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Tuesday, 18 October 2016

EXCELLENCE 2016 celebrated the potential of the research developed at UAB Campus

Representatives from the five Centres of Excellence “Severo Ochoa” and the two Units of Excellence “María de Maeztu” located at the UAB Campus shared strategies towards achieving a top level of scientific excellence. The event was held on Monday October 17 in Centre for Research in Agricultural Genomics (CRAG), located at UAB Campus. The event counted on the presence of many other people from the scientific Spanish scene, such as Andreu Mas-Colell and Rolf Tarrach.

About 200 researchers from the five Excellence Centres “Severo Ochoa” and the two Units of Excellence “María de Maeztu” from UAB Campus got together last Monday, October 17, in the auditorium of Centre for Research in Agricultural Genomics (CRAG), located at UAB campus. The aim of the event was to share strategies towards achieving a top level of scientific excellence from the UAB campus. The Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2) participated in EXCELLENCE 2016 through Prof. Pablo Ordejón, Director of ICN2 and leader of the Theory and Simulation Group.

The open ceremony started with Javier Lafuente, Vice Chancellor of Innovation and Strategic Projects from UAB and Director of the UAB Research Park, who highlighted how special is the UAB Campus because there are “research centres, faculties and institutes from pretty different disciplines” in a shared space. Next, Cristina de la Puente, Vice President of Scientific and Technical Research from CSIC, lamented that “our citizens do not perceive the researchers the same way as our athletes”, and she emphasized that “improving the science perception is as important as scientific excellence”. Also, the open ceremony had the participation of Marina Villegas, Director of the State Research Agency of the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, who talked about UAB as an “example of quality research in Spain”.

Once ceremony opening finished, different representatives of the centres shared experiences, opinions and strategies around scientific excellence and how to reach it. From UAB, the “Severo Ochoa” Centers are: ICN2, CRAG, Institute of High Energy Physics (IFAE), Institute of Material Science of Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC), Barcelona Graduate School of Economics (Barcelona GSE); the “María de Maeztu” Units are: Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA-UAB) and Barcelona Graduate School of Mathematics (BGSMath). Prof. Pablo Ordejón underlined the role of Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA) community and discussed the meaning of excellence: “It is hard to define, but you recognise it when you see it”.

Andreu Mas-Colell, President of the Board of Trustees – Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST), was the responsible to close the day. Some of his closing remarks pointed at the collaboration between university and research centres: “People that take coffee together write papers together”. Also, he applied for the economic support on science: “Increase the budget (double it!), use it efficiently and communicate”. Rolf Tarrach, former director of CSIC and involved in the first steps of BIST, also had an active role throughout the whole event.

Source: UAB.cat