The seven centres of the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST) are all part of the new SOMM alliance, which was publicly announed today in Madrid. The SOMMa mission is to internationally promote, strengthen and maximise the value of the ground-breaking research produced by the Spanish ‘Severo Ochoa’ Centres and ‘María de Maeztu’ Units of Excellence and the scientific, social and economic impact it generates.
The Spanish Excellence Programmes of the ‘Severo Ochoa’ Centres and ‘María de Maeztu’ Units identify and promote excellence in scientific research. They seek to boost Spanish science by recognising existing cutting-edge research centres and units, and by further supporting them in the enhancement of their impact, international scientific leadership, and competitiveness.
Currently (as of July 2017), 25 centres and 16 units hold the ‘Severo Ochoa’ Centre and ‘María de Maeztu’ Unit of Excellence accreditation, respectively. They cover a wide breadth of scientific disciplines, from life sciences and medicine, mathematics, chemistry, physics, and engineering, to humanities and social sciences.
The seven BIST centres (CRG, IBEC, ICFO, ICIQ, ICN2, IFAE, IRB Barcelona) each hold the ‘Severo Ochoa’ accreditation and thus form part of the SOMM alliance.
The main purposes of SOMMa are to:
- Boost national and international visibility of Spanish research as an interdisciplinary and interconnected Spanish research ecosystem of excellence.
- Engage in outreach activities, addressed to different key stakeholders, such as the media, scientific community, politicians and policy-makers, general public, etc.
- Foster the exchange of scientific knowledge, technology and good practices, both in and outside the alliance, with the global scientific community and key stakeholders, therefore facilitating interdisciplinary collaboration and spreading excellence.
- Support and contribute to science policy in Spain and internationally.
- Attract and integrate talent, and favour mobility within Spain.
- Find synergies and collaboration opportunities with other research institutes and universities to push forward Spanish science.
Source: SOMMa website.