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IRB Barcelona received the news about the renewal of Severo Ochoa Award yesterday during its 10th anniversary celebration (Photo: IRB Barcelona).

Renewal of IRB Barcelona’s ‘Severo Ochoa’ Accreditation of Excellence

This morning the Secretary of State for I+D+I has announced that the first eight 'Severo Ochoa’ Centres of Excellence' ─whose strategic research plans for the period 2016-2019 have been positively evaluated─ have been awarded this distinction again, which has won them  a grant of 1 million euros a year for a further four years. One of these centers is the Institute for Biomedical Research (IRB Barcelona), which received the news during its 10th year anniversary institutional event at the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB). Last March, the Institute of Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) was granted the Severo Ochoa accreditation, which means that Barcelona Science Park (PCB) now is home to two of the centers that have been presented with this distinction.


In the opinion of the evaluators, these centres have not only revalidated their position as references in international research but many of them have consolidated their scientific leadership during the last ‘Severo Ochoa’ Award period.

The Secretary of State stated that the centres in question stand out for the international standing of the science they perform, as well as for their capacity to innovate and for their strong relations with the business sector. Moreover, these centres are international references capable of attracting talent from around the world.

The renewal of the ‘Severo Ochoa’ accreditation coincides with IRB Barcelona’s 10th anniversary celebration, held yesterday in an institutional event in the Centro de Cultura Contemporánea de Barcelona (CCCB). This celebration brought together about 400 people, including members of the Board of Trustees, scientific leaders, public figures, the IRB Barcelona community, collaborators and friends. “This is the best birthday present that the Ministry could have given us today,” said the very grateful director, Joan Guinovart, to the director general Scientific and Technical Research, Marina Villegas, who represented the ministry at the event.

The eight centres are as follows: Barcelona Supercomputing Center – Centro Nacional de Supercomputación (BSC-CNS), the Instituto de Ciencias Matemáticas (ICMAT), the Instituto de Ciencias Fotónicas (ICFO), the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncológicas Carlos III (CNIO), the Instituto de Investigación Biomédica (IRB Barcelona), the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares Carlos III (CNIC), and the  Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.

In addition, the Secretary of State for I+D+i presented three new ‘Severo Ochoa’ Awards, and four ‘María de Maeztu’ Units of Excellence.

10 years of achievements in biomedicine

On Monday 26 October, the IRB Barcelona celebrated its 10th anniversary on a symposium chaired by its director, Joan J. Guinovart, professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the University of Barcelona, and the president of the External Advisory Committee, Joan Massagué. The event was also attended by members of IRB Barcelona’s Board of Trustees: the Rector Dídac Ramírez, and the Catalan ministers Boi Ruiz and Andreu Mas-Colell. 

For the last 10 years, IRB Barcelona, working around an interface between biology, chemistry and structural and computational biology, has published 1,814 papers in journals of high impact. In 2011, the Institute was granted the Severo Ochoa Award of Excellence. Located at the Barcelona Science Park (PCB), the centre includes 23 laboratories that address basic research projects on biomedical problems of socioeconomic impact, with a special emphasis on cancer, metastasis, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and rare diseases.