Letter from the Director

Dear friends,

Thanks for browsing the 2016 ICIQ Scientific Report. I hope you find the information useful.

2016 was a busy, but at the same time really exciting year for me. In September 2016 I committed to become the general director of the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST) for a one-year term, to start the deployment of this young institution. However, as you can imagine, ICIQ’s life kept going. We faced very important challenges, all of them key to our future: a new strategic plan for 2017-2021, the renewal of the Severo Ochoa accreditation of excellence, the application to the Human Resources Excellence in Research seal awarded by the European Commission, securing funds for the construction of our third building… This, of course, required a lot of dedication and effort. In sum, the design and implementation of activities associated to this dual appointment was a demanding task. I’m most thankful to my closest collaborators at ICIQ (Antonio, Ariadna, Gisela, Lluís, Lorena, Pau, Sara), at my research group (Carles, Esther, Sonia), and at BIST (Àlex, Jenny, Margarita, Núria, Òscar) for their help and support. Together we made it!.

In this website you will find comprehensive information on ICIQ achievements during 2016. I would like to highlight our success in obtaining ERC funding. Professor Paolo Melchiorre received an ERC Consolidator Grant and Professors Emilio Palomares and José Ramón Galán-Mascarós were each awarded an ERC Proof of Concept. Also, Professor José Ramón Galán-Mascarós received 8 million euros from the European Commission (FET projects) to coordinate and develop the A-Leaf project, the first European project coordinated by ICIQ. Moreover, ICIQ research groups obtained funding from MINECO for a total of 14 projects. Once again, ICIQ Group Leaders were able to raise funding for all their promising projects and ideas. Congratulations to all of them!

With respect to research outputs, the institute continued being very active, publishing 172 scientific papers during the year (90% in the first quartile) with an average impact factor of 7.8. The institute reached Hirsch index 114 in December and topped international rankings measuring scientific excellence like excellencemapping.net and http://www.natureindex.com.

Finally, I would like to stress the importance of the strategic reflection activities carried out during 2016. Thus, the annual meeting of the ICIQ Scientific Advisory Board was devoted to the analysis of future directions of the Institute with respect to space needs, improvement of our Group Leaders hiring methodology, and scientific orientation. The same discussion process was also performed internally, during our first retreat held in Falset. My personal analysis of these activities is extremely positive. These discussions paved the way for the preparation of ICIQ’s Strategic Plan 2017-2021 and the renovation of the Severo Ochoa accreditation, now underway. Moreover, the overall experience was also a great opportunity for team building.

Best regards,

Miquel A. Pericàs