Six top Catalan research centres constitute ‘The Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology’ to pursue a joint scientific endeavour

Constitution of the Board of Trustees of the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (Photo: Ramon Vilalta)

CRG, ICIQ, ICN2,ICFO, IFAE and IRB Barcelona come together in this new institution.

The Barcelona Institute emerges as one of the leading scientific institutes in Europe, ranking fourth in the number of ERC grants awarded per volume of researchers.

Its Board of Trustees is formed by non-profits and renowned international scientists including Profs. Rolf Tarrach (Chair), Joan Massagué, and Ignacio Cirac, among others.

The Barcelona Institute will promote joint research strategies, transfer of technology, and graduate programs.

Six of the top research centres in Catalonia have taken a step forward in their collaboration by setting up The Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology. The centres involved are: the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG); the Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ); the Catalan Institute for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2); the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO); the High Energy Physics Institute (IFAE); and the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona). The Barcelona Institute is a scientific initiative that seeks to foster interdisciplinary research, to leverage its scientific impact, and to position itself among the leading European institutions. This afternoon, the Board of Trustees of the Barcelona Institute, has convened for the first time in Barcelona, chaired by Prof. Rolf Tarrach, and with Mr. Jaume Giró (CEO of “la Caixa” Foundation) as Vice-Chairman.

Following renowned international centres such as Caltech in California and the Weizmann Institute in Israel, the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology is an initiative promoted by the directors of the six centres that compose the Institute and five preeminent international scientists who consider that “it is time for the Catalan research system to progress by consolidating collaboration between these centres, jointly operating in a new institution that will allow them to launch more transversal scientific projects and to achieve greater international competitiveness”, in the words of Prof. Rolf Tarrach, chair of the Barcelona Institute. In addition to Prof. Tarrach, who also chairs the European University Association (EUA), Profs. Joan Massagué (Sloan Kettering Institute), Ignacio Cirac (Max Planck Institute), Miquel Salmeron (UC Berkeley) and Sergi Verdú (Princeton University) also serve on the Board of Trustees.

The Barcelona Institute comes about with the support of five large foundations that also sit on the Board of Trustees: “la Caixa” Foundation (Mr. Jaume Giró), one of the top world foundations; the Banc Sabadell Foundation (Mr. Miquel Molins); the Catalunya-La Pedrera Foundation (Mr. Germán Ramón-Cortés); the Cellex Private Foundation (Mr. Jordi Segarra); and Femcat Businessman Foundation (Mr. David Nogareda). Likewise, the Government of Catalonia also belongs to the Board of Trustees, represented by Minister Prof. Andreu Mas-Colell.

The six research centres that make up the Barcelona Institute will continue their own activity while simultaneously participating in the joint undertaking that will boost their individual potential.

At the top of European rankings

The Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology ranks as the fourth European institute in the number of European Research Council (ERC) grants received on the basis of number of researchers; the six centres were awarded 49 ERC grants from 2007 to 2014, more than 1% of the total in Europe.

With respect to the publication index, the centres that compose the Barcelona Institute published 144 articles in Nature and Science between 2008 and 2012.

Start-up of activity in autumn

The Barcelona Institute will start its activity in September with a Director who will be appointed in the next weeks, who will be responsible for promoting three major lines of work:

  • The development of combined research from diverse disciplines and shared infrastructures,
  • The development of a joint technology and knowledge transfer strategy,
  • The launching of joint international multidisciplinary graduate programs.


Board of Trustees, The Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology

Chair: Prof. Rolf Tarrach

Vice-Chair: Mr. Jaume Giró, CEO of “la Caixa” Foundation

Secretary: Dr. Eduard Vallory, former Director of the Barcelona GSE


Prof. Ignacio Cirac, Max-Planck-Institute for Quantum Optics

Prof. Joan Massagué, Sloan Kettering Institute

Prof. Miquel Salmeron, University of California- Berkeley

Prof. Sergi Verdú, Princeton University

Mr. Miquel Molins, Chairman of the Banc Sabadell Foundation

Mr. Germán Ramón-Cortés, Chairman of Catalunya-La Pedrera Foundation

Mr. Jordi Segarra, Cellex Private Foundation

Mr. David Nogareda, Femcat Businessmen Foundation

Prof. Luís Serrano, Director of CRG

Prof. Miquel Àngel Pericàs, Director of ICIQ

Prof. Pablo Ordejón, Director of ICN2

Prof. Lluís Torner, Director of ICFO

Prof. Ramon Miquel, Director of IFAE

Prof. Joan Josep Guinovart, Director of IRB Barcelona

Hon. Andreu Mas-Colell, Minister of Economy and Knowledge, Government of Catalonia