SOMM Alliance

SOMMa was officially launched in October 2017

SOMMa ( is the alliance of Severo Ochoa centres and María de Maeztu units to promote Spanish Excellence in research and to enhance its social impact at national and international levels. SOMMa was officially launched in October 2017.

SOMMa brings together 25 Severo Ochoa centres and 16 María de Maeztu units accredited through these excellence awards and aims to:

  • Increase the national and international visibility of the SO and MM programme as an “interdisciplinary and interconnedted Spanish research ecosystem of excellence”
  • Promote exchange of knowledge, technology and good practices among its members, the international scientific community and key stakeholders. 
  • Have a voice in Spanish science policy. 
  • Collaborate with other centres and universities to push forward Spanish science.

The ICMAB participates in “Work package 3: Outreach”somma

The alliance’s starting activities comprised the establishment of its own governance, the launching of the website ( and the organisation of task forces to address the different objectives.

SOMMa is organized by a Chair, Co-Chair and Project Manager, and by a Steering Committee (SC) in charge of different work packages.

The ICMAB participates in “Work package 3: Outreach”, and helps in the organization of the 100xCiencia meetings.

  • In 2017, the 100xCiencia.2 meeting was held in Alicante, and its topic was “Co-creating value in scientific research”.
  • In 2018, the 100xCiencia.3 meeting was held in Madrid (CNIO) and the topic was "Bridging science and society"
  • In 2019, 100xCiencia.4 meeting is in Donostia/San Sebastián (BCBL) "Tendiendo puentes entre ciencia y sociedad" 

The ICMAB Communication & Outreach Officer, Anna May Masnou, is also part of the SOMMa Editorial Board, which is in charge of the website and of the press releases of the SOMMa network. 

ICMAB articles on the SOMMa website:

Paper farming for thermoelectrics: breakthrough to recycle waste heat into electricity

  • The device is composed of bacterial-produced cellulose with small amounts of carbon nanotubes
  • The production method and recyclability of the components make this a sustainable and environmentally friendly product
  • The device could be used to generate electricity in wearables, medical and sports applications, and as an intelligent thermal insulator

Towards calcium-based batteries

The development of a rechargeable battery technology using light electropositive metal anodes would bring in a breakthrough in energy density. For divalent charge carriers (M2+), the number of ions that must react to achieve a certain electrochemical capacity is diminished by two when compared to Li+. This would allow for the design of higher energy density batteries.


Superconductors to improve energy efficiency

The Superconducting Materials and Large Scale Nanostructures (SUMAN) group has participated in the EU-funded project EUROTAPES, whose main goal is to develop superconducting tapes to improve energy efficiency in Europe. The project, which counts with the participation of excellent researchers in the field, and the involvement of leading global companies and universities, has produced 600 meters of superconducting tape with an innovative method that reduces superconductor production cost, simplifies the architecture of these materials, and improves their capacity in high magnetic fields at various temperature scales.


A step closer to future calcium batteries

A group of researchers of the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB – CSIC) has made a discovery that could entail the replacement in the future of the currently omnipresent Lithium–ion batteries. From mobiles to laptops, drills to hedge trimmers, or electric bicycles and cars, these batteries are used in countless devices, small and large. Now, building on top of their previous discoveries in this field, the research group of M. Rosa Palacín has proven the feasibility of electrochemically extracting calcium from a calcium containing oxide. 


Documents from the SOMMa network:

News at the ICMAB website about SOMMa:




SOMMa in the press:





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