Severo Ochoa

The ICN2 received its Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence accreditation in 2014, earning it a place alongside the top research institutes in Spain. Its research programme, “Nanodevices for Social Challenges”, is aimed at bringing the latest findings in nanoscience to the benefit of society in the form of innovative devices and technologies.

In this section we introduce the programme’s goals, approach and key milestones so far, beginning with an overview of the award itself.

The impact of the research developed at the ICN2 reaches far into the fields of the life sciences, energy and ICT. This is one of the main factors that prompted the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness to award the institute its Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence accreditation in 2014, together with our quality indicators and commitment to the European principles of responsible research and innovation (RRI).

This award is the highest national recognition of scientific excellence and leadership, and denotes those research institutes in Spain that are among the best in the world in their field. It also places value on their potential for social and business impact. When the ICN2 received its accreditation, only 18 research centres could boast this recognition. (The full list of Severo Ochoa research centres can be consulted here).

The funding that accompanies this accreditation is devoted to the ICN2’s Severo Ochoa “Nanodevices for social challenges” research programme (2014-2017). With resources largely allocated to the recruitment of staff and equipment procurement, it is enabling the ICN2 to make great strides in the development of devices for a broad range of applications.

Based on four interdisciplinary approaches, the programme is focused on finding ways to adapt and transform the knowledge generated at the ICN2 into real-world devices that offer innovative solutions to major social challenges in health, the environment, energy and ICT.

Other key areas of work lie in boosting the international profile of the ICN2 within academic circles, building on its first forays into technology transfer, and making the institute an attractive place to pursue a career within and beyond research.

Granted at a critical time for our centre, the Severo Ochoa research programme has been instrumental to forging a unified institutional identity. It has seen the incorporation of two new research groups, and was crucial to our becoming a founding member of BIST, the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology. Publications have risen in number and quality year on year, with an average impact factor 15% higher than in 2014, as has our participation in the EU’s Horizon 2020 research programme and other international collaborations. The road to market has become increasingly well-trodden by ICN2 researchers, even leading to the institute’s first spinoff company. Meanwhile, the growing presence of the ICN2 in the media also speaks to the impact of the Severo Ochoa accreditation on the institute, and of the institute on industry and society at large.

The award has also allowed resources to be allocated to the implementation of international standards in recruitment and career development, leading to our being granted the European Commission’s HR Excellence in Research logo.

Find out more about our achievements in the different areas using the side menu.