Antonio Molina, the CBGP Director, received the accreditation during the awards ceremony held at the Ministerio de Economía, Industia y Competitividad (Madrid).
The Spanish Secretary of State of Research, Development and Innovation, Dr. Carmen Vela, presented the 2016 Severo Ochoa and María de MaeztuExcellence awards on 19thof September. These awards constitute the highest institutional recognition of scientific research excellence in Spain. In this sixth edition, the Centro de Biotecnología y Genómica de Plantas(CBGP, UPM-INIA)was recognised as Centre of Excellence Severo Ochoa. Additionally, six other Spanish research centres received such as distinction, two of them for the first time –Instituto Madrileño de Estudios Avanzados en Nanociencia (IMDEA Nanociencia)and Asociación Centro de Investigación Cooperativa en Biociencias (CIC bioGUNE)– and the other four for the second time –Centro de Regulación Genómica (CRG), Instituto de Física de Altas Energías (IFAE), Instituto de Física Teórica (IFT)and Instituto de Tecnología Química (ITQ). In addition, six María de Maeztuaccreditation awards were also presented.
Both Severo Ochoacentres and María de Maeztuunits, were selected on the bases of their scientific performance over the last five years and of their strategic plans, and after a rigorous evaluation by international scientific committees grouped in three areas: life sciences and medicine; experimental sciences, mathematics and engineering; and human and social sciences. The goal of this initiative is to improve the international impact of Spanish research by awarding grants to R+D+i centres and units that stand out for the relevance and global impact of their research results, thus contributing to improve their international strategic position. Centres recognised as Severo Ochoawill be annually funded with one million euros for four years, while María de Maeztuunits will get half that sum.
In the words of the CBGP Director, Antonio Molina, ´this recognition is a great impulse for CBGP researchers, since it will allow us to initiate ambitious, interdisciplinary projects in the frontier of knowledge. To carry out these projects, we will need to improve our scientific-technological infrastructures and to incorporate new researchers, and the SO grant will help with these two issues´. Dr. Molina also declared that ´this accreditation as Centre of Excellence should improve the quality and impact of our scientific contributions and technological innovations, and to speed up the transfer of this knowledge and technologies to the bioeconomy productive sector´.
In the field of human resources, this grant promotes training activitiesfor PhD students and PhD researchers and the incorporation of research staffthat will initiate new research lines. In this way, the Centres and Units of Excellence act like driving units for the Spanish System of Science, Technology and Innovation. Dr. Molina added: ´this recognition will allow us to recruit among the most talented national and international scientists ´.
Spain has 25 Centres of Excellence Severo Ochoaand 16 Units of Excellence María de Maeztu, after the incorporation of the three new centres and six units in this 2016 edition. This, in the words of the Spanish Secretary of State of R+D+I, clearly consolidates the research excellence map in Spain.
About Centro de Biotecnología y Genómica de Plantas (CBGP, UPM-INIA)
The Centro de Biotecnología y Genómica de Plantas (CBGP) is a joint research centre of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) and the Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria (INIA).
The strategic objectives of CBGP (UPM-INIA) are the generation of fundamental knowledge on the genetic and molecular bases of key biological and physiological processes in plants and plant-interacting organisms, and on genomics of plants and plant-interacting organisms. The Centre also aims to develop new Computational Biology technologies for the functional analysis of plants/microorganisms.
CBGP (UPM-INIA) researchers are grouped into three main Research Areas/Themes: Plant Development (7 groups); Interactions of Plants with Environment (9 groups) and Biotechnology and Bioinformatics (5 groups; see here). CBGP has attracted talented scientists since its foundation, including 11 Tenure-track positions and 3 ERC Starting Grants. CBGP has a remarkable Translational Biology activity within the innovation ecosystem of the International Campus of Excellence of Montegancedo-UPM. This activity has resulted in the creation of CBGP based spin-off enterprises and in the development of new products/processes for the bioeconomy productive sectors.
For more information: Press release from Secretaría de Estado de Investigación, Desarrollo e Innovación.