boosting the international profile of the ICN2 within academic circles, building on its first forays into technology transfer, and making the institute an attractive place to pursue a career within and beyond research.

Granted at a critical time for our centre, the Severo Ochoa research programme has been instrumental to forging a unified institutional identity. It has seen the incorporation of two new research groups, and was crucial to our becoming a founding member of BIST (Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology).

Publications have risen in number and quality year on year, with an average impact factor 15% higher than in 2014, as has our participation in the EU’s Horizon 2020 research programme and other international collaborations.

The road to market has become increasingly well-trodden by ICN2 researchers, leading to the institute’s first spinoff. Since then the ICN2 has created a total of five spinoffs, taken three products to market and patented ten discoveries.

So far it has doubled the funding received through the Severo Ochoa grant.

Meanwhile, the growing presence of the ICN2 in the media also speaks to the impact of the Severo Ochoa accreditation on the institute, and of the institute on industry and society at large.

The award has also allowed resources to be allocated to the implementation of international standards in recruitment and career development, leading to our being granted the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research logo.