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The Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC) and the Center for Research in Agricultural Genomics (CRAG), two Catalan centers belonging to the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), have been designated Severo Ochoa centers of excellence by the Secretary of State for R&D&i under the Ministry of the Economy and Competitiveness.

These centers, along with the Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language in San Sebastian that also received this distinction, will receive one million euros per year for four years to invest in their research programs.

“This recognition will allow us to develop new multidisciplinary projects on the frontiers of science, attract talent and internationalize projects, as well as promoting technology transfer programs and communications,” says Director of the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona Xavier Obradors. This center has been working in the fields of materials science, nanoscience and nanotechnology for more than 20 years.  

CRAG is a consortium made up of four institutions, which in addition to the CSIC include the UAB, UB and Institute of Agrifood Research and Technology (IRTA). “This is the first Severo Ochoa to go to plant biology and agricultural research, including farm animals,” says IRTA Director José Luis Fernández Riechmann. “Many of the problems that will arise over the coming decades will be associated with plants, which is what makes them so important,” he adds.

One of the main lines of research at CRAG is genetic molecular research in farm animals and plants, as well as applications for molecular approaches to developing important species for agriculture and food production.

The Severo Ochoa Centers of Excellence program is one of the most prestigious in Spain. A total of 115 world-renowned international scientists participate in the selection process, which assesses the centers’ scientific results and strategic programs to select the best of the best in each field.

In the Maria de Maeztu category, the UAB Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA) and the UPF Department of Information and Communication Technologies have been recognized, among other centers, and will receive €500,000 each year over four years.


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