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Friday, 04 November 2022

ICN2 awarded for the third time with the Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence recognition

by Àlex Argemí

The renewed award boosts the institutional efforts to develop excellent research and management, to consolidate new lines of work and to reinforce technology transfer strategies. With the overarching theme of “Nanosolutions for a Sustainable Society”, the new ICN2 Severo Ochora programme focuses on a series of Enabling Research Areas and three Applications Domains: Medicine, Energy-Efficient Information Processing, and Sustainable Energy Technologies.

The State Research Agency (AEI), dependent on the Ministry of Science and Innovation, has provisionally resolved the call for the 'Severo Ochoa' and 'María de Maeztu' Centres and Units of Excellence programme. It is with great pride that the ICN2 announces that it has received the ‘Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence’ accreditation for the third time in a row and therefore can shine the Severo Ochoa medal for a new four-year period. The new term (Grant CEX2021-001214-S funded by MCIN/AEI/ 10.13039/501100011033) will start on January 2023 and will end in December 2026.

This is a major achievement of the whole ICN2 community, and it attests for all our efforts to push towards scientific excellence and towards excellence in research management and support. With the overarching theme of “Nanosolutions for a Sustainable Society”, this new Severo Ochoa Award will serve the institutional aim to develop excellent fundamental science and to produce outcomes of immediate relevance to society and industry, in the hopes of contributing to a more sustainable future.

The Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence accreditation is the highest national award conferred to the Spanish research institutions that stand out for the quality and impact of their research and for their scientific leadership at both national and international level. This prestigious recognition is accompanied by dedicated government funding provided over a four-year period (4 M€ in total) with the aim of supporting ongoing projects, enabling the opening of new research lines, and helping the centre raise its international scientific profile.

The ICN2 will continue pursuing scientific excellence, with a new strategic plan that builds on the results of the previous two Severo Ochoa Programmes (2014-2018, 2018-2022). It will focus on areas in which the ICN2 holds truly differential capabilities and where it can deliver transformative nanoscale solutions for concrete societal needs. Three Applications Domains have been identified (following on the previous programmes): Medicine, Energy-Efficient Information Processing, and Sustainable Energy Technologies. They will be complemented by Enabling Research Areas (formerly called Enabling Platforms), which are hubs of scientific expertise and knowhow pivotal to excellent science: Nanomaterials and Nanofabrication, Nanocharacterization, Modelling and Simulation, and the Artificial Intelligence Computational Platform (AI@ICN2). Cross-Cutting Initiatives (scientific and institutional) and governance-related actions complete the strategic plan.

The full list of awarded centres and units has just been published by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation. The ICN2 congratulates all the awardees and looks forward establishing new collaborations in the context of the SOMM Alliance, which was celebrating yesterday and today its annual event 100xCiencia6 in Barcelona. It was a happy coincidence that the announcement arrived in the context of this friendly and collaborative context.

The ICN2 is committed to consolidating the achievements of previous years and further raising the quality of its research, to enhancing technology transfer and expanding its presence in the international scientific and technological arena.