The Severo Ochoa programme, which was launched by the MICINN in April this year, will identify the ten best research centres in the country according to scientific relevance, human resources and its international competitiveness. The successful centres, which will be selected by a committee of international investigators and Nobel Prize winners, will receive a million euros annually for four years, preferential access to scientific installations and flexibility in the contracting of researchers.
Twenty-two centres, covering a wide range of disciplines, out of the total of 75 that applied have been selected to go through to the next stage. Catalonia stands out with the best research results among the autonomous regions, with 12 centres among the 22 finalists. “Getting to this stage is a tremendous achievement,” says Josep Planell, Director of IBEC. “It puts IBEC among the 22 best evaluated research institutes in Spain and among the top ten of the centres working in physics and engineering.”
As well as the generous financial support that can be spent as the ten chosen centres see fit, recognition by the Severo Ochoa programme would also bring the accreditation of ‘Centro/Unidad de Excelencia Severo Ochoa’ which gives the holder preferential visibility in obtaining further competitive funding from the MICINN. In the next stage of the process, IBEC must present a research programme that ‘contributes to the development of strategic research capacities and to the improvement of its international ranking reflected in high-level scientific production’, as well as a human resources strategy and evaluation and monitoring plan in which the proposed objectives for the four years of accreditation are laid out.
“It’s a huge success to have come this far in the selection process, and it bears witness to our consistent hard work and the quality of our achievements here at IBEC,” says Prof. Planell. “No matter what the final outcome of the Severo Ochoa programme is, today’s result only serves to reinforce and strengthen our belief in our continuing mission to develop our scientific research strategy to create knowledge and benefit society.”
Click here for the MICINN website, which lists all 22 finalists.