Mission and Activity

Our mission

As a flagship research center in nanoscience and nanotechnology, our mission is to open and explore new frontiers of knowledge at the nanoscale, and bring value to society in the form of new understanding, capabilities and innovation, while inspiring and providing broad training to the next generations of researchers.

ICN2’s Vision Statement

ICN2 aims to be influential in the scientific community for its ground-breaking research, and in society for its ultimate impact in innovative, transformative and sustainable solutions to tackle societal challenges.

A little bit of history

The ICN2 was created in 2013 as the final stage in a process of bringing together nanoscientists working for the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and the former Catalan Institute of Nanotechnology, itself established in 2003 by the Government of Catalonia and the Autonomous University of Barcelona. The Centro de Investigación en Nanociencia y Nanotecnología (CIN2) was established as a first approximation to this goal in 2006, in a move that was later consolidated by the incorporation of CSIC into the Board of Patrons of the former ICN to create the ICN2. 

The building that houses the ICN2 was officially inaugurated on 20 January 2014. Shortly afterwards, the ICN2 received the Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence accreditation and first Severo Ochoa-funded research programme, serving by way of confirmation that we were on the right track. In 2018 it received this accreditation again, opening a period of consolidation, growth and diversification of the ways in our work impacts on the world around us.

Goals of ICN2

In accordance with this mission, ICN2’s primary activities are focused towards the following goals:

  • Pioneer fundamental understanding of physical, chemical and biological phenomena found in the emerging properties of matter at the nanoscale, and use it to develop new materials, techniques, and devices.
  • Present convincing opportunities to industry based on these developments, and explore ways to be a source of inspiration, advice and collaboration in sectors like ICT, health, energy and environment. 
  • Engage society in the game-changing potential of nanoscience and nanotechnology, by providing collaboration and expert advice to public and private institutions and fostering a responsible and transparent dialogue between researchers and society at large, ultimately facilitating the adoption of the newly generated knowledge.
  • Nurture talent at all career levels, with the particular long-term view of preparing the next generations of scientists to lead the challenges and opportunities of the future.