The new website improves the dissemination of CBGP (UPM-INIA/CSIC) activities, incorporates more transparent information on the operation of the center, and advances in the objective of scientific dissemination with new sections such as the CBGP podcast “Feed your Mind ”.
The CBGP (UPM/INIA-CSIC) launches its new website coinciding with the start of its new accreditation as a Severo Ochoa Center of Excellence (2022-2025). The Spanish Research Agency (AEI) published the final resolution of the 2020 call for the Severo Ochoa Centers of Excellence (SO) and María de Maeztu Units of Excellence (MM) Programme, where the Centro de Biotecnología y Genómica de Plantas (CBGP, UPM-INIA/CSIC) was awarded again the accreditation as a Severo Ochoa Center of Excellence for the period 2022-2025. In addition, six other centers also received this distinction, one for the first time and five after having previously obtained it as the CBGP (UPM-INIA/CSIC). Additionally, six María de Maeztu Excellence unit accreditations were awarded in this call. This Severo Ochoa accreditation is a recognition of the scientific excellence and technological innovation of the CBGP (UPM-INIA/CSIC) and a boost for the development of its new scientific programmes and technological solutions for a more sustainable agriculture and development. The objective of this SO-MM initiative of the AEI is to enhance the international visibility of the research carried out in Spain by granting aid to R&D centers and units that stand out for the relevance and global impact of their results, thus contributing to improve its international strategic position. Over the next four years, the CBGP (UPM-INIA/CSIC) will receive funding of one million euros per year and 14 grants for hiring doctoral students.
In the words of the CBGP Director, Antonio Molina: “This recognition represents an endorsement of the ambitious science programs of excellence and innovation developed in recent years and a great boost for CBGP (UPM-INIA/CSIC) researchers that we will be able to tackle three new scientific programs: i) MISIONESCBGP, a cooperative scientific programme between CBGP (UPM-INIA/CSIC) groups to face the challenges of plant biology and agricultural production; ii) SynBIO2, the new CBGP (UPM-INIA/CSIC) Synthetic Biology and Bioengineering of plants and associated microorganisms programme; and iii) CSPINT, the new international scientific collaboration programme to consolidate our Center of Excellence for Plant Environment Interactions (CEPEI) with two institutes of the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) and to launch new collaboration programmes with internationally renowned research institutes. All these programmes will finance projects that will be on the frontier of knowledge. To develop these projects, the scientific-technological infrastructures will be improved and new researchers will be incorporated, which will be possible thanks to the aid granted”. Dr. Molina also indicated that “this accreditation as a Center of Excellence will make it possible to accelerate the transfer of the knowledge generated and the development of new technologies for the productive sector of the bioeconomy through our CBGP-SusLUTIONS programme, which will provide solutions for more sustainable agricultural production responding to the challenges of the European Green Deal, the Farm to Fork strategy, some of the EU Missions, such as Soil health and food, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)”. In the framework of this CBGP-SusLUTIONS initiative, the CBGP (UPM-INIA/CSIC) will establish joint innovation units with companies for the development of sustainable solutions for agriculture and accelerate the transfer of the technology generated in the Center.
Within the human resources context, the SO support will foster training activities for predoctoral students and postdoctoral researchers, the incorporation of new research staff to develop new research lines in scientific programs and will foster a specific program to promote women's leadership in science (Balancing Gender Program). Dr. Molina added: "this recognition will allow us to attract the best national and international scientific-technological talent and consolidate the path of excellence in science and innovation of the groups working currently at CBGP (UPM-INIA/CSIC)".
The new strategic plan also includes specific dissemination actions within the Communication and dissemination of science and technology programme. Within this new communication plan is framed the new website launched today, the launch of the CBGP (UPM-INIA-CSIC) Podcast "Feed your mind" and collaboration programmes such as the one recently established with the City Council of Pozuelo de Alarcón and its Environmental Education Aula.
About Centro de Biotecnología y Genómica de Plantas (CBGP, UPM-INIA/CSIC)
The Centro de Biotecnología y Genómica de Plantas (CBGP, UPM-INIA/CSIC) is a joint research centre of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) and the Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria (INIA), recently integrated as National Centre in the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC).
The strategic objectives of CBGP (UPM-INIA/CSIC) 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/CSIC) researchers are grouped into four main Research Areas/Themes: Plant Development (8 groups), Interactions of Plants with Environment (9 groups), Synthetic Biology and Bioengineering (SynBIO2: 4 groups) and Computational Systems Biology and Genomics (CsBGP: 3 groups). In addition, CBGP (UPM-INIA/CSIC) has 15 emerging research group leads by Junior Scientist. The Centre 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.