- A meeting took place between the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities, senior officials of 15 Spanish Autonomous Communities and 42 members of the SOMM alliance
- Six centres and units of excellence “Severo Ochoa–Maria de Maeztu” showed the potential impact of the programme for Autonomous Communities
- “The support of autonomous communities is essential for Spain”, declares Luis Serrano, president of the SOMM alliance
The Ministry, autonomous communities and Severo Ochoa / Maria de Maeztu institutions together
On Monday, September the 9th took place a meeting between the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities, the Severo Ochoa and Maria de Maeztu centres and units of excellence and high-officials and counselors of 15 autonomous communities. The programme of excellence “Severo Ochoa - Maria de Maeztu” identifies and promotes the excellence in scientific research. Its objective is to give recognition to the research institutions at the forefront of their fields, and to boost their impact, international scientific leadership and competitivity.
The event took place at the Ministry, and was co-presided by the Minister Pedro Duque and by Luis Serrano, president of the SOMM alliance. The director of the Spanish State Agency of Research, Enrique Playán, and the first vice president of SOMMa, Maria Blasco.
The minister of Science, Innovation and Universities, Pedro Duque, stressed “the firm support of the Government to the Severo Ochoa and Maria de Maeztu programme of excellence”, highlighting “the importance of the Autonomous Communities being able to host such centres, which would be to the benefit of their science and innovation systems.” The minister has declared, moreover, that “the level of the selection requirements will remain as stringent as it currently is, reason why the objective is that more excellent research institutions appear, something that requires of the support of the various governments.”
As declared Luis Serrano, “this meeting is symptomatic of a constructive and positive stance with regard to research in Spain. The support and interest of the autonomous communities for research is essential for Spain having expectations of becoming a country with a truly knowledge-based economy. The Severo Ochoa and Maria de Maeztu programme is a powerful lever of which autonomous communities can make use to strengthen their research institutions.”
Stories of success put into display
The meeting in the Ministry had as object to emphasise the impact of the Severo Ochoa – Maria de Maeztu programme, its benefits for the consolidation of research of excellence, and its potential to help to sustain and to become a springboard for the research poles of autonomous communities.
Six centres and units of research have exposed their path towards obtaining the award and the impact that the prize has had. A round of questions and answers at the end of the act allowed the autonomous communities to learn how they can benefit from the programme.
During the event presented their case the Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Physics and Complex Systems (IFISC, Balearic Islands), the Galician Institute of High Energy Physics (IGFAE, Galicia), the Gene Expression and Morphogenesis department (GEM-DCM2, CABD, Andalusia), the Instituto de Neurociencias de Alicante (IN - CSIC – UMH, Valencian Community), the Basque Center for Applied Mathematics (BCAM, Basque Country) and the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, altogether making clear the presence of research institutions of excellence over the whole of Spanish geography.
Photographs were kindly provided by staff of the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities.