Letter from the Director
Thank you for your interest in the 2018 ICIQ Scientific Report. I hope you find the information useful.
Here you will find comprehensive information about ICIQ’s achievements and challenges in 2018. For hardly understandable reasons, we suffered an important decrease in funding from Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad. This forced us to devote much effort to secure the economical viability of the Institute. Anyway, we are optimistic and hope this situation will be reverted in 2019.
At the same time, 2018 brought much good news, including our success in securing European funding. Specifically, Dr. Elisabet Romero, who joined ICIQ through our Starting Career Programme in January 2018, obtained an ERC (European Research Council) Starting Grant to carry out research in artificial photosynthesis, one of the institute’s most promising field of research. We also received an ERC Proof of Concept (Prof. Antonio M. Echavarren) and a COFUND, “ICIQ Impulsion”, from the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Programme that will allow us to contract 12 talented postdoctoral students. The overall funding coming from European projects represented 71%, or about €2.5 million, of the total funding from competitive sources.
We’re also proud of being part of the «Sunrise: Solar Energy for a Circular Economy». Sunrise is a coordinated and support action (CSA-FETFLAG-2018) to prepare a new European large-scale research initiative to be potentially supported in the next European research and innovation framework programme, Horizon Europe. Sunrise is about providing a sustainable alternative to the fossil-based, energy- intensive production of fuels and chemicals, based on solar energy conversion and widely available feedstock (CO2, H2O, N2).
As for our research outputs, the institute continued being very active, publishing 190 high quality scientific papers during the year (78% in the first quartile journals) with an average impact factor of 7,5. The institute topped international rankings measuring scientific excellence like excellencemapping.net and http://www.natureindex.com. Once again, ICIQ has been the major individual contributor to Nature Index in Spain in 2018. We hope this long-lasting situation will translate into additional institutional support from our scientific authorities!
I also would like to highlight the implementation of the programmes and actions included in ICIQ’s strategic plan for the 2017-2021 period. The plan was the result of hard work by many dedicated ICIQ researchers, technicians, management and administration staff members. We are on course to make available to ICIQ’s staff the resources and tools necessary to carry out an inclusive science for a sustainable society.
We are also turning ICIQ into a true talent platform. We‘re setting the ground to increase and consolidate our collaboration with industry partners and to implement the RRI (Responsible Research and Innovation) principles in all ICIQ’s activities.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Miquel A. Pericàs