The State Research Agency grants this competitive accreditation to recognise, promote and fund scientific research of excellence in Spanish institutions of great international relevance.
Only two research centres in the field of biomedicine, namely the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) and the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), have achieved three consecutive "Severo Ochoa" Centre of Excellence accreditations since this distinction was launched in 2011.
On Wednesday 2 December, the final resolution of the 2019 "Severo Ochoa" Centres of Excellence and "Maria de Maeztu" Units of Excellence call was published, announcing that IRB Barcelona received its third consecutive award.
Given by the State Research Agency, the "Severo Ochoa" distinction aims to finance and acknowledge public research centres and units in any field of science that demonstrate impact and scientific leadership at the international level and actively collaborate with their social and business environment.
As part of this accreditation, IRB Barcelona is developing an ambitious scientific and institutional programme focused on strengthening research areas such as immuno-oncology, biological chemistry and senescence, with the priority objective of building knowledge and providing solutions in the field of cancer and metastasis.
The "Severo Ochoa" Centre of Excellence Accreditation is valid for four years and carries €1 M of funding per year during that period. The competitive selection process is carried out by the State Research Agency following the highest standards of international peer evaluation. This accreditation is granted to a limited number of centres each year and holders of this award can reapply after the end of the four years. Accreditation provides visibility and priority access to certain public initiatives related to human resources, among others.
IRB Barcelona was awarded the "Severo Ochoa" accreditation in the first call for this recognition in 2011, its second award came in 2016 and its third this year. The Institute is one of only six centres—only two of which are devoted to biomedical research— to have received three consecutive distinctions.
The following centres were also acknowledged in the 2019 call: the Spanish National Cancer Research (CNIO); the Institute of Mathematical Sciences (ICMAT); the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO); the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics (BGSE). the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC); the Centre for Research in Agricultural Genomics (CRAG); the Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ); the Institute of Marine Sciences (ICM); and the Institute of Materials Science (ICMAB).