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ICE receives ‘Maria de Maeztu’ Excellence Distinction

19 July 2021

ICE building, located at Campus UAB, Bellaterra, Barcelona.

  • The institute will receive €2 million for funding and 8 pre-doctoral contracts.

  • It is one of the three CSIC centers awarded with a seal of excellence this call.

The Institute of Space Sciences (ICE-CSIC) has obtained the María de Maeztu seal of excellence, a distinction that recognizes the centers and units that carry out highly competitive cutting-edge research and that are among the best in the world in their respective scientific areas.

Along with this distinction, ICE will receive two million euros and eight pre-doctoral contracts in the upcoming years. “We are very happy for receiving such a high recognition to our work, and we’re sure it will allow us to continue improving even more” tells us Diego F. Torres, director of the center and principal investigator of the project.

The Spanish State Research Agency (Agencia Estatal de Investigación, or AEI), dependent on the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (MICINN), provisionally resolved the call for the Severo Ochoa and María de Maeztu Centers and Units of Excellence programme last Friday. These recognitions are aimed at funding and accrediting research centers and units, from any scientific area, which are able to prove scientific impact and leadership at an international level and actively collaborate with their social and business environment.

The requirements, levels of demand, criteria and procedures for evaluation and selection related to scientific excellence do not establish differences between centers and units, which have been selected for their scientific results and strategic programmes after a rigorous evaluation with the participation of prestigious international scientists. The total investment of the programme is 40 million euros.
The awarded centers

Besides ICE, two other CSIC centers have received distinctions of excellence: the Institute of Theoretical Physics (IFT), a mixed research center with the Autonomous University of Madrid, which has received the Severo Ochoa accreditation; and the Andalusian Centre for Developmental Biology (CABD), in Seville, which has received the María de Maeztu distinction. In addition, the Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies (IMEDEA), in Mallorca, will receive 200,000 euros.

In the 2020 call, seven ‘Severo Ochoa’ centers of excellence and six ‘María de Maeztu’ excellence units were distinguished from a total of 50 applications submitted (17 centers and 33 units). The proposal of the State Research Agency includes awards of excellence to other pioneering research institutions in Spain, such as the Center for Plant Biotechnology and Genomics (CBGP), CIC-NANOGUNE, IMDEA-Nanociencia, Centre for Genomic Regulation (CGR), Center for Monetary and Financial Studies (CEMFI), Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language (BCBL), Spanish National Center for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC), Centre de Recerca Matemàtica (CRM), the Math Institute of the University of Granada (IEMath) and the VHIO Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology.

More information

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Institute of Space Sciences (ICE-CSIC) and Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia (IEEC)