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Business and Innovation News

Tuesday, 06 June 2023

ICREA Prof. Daniel Maspoch acknowledged with Rei Jaume I Award for exceptional contributions to New Technologies

by Àlex Argemí

ICREA Prof. Daniel Maspoch's unparalleled strides in the realm of new technologies have secured him the acclaimed New Technologies Rei Jaume I award. His groundbreaking research and successful translation of academic concepts into industrial applications have fuelled considerable progress in the domain of material science. This prestigious recognition serves as a testament to his seminal work and its promising implications for societal impact.

Renowned chemist ICREA Prof. Daniel Maspoch Comamala, Group Leader of the ICN2 Supramolecular NanoChemistry and Materials Group, has been distinguished with the New Technologies Rei Jaume I award at the illustrious Rei Jaume I Awards ceremony. The judging panel of the Rei Jaume I Awards selected the winners in six distinct categories this morning. The Rei Jaume I Awards recipients were announced at a formal event at the Palau de la Generalitat Valenciana, presided over by the acting head of the Consell, Ximo Puig.

Attendees including Javier Quesada, the executive president, and Vicente Boluda, the president of the Valencian Foundation of Rei Jaume I Awards, gathered to applaud Prof. Maspoch's remarkable contributions to the sphere of new technologies, alongside other scientific profiles awarded in different categories: Antonio Echavarren Pablos (Basic Research); Olympia Bover Hidiroglu (Economics); Guillermina López-Bendito (Medical Research); Carlota Escutia Dotti (Environmental Protection) and Alfonso Jiménez Rodríguez-Vila (Entrepreneurship award).

ICREA Prof. Daniel Maspoch has garnered widespread acclaim across academia, industry, and society for his research impact. His endeavours in the synthesis of reticular materials, comprising metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), covalent-organic frameworks (COFs), and metal-organic polyhedra (MOPs), have instigated a paradigm shift in the domain of material science. These nanometric structures are like high-tech sponges, incredibly tiny, super-efficient building blocks that can be designed and assembled like Lego bricks. They are versatile materials that are great at absorbing and releasing other materials. They possess customizable electronic properties, large surface areas for reactions, exceptional light and heat resistance, and they're relatively cheap and easy to produce. Their adaptable structure also means we can tinker with them to suit our needs better.

Alongside his work on 'spongy' materials, Prof. Maspoch’s Group has also created new systems to selectively deliver medicines. His team, collaborating with hospitals and research institutes, has made promising strides in developing ways to treat diseases like diabetes and multiple sclerosis. This has led to him co-founding Ahead Therapeutics in 2017, a company that's currently working on several new treatments for autoimmune diseases.

With the support from ERC Grants and Proof of Concept projects, Prof. Maspoch's research and impact have flourished. His ongoing ERC Advanced Research Grant project, Clip-Off Chemistry, has introduced an innovative synthetic strategy that involves creating new materials or molecules by selectively breaking specific bonds in known reticular materials. This pioneering technique broadens the horizon for scientists to engineer an expansive range of novel molecular blocks and structures, paving the way for the creation of innovative materials with extraordinary properties.

The Rei Jaume I Awards continue to honour distinguished individuals making significant contributions to scientific and technological advancements. Prof. Maspoch's receipt of the New Technologies award cements his position as a prominent figure in the field, and his inventive research is set to inspire future breakthroughs and shape the trajectory of new technologies. His research at the ICN2, a CERCA Center with CSIC and Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) as part of its Board of Trustees, and as part of initiatives like the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST) and SOMM Alliance, is conducted in a vibrant environment full of opportunities to generate new knowledge and industrial applications with societal impact.

Prof. Maspoch's contributions have transcended beyond the domain of medical nanotechnology. His keen interest in creating an impact across various application fields, including chemistry, materials, sustainability, and food technology, is noteworthy. His research projects have given rise to four products licensed by the ICN2, yielding products that have reached international markets. As a result, hundreds of tons of products based on Smart Delivery Systems are now sold globally. With this new recognition, Prof. Maspoch will continue to be a guiding force in pushing the boundaries of scientific innovation, fostering progress across multiple domains and inspiring a new generation of thinkers and innovators.