The IPHES-SERCA opens a call for director

The Catalan Institute of Human Paleoecology and Social Evolution (IPHES-CERCA) has announced an open call for direction.

IPHES-CERCA is seeking applicants with a distinguished record of scientific excellence and the innovative thinking necessary to lead a dynamic organisation.

The deadline for submitting nominations ends on October 5, 2023.

“CERCA, the future is our present” The new campaign to publicize the System of research centres in Catalonia

With the motto “A CERCA, the future is our present,” the main objective of this campaign is to spread the word and bring the Catalan Research Centres System closer to the public.

Starting this Wednesday until the month of July, an exclusive advertisement will be broadcasted on the media channels of the Corporació Catalana de Mitjans Audiovisuals (CCMA) to promote the Catalan Research Centres.

With the new campaign, the CERCA Centres aspire to reach a wider audience, underlining their importance as a motor of research and innovation in Catalonia and highlighting their outstanding role in the national and international arena. With this, it is hoped to foster a greater awareness and appreciation for the work carried out by the CERCA Centres, as well as its direct impact on the present and the future of our society.

The CERCA System is one of the main actors in the field of research and innovation in Catalonia. However, it is not always well known. For this reason, it is essential that citizens know that these Centres are part of a cohesive system, made up of a total of 41 research institutes, all of which are participated by the Government of Catalonia. The Centres and the CERCA Foundation (I-CERCA), configure the CERCA System and work side by side to promote scientific research and the transfer of knowledge and innovation.

The CERCA system employs nearly 16,900 people considered R&D staff, of which almost 10,000 are research staff. It has basic funding from the Government which in 2021, reached €294 million and has managed to attract competitive and non-competitive resources up to a total budget of €790 million (2021). The system also acts as a pole of attraction for international talent. Currently, 25% of its staff come from outside Spain, demonstrating its reputation as a top-level workplace in the field of research and innovation.

Likewise, the CERCA System is widely recognized in Europe. Within the framework of the H2020 Program, it captured a total of €554 M and 1,114 projects, of which 454 were projects coordinated from the Centres themselves. These impressive results place the CERCA System in fifth position in the European ranking, surpassing renowned institutions such as the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. In the current Horizon Europe 2021-2027 program, the CERCA System has already raised more than €120 million, further consolidating its position as one of the main fundraisers for European research grants.

The I-CERCA Foundation plays a fundamental role as a coordination and support structure. Working for its corporate, institutional and scientific projection, the foundation contributes to putting into practice the policies of the Government of Catalonia aimed at the Centres of the CERCA system as stated in the Science Law, approved in December 2022.

Daniel Maspoch, PI at ICN2-CERCA and ICREA professor, acknowledged with Rei Jaume I Award to New Technologies

  • His groundbreaking research and successful translation of academic concepts into industrial applications have fuelled considerable progress in the domain of material science.

 Renowned chemist ICREA Prof. Daniel Maspoch Comamala, Group Leader of the ICN2-CERCA 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.

In addition to the Prof. Maspoch’s recognition to his remarkable contributions to the sphere of new technologies, six other scientific profiles have been 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.

Alongside his work on microscopic ‘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.

Prof. Antonio M. Echavarren honoured with prestigious Rei Jaume I Award in Basic Research

  • This award recognizes the great contribution of the research group leader at ICIQ-CERCA in the field of organic chemistry and catalysis.

Prof. Antonio M. Echavarren, senior group leader at ICIQ-CERCA and scientific director of the Severo Ochoa Programme at the Institute, has been awarded with the prestigious Rei Jaume I Award in recognition of his innovative contributions to the field of chemistry. This recognition, widely regarded as one of the highest scientific honours in Spain, highlights the exceptional achievements and outstanding research work of Prof. Echavarren in the field of catalysis.

The recognition awarded to Prof. Echavarren highlights his work in the field of catalysis and his important contribution to the development of efficient synthetic methodologies, such as gold-catalyzed reactions, which have expanded knowledge in the field of organic chemistry. His innovative contributions have revolutionized the field, opening new possibilities for the synthesis of complex organic compounds and drugs.

Prof. Antonio M. Echavarren

Mathematician Marta Sanz-Solé Appointed New Vice President of CERCA

  • Mathematician Marta Sanz-Solé Appointed New Vice President of CERCA

The board of trustees of the CERCA Institution has named mathematician Marta Sanz-Solé (Sabadell, 1952) as the new Vice President of the organization. Dr Sanz-Solé succeeds Dr Núria Sebastian in the position.

With an illustrious professional career, Marta Sanz-Solé is a specialist in probability theory. Her research interests lie in stochastic analysis, particularly stochastic differential and partial differential equations.

Having earned her doctorate from the University of Barcelona (UB), she has served as a professor at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB). Subsequently, she became a professor at UB, where she joined the research group on stochastic processes. From 1993 to 1996, she served as the Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics at UB, and from 2000 to 2003, she was the Vice President of the Division of Experimental Sciences and Mathematics at the same university. She currently holds the position of emeritus professor.

Dr Sanz-Solé served as the President of the European Mathematical Society (2011-2014), being the first woman to hold this position. Additionally, she has been a member of scientific and management committees of various mathematical research centres in Europe, and she was the Chair of Panel PE1 (Mathematics) for the Consolidator Grants (CoG) in the 2019 and 2021 calls of the European Research Council.

Her academic excellence has been recognized with distinctions and awards, including the Narcís Monturiol Medal for Scientific and Technological Excellence from the Government of Catalonia (1998), Fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (2011), member of the Institut d’Estudis Catalans (2016), and the Royal Academy of Sciences and Arts of Barcelona (2019), among others.

With this new appointment as Vice President of the CERCA Institution, Marta Sanz-Solé will strengthen her dedication to promoting research and scientific excellence in Catalonia, contributing to the development and advancement of the scientific community on a national and international scale.

Dr Marta Sanz Solé