Laia Pellejà, appointed new director of the CERCA Institute

Doctor in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology and Master in Public Management, Pellejà was until now the manager of the ICIQ-CERCA Research Centre in Tarragona

Dr Laia Pellejà i Puxeu will take over the management of the CERCA Institute, as of 1 March, after the Board of Trustees approved the appointment proposal made by the Catalan Minister of Research and Universities, Joaquim Nadal i Farreras.

Born in Tarragona in 1979, Laia Pellejà holds a degree in Chemistry from the Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV) and a master and doctorate in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology from the same university. She also holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from the School of Public Administration of Catalonia (EAPC) and the Open University of Catalonia (UOC).

Her professional career has been developed mainly in various positions of responsibility at the Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ-CERCA), where he has been manager since 2020 until now. Previously, she was responsible for the area of Scientific Dissemination and Training between 2014 and 2020 and was a laboratory engineer (2010-2014) and project researcher (2005-2009).

The new director of CERCA is also a member of the Content and Programme Advisory Council of the Catalan Audiovisual Media Corporation, of the Community of Practice for the Evaluation of Public Policies of the Government of Catalonia (CoAVA) and of the current board of the Catalan Society of Chemistry. She has also co-authored a patent and has 17 publications in international scientific journals.

Pellejà will succeed Dr Lluís Rovira i Pato, who has held this position the last 13 years, from 2011 to 2024.


Dra. Laia Pellejà.
Dr Laia Pellejà.

Prof Oriol Romero-Isart will join ICFO as new director

Romer-Isart will succeed Lluís Torner, who has held this position since 2002.


ICFO’s director, Prof. Dr Lluis Torner, who founded the institute in 2002, informed the board of trustees in 2022 that he would be stepping down from his role, putting in motion the search for a new director.

On February 14, 2024, the Board approved the appointment of Prof Dr Oriol Romero-Isart as a new group leader, and director of the institute for the next 4 years. Romero-Isart, who obtained his PhD at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, has been working abroad during the last 15 years.

After a PostDoc at the Max-Planck Institute of Quantum Optics in Munich, he moved to Innsbruck to start his own research group in 2013. He is currently Professor at the University of Innsbruck, group leader at the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (IQOQI) Innsbruck, and Deputy Managing Director of IQOQI. His research group focuses on topics in the fields of theoretical quantum optics and mesoscopic quantum physics in the context of quantum science and technology.

He will join ICFO in the Spring and will assume responsibilities as the appointed director on September 1st, 2024.

“I feel fortunate to have been appointed as the next director of ICFO and to have the privilege of serving a successful organization filled with talented and enthusiastic people, with a mission and culture that I strongly resonate with,” comments Prof. Romero-Isart.



Dr. Oriol Romero-Isart
Dr. Oriol Romero-Isart

IBEI officially becomes a CERCA centre

With this addition, the total number of CERCA centres rises to 42

The Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals (IBEI) has been recognised as a Research Centre of Catalonia (Centre de Recerca de Catalunya (CERCA)) by the Catalan government’s Department of Research and Universities. The decision, officially published in the Diari Oficial de la Generalitat de Catalunya (DOGC), consolidates IBEI as a leading player in the field of research in Catalonia.

The path to this prestigious recognition began in 2021, when IBEI successfully passed a rigorous evaluation process. This positive evaluation highlights IBEI’s continued commitment to excellence in research and its contribution to scientific and social progress.

This recognition as a CERCA Centre represents a significant opportunity for IBEI. In addition to improving the visibility and impact of its research, IBEI will be able to establish new collaborations and consolidate its standards of excellence. In its current work, CERCA is made up of 42 research centres, and IBEI joins this prestigious network with the aim of making an outstanding contribution to the development of research and innovation.

Vicenç Acuña appointed new director of ICRA-CERCA

The Catalan Institute for Water Research (ICRA-CERCA) has successfully completed the selection process for the position of Director of the research centre. The appointment has gone to Vicenç Acuña, a researcher at the Institute since 2009 and currently head of the Resources and Ecosystems area.

With a PhD in Stream ecology obtained at the University of Barcelona in 2004, his main research interest are the ecology of temporary streams, the chemical fate and the ecological effects of emerging contaminants, the integrated management of the urban water system, and the nature-based solutions for water sanitation in urban areas. Thus, encompassing both basic and applied research, and fostering inter- and transdisciplinary research.

The new director’s main challenge will be to promote ICRA-CERCA’s research excellence in the field of natural and urban waters.

Vicenç Acuña, new director ICRA-CERCA
Dr Vicenç Acuña, new director of ICRA-CERCA institute.

Sergi Figuerola appointed new director of the I2CAT Foundation

Succeeds Prof. Josep Paradells, who took up the management of the institute at the end of 2015

Dr Sergi Figuerola Fernández has been appointed new director of the i2CAT Foundation by the board of trustees in a meeting held last January 17th. Figuerola succeeds the professor of the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) Josep Paradells, who led the entity since October 2015.

Sergi Figuerola is a Telecommunication Engineer and PhD in Telecommunication Engineering from the Department of Theory and Communication of Signals of the UPC, PDG-2019 for IESE and Master in Project Management for La Salle (URL). He joined the i2CAT Foundation in 2004 as coordinator of the Technologies Network Area, becoming director of the Networks and Distributed Applications Area in 2010 and Chief Technology and Information Officer (CTIO) in 2013.

In the last twenty years, he has participated in leading roles in various research projects funded by the European Commission in the field of telecommunications, 5G and the new generation of the Internet, and has contributed to more than 50 scientific publications. Currently, he is a member of different technical programs of international conferences and evaluator of projects and national and international research programs. He will also participate as a coordinator in the definition of the New Space strategy of the Government of Catalonia.

In the words of the new director, “it is an honour to assume this role, and I am committed to working so that the centre continues to generate impact through research and innovation of excellence. The talent of the i2CAT team is the cornerstone, and I have the certainty I will continue to support an environment that promotes collaboration with the solid foundation of the mission, vision and values of the centre. i2CAT stands out because it acts as a unique link between the academic, public and private sectors, but now our goal is going further to contribute to the transformation of the Catalan ecosystem and creating an advanced digital society in Catalonia”.

Figuerola will work to “consolidate the institution, strengthen sectors and technologies and to position i2CAT as a leading European centre in R+D+I and prepare it for the future”.

Dr Sergi Figuerola.

I3PT opens call for director

I3PT is seeking applicants with a proven-track record in leadership, a distinguished record of scientific excellence and the innovative thinking necessary to lead a dynamic organization. The elected candidate must meet the challenge of increasing the scientific level of the I3PT and boosting the institute’s translational research being carried out.

The I3PT is an equal opportunities employer and female candidates are strongly encouraged to send their applications.

I3PT’s mission is to promote an environment that favours translational research to improve the health of people, with a vision to be a biomedical research centre that contributes to be a leading international institution in healthcare innovation that promotes clinical and translational research, recognized for developing a healthcare, organizational, teaching and research model of excellence focused on the patient and the effective generation of wealth.

Application deadline ends February 15th.

Marina Mosquera Martínez, new director of IPHES-CERCA

She will succeed Robert Sala i Ramos, who has held this position for the last eight years.

The Board of Trustees of the Institut Català de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolució Social (IPHES) has appointed Dr Marina Mosquera Martínez as the new director of the institute in a meeting hold on Wednesday 27 December with the participation of all members.
Dr Mosquera, who is a professor at the Universitat Rovira Virgili (URV) and an associated researcher of IPHES since its inception, holds a PhD in History, with more than seventy publications. She focus her research in the first occupations of the European subcontinent, technology and behaviour, and the evolution of cognition and the origin of technological behaviour through ethoprimatology.

The appointment follows an international selection process coordinated by the CERCA Institution with the participation of the IPHES-CERCA External Scientific Advisory Board. Dr Marina Mosquera will be the third director of the centre, succeeding Dr Robert Sala i Ramos, who has been director of the centre during eight years and Dr. Eudald Carbonell, who was its founding director.

Dr Marina Mosquera Martínez, new director of IPHES-CERCA.
Dr Marina Mosquera Martínez, new director of IPHES-CERCA.

Quique Bassat will be the new Director General of the Barcelona Institute for Global Health

Bassat will succeed Antoni Plasència, who has held this position since October 2014.

The Board of Trustees of the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) has appointed Quique Bassat as the new Director General of the institution. Bassat will succeed Antoni Plasència, who has led the institution since October 2014.

A paediatrician and epidemiologist, Quique Bassat is ICREA Research Professor and Director of the Malaria and Neglected Parasitic Diseases programme at ISGlobal, as well as Associate Professor at the University of Barcelona and researcher at Hospital Sant Joan de Déu. Throughout his professional career, which has included long stays in the Manhiça Health Research Centre (CISM), in Mozambique, he has combined his clinical work with biomedical research on infectious diseases affecting the poorest and most vulnerable populations, with his two main areas of interest being childhood malaria and respiratory infections (bacterial or viral).

“I am honoured and thrilled by this opportunity that the Board of Trustees has given me,” says Bassat. “ISGlobal plays a critical role in advancing global health and equity, and I look forward to continuing to work with the incredible team of professionals that make up ISGlobal in my new role to further our positive impact around the world.

A rigorous selection process

On behalf of the Executive Committee of ISGlobal’s Board of Trustees, a selection committee made up of experts appointed by the Board of Trustees, with the support of the CERCA system of the Generalitat de Catalunya, carried out the selection process for the new director through a public and international call for applications. From the list of applications received, a group of highly qualified candidates were interviewed to assess their scientific solvency, management skills and strategic proposals for ISGlobal. Quique Bassat was the unanimous choice because of his proven scientific, clinical and translational track record and his commitment to ISGlobal’s mission and values. His experience in the field, his ability to lead multidisciplinary teams and his innovative vision were key aspects in the Committee’s final assessment.

In relation to the change of Director, the Board of Trustees expresses its deep gratitude to the outgoing director, Antoni Plasència, for his strong commitment and exemplary leadership, and expresses its full confidence in his successor, Quique Bassat. “Through a rigorous selection process we have chosen the best candidate to lead this new cycle. The “la Caixa” Foundation is proud to continue to support ISGlobal in its strategy to address the major global health challenges and promote equity in health through excellence in research and the transfer and application of knowledge”, said Javier Solana, Chairman of the Executive Committee of ISGlobal.

The second edition of Àgora, the CERCA manager training program, begins

The second edition of the Àgora program was inaugurated today with a presentation dedicated to the Charter and Code of Conduct for research staff.

The session, led by Dr Michele Rosa-Clot, manager of the HRS4R portfolio at the European Commission’s General Directorate for Research and Innovation, addressed the evolution of the Charter and the Code of Conduct and its implementation mechanism, the Human Resources strategy for Researchers (HRS4R), in its current format.

Dr Rosa-Clot also discussed the future evolution of the program focusing on the proposed recommendation recently adopted by the Council on a European framework to attract and retain talent in the field of research, innovation and entrepreneurship in europe.

Àgora is a management development program aimed at the management of CERCA centers that offers monthly debate and exchange sessions with experts from different fields on the most relevant topics that may affect the management of the centers.

The following sessions planned for this year will revolve around the State’s funding programs and, in particular, the Severo Ochoa Program, the supervision exercised by the Audit Office on the performance of the CERCA centers and the creation of Groups of Economic Interest (AIE).

L’I2CAT opens call for Director

The Director must contribute to increasing the research level of i2CAT and the impact it has on the Public and Private sectors while boosting digital societal activities aiming at minimizing the territory digital divide.

The qualities being sought in the Director include outstanding strategic vision, integrity, communication skills, administrative abilities, energy and motivation, fundraising experience, consensus building capacity, and a leadership style that engenders and nurtures trust and respect. She/He will have an excellent record in technology, research, leadership experience, capacity of team management, and will embrace the values of rigour, diversity, and service, and provide inspiration to all staff. She/He will have an in-depth knowledge of both national and international research systems and ecosystems – with a particular focus on European programs.

i2CAT wants to lead the challenge of designing the digital society of the future based on research and innovation in advanced digital technologies. Through talent generation, cooperation, and the commitment of its members, i2CAT envisions Catalonia as a creative, empowered, and innovative society, where knowledge and digital technology are at the service of the Catalan ecosystem and society.

Deadline for submitting applications: October 13th, 2023 at 9 am ECT