CERCA: a permeable system of research centres

In 2010 the Generalitat de Catalunya defined the perimeter of the CERCA centres to include a total of 47 research centres. Since then no other research centre has been brought into this perimeter. There have been mergers between CERCA centres, through the SUMA programme and other actions, setting the current number at 41 centres.

From this point, through the CERCA assessments, whose methodology is now maturing after more than 50 assessments since 2012, the institutions within the CERCA system are being assessed in terms of their performance and the implementation of recommendations from the first assessment. In the most extreme cases, this exercise will make it possible to examine those centres that do not satisfactorily meet the expectations set by the Generalitat. If necessary, a list of candidate centres for removal from the CERCA system will be drawn up.

In contrast, permeability must allow new centres that deserve CERCA treatment to be brought in. In this sense, the door is open for different research centres in Catalonia to approach the CERCA Institute for an initial external and international assessment, where appropriate. This will result in a recommendation on whether they should be included in CERCA system. Doing this means the Generalitat de Catalunya will have to find a balance between centres entering and leaving the CERCA system to determine where to set the final perimeter.

So far, this process has not involved anything new compared to the actions of other internationally renowned centre systems abroad. We are not, therefore, making new discoveries, but simply implementing actions to normalise our perimeter, based on centres entering and leaving, due to merit and transparency.

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Lluís Rovira

Biòleg, Doctor per la Universitat de Barcelona (1998) i Màster MDAE de l’IBEI (2015). Director de la I-CERCA des de 2011.

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