New members of SOMMa on board for the first time

Seven centers and six units receive the 'Severo Ochoa' and 'María de Maeztu' seals of excellence. One centre and two units achieve accreditation for the first time

Thirteen cutting-edge Spanish institutions were awarded the “María de Maeztu” or “Severo Ochoa” distinctions of excellence on past call. The total investment of this programme is around 40 million euros: each of the 'Severo Ochoa' centres will receive one million euros per year for the next 4 years, while the 'María de Maeztu' units will receive around 500,000 euros per year for the same period of time.

  • The Vall d'Hebron Oncology Research Institute (VHIO) has been awarded the 'Severo Ochoa' centre of excellence distinction for the first time. The research units selected for the first time in the 'María de Maeztu' category are the Institute of Mathematics of the University of Granada (IMAG) and the Institute of Space Sciences (ICE).
  • The 'Severo Ochoa' centre of excellence and 'Maria de Maeztu' unit of excellence awards aim to finance and accredit research centres and units, in any scientific area, that demonstrate impact and scientific leadership at an international level and that actively collaborate with their social and business environment.

They distinguish organisational structures that have highly competitive, cutting-edge research programmes and are among the best in the world in their respective scientific areas.

The evaluation and selection process is carried out independently by an international scientific committee made up of researchers of recognised prestige and impact. The accreditation is valid for four years. At the end of this period, the centres or units may apply for a new call for applications in competitive competition.

Four more years of excellence

In the 2020 call, seven 'Severo Ochoa' centres of excellence and six 'María de Maeztu' units of excellence have been distinguished out of the total of 50 applications submitted, 17 centres and 33 units.

Four 'Severo Ochoa' centres of excellence have renewed their accreditation: the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), the Institute for Theoretical Physics (IFT), the Centre for Plant Biotechnology and Genomics (CBGP) and IMDEA-Nanoscience. In addition, the National Centre for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC) and the Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language (BCBL) have also regained this distinction.

Three María de Maeztu units of excellence, the CIC-NANOGUNE, the Centre for Monetary and Financial Studies (CEMFI) and the Andalusian Centre for Developmental Biology (CABD), have renewed their distinction. The Centre de Recerca Matemàtica (CRM) also regains its accreditation as a María de Maeztu unit.

The requirements, standards, criteria and evaluation and selection procedures for scientific excellence do not differentiate between centres and units, which have been selected for their scientific results and strategic programmes after a rigorous evaluation in which internationally renowned scientists have participated.

On the other hand, three non-accredited grants have also been awarded for units close to excellence, for a total amount of 200,000 euros. This funding seeks to support high-impact scientific activities that will enable the centres to improve their position with a view to future calls for proposals. The units selected are the Galician Institute for High Energy Physics (IGFAE), the Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies (IMEDEA) and POLYMAT.