In a ceremony that took place yesterday in Barcelona, representatives from ICFO and LuxQuanta received the Catalan National Innovation Award for creating a science-based enterprise. The award was given by the President of the Government of Catalonia and the Minister of Research and Universities.
ICFO’s Director of Knowledge and Technology Transfer (KTT) Dr. Silvia Carrasco, ICREA Prof. at ICFO Dr. Valerio Pruneri, and LuxQuanta CEO, Vanesa Díaz mounted the stage at the award ceremony organised by the Catalan Foundation for Research and Innovation (FCRI) and the Government of Catalonia to accept the 2022 National Innovation Award for the creation of a science-based company, LuxQuanta.
In the ceremony that took place last night at the Teatre Nacional de Catalonia, the President of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Pere Aragonès, and the Catalan Minister of Research and Universities and member of the BIST Board of Trustees, Joaquim Nadal, presented ICFO with this prestigious award, along with the recipients of the National Research Award (Jaume Ventura), the National Research Award for Young Talent (Júlia Vergara-Aert) and awards in the categories of Scientific Patronage (Fundación BBVA), Scientific Communication, (Fundació La Marató de TV3 for the program “La Marató de TV3), and Public-Private partnerships (“UPF-CaixaBank-Economia en temps real”).
Dr. Carrasco received the award, commenting that “LuxQuanta is a spectacular example from within the group of companies that have spun-out of ICFO to date of what is possible in Catalonia: to create unique and competitive high technology / deep-tech projects on a global scale, to attract talent and also to attract investment.”
LuxQuanta, ICFO’s tenth spin-off company, was constituted in May 2021 after incubating in ICFO’s KTT LaunchPad. The company works on the development and commercialisation of quantum key distribution systems (QKD) for cryptography, which offer an additional layer of security for the communications of public and private entities. LuxQuanta’s technology is based on the research carried out in the Optoelectronics group, led by ICREA Professor at ICFO Dr. Valerio Pruneri, a founding member of the company.
While acknowledging the exciting potential of LuxQuanta that was the impetus for the National Award for Innovation, Dr. Carrasco concluded her acceptance assuring that ICFO “will continue to work hard to make this dream of creating jobs with high added value possible in Catalonia, and contribute to an economy based on knowledge, together with all our colleagues in the Catalan research system.”
Closing the ceremony, President Aragonès said that investing in research and innovation has brought Catalonia to the nation it is today. “There is a lot of talent in Catalonia”, he said, highlighting how researchers and innovators are key to overcome difficulties.
The award in the category of Scientific Patronage, awarded to the Fundación BBVA, is also connected to the BIST community. Fundación BBVA is one of the trustees of IRB Barcelona, a BIST community research centre. In their speech, which was delivered by VHIO Director Josep Tabernero, Fundación BBVA expressed their commitment to excellent biomedical research from fundamental discoveries in the lab to the bedside.