In a year dominated by the presence of a global pandemic, research is bound to be affected, both in what is being studied and how research is done. The response to SARS-CoV-19 required for everything to be different, with research happening from home and researchers approaching the COVID response from every possible field.
While this new situation deeply changed how we did research, adaptation was quick, and researchers at every CSIC institute and center were able to carry on their research. Now, the CSIC Annual Report 2020 presents all the specific information on the performance of the Council as a whole as well as all the achievements its members have accomplished. To complement that, CSIC has also published “Institutos y Centros CSIC. Datos 2020”, with specific information for each one of the institutes and research centers that are under CSIC, divided into the three global areas: society, life and matter.
On 2020, there were more than 3.500 projects with National funding, across its 120 research centers (11 of which have received the qualification of Severo Ochoa Center of Excellence). CSIC centers also had more than 700 projects funded internationally and 62 ongoing ERC Projects in 2020.
Some of the results of this funding are represented in the almost 15,000 indexed published articles as well as the other publications; also in the more than 1,500 closed contracts with companies in technology transfer, and many trainingefforts, in JAE Intro contracts, PhD thesis, and Master and Degree final projects (TFM and TFG).
CSIC in Catalunya
There were a total of 1.682 researchers working in Catalan CSIC centers in 2020, across 20 institutes (13 owned by CSIC and 7 mixed in collaboration with other institutions).
While most of the events and projects that were planned for 2020 had to be cancelled during the early months of COVID, the Catalan Delegation of CSIC kept in touch through their newsletter that broadcasted all the research done in Catalan centers. This delegation was able to still organize the X Edition of Inspiraciencia, the science-related short stories contest, receiving more than 500 short stories and with a Virtual Award Ceremony. CSIC Research Centers were also able to collaborate in the Nit Europea de la Recerca, and most of them adapted theircontents to online activities during 2020, such as online seminars and workshops.
The Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona in 2020
As the Institute started its first (of many) work-from-home week, there was some uncertainty in how we were going to approach research from that point onwards. Our work models changed and shifted through the weeks, trying to adapt as more information came in. Despite all of this, ICMAB Researchers were able to achieve incredible results, publishing more than 260 scientific texts, from indexed articles to books, starting 55 new projects on top of the ongoing 160 ones, collaborating in conferences, events, workshops, and more!
Key statistics for ICMAB in 2020 / Institutos y Centros. Datos 2020
Across the Annual Report 2020, the CSIC highlights some of the most remarkable achievements by ICMAB:
ICMAB is awarded with the "Severo Ochoa" Center of Excellence Award for the second time in a row
The ICMAB receives this condecoration at the end of the first Severo Ochoa period (2016-2020), consolidating its position as a leading institution in materials science. This second Severo ochoa is achieved through the "Functional Materials for a Better Future" (FUNFUTURE) (2020-2023) Project. ICMAB is one of the 11 Severo Ochoa Centers of Excellence within CSIC.
Nanoneedles to increase the capacity and robustness of digital memories
Researchers at the ICMAB, UAB and the ALBA Synchrotron, in collaboration with the UB and ICN2, have developed a new technique to locally modify the properties of a metamagnetic material. The method consists in applying local pressure to the surface of the material using nanometric needles and allows a much easier and local modification than current methods. The research opens the door to a more accurate and precise control of magnetic materials and allows to improve the architecture and capacity of magnetic digital memories.
The CARBAT project proposes calcium based rechargeable batteries to be a Future and Emerging Technology (FET)
This standout European project proposes calcium based rechargeable batteries to be a Future and Emerging Technology helping to solve some of the Grand Challenges our modern society is facing: pollution, oil-dependency, and climate change. It is coordinated by ICMAB Researcher M. Rosa Palacín, from the Solid State Chemistry (SSC) Group.
The MAGNEPIC project aims to use Magnetic insulators as the substrate of new spintronics devices
Another remarkable European project that aims to demonstrate the potential of magnetic insulators for spintronics devices by developing novel electrical means to control magnetisation. Lead by ICMAB Researcher Can Onur Avci, from the Multifunctional Thin Films and Complex Structures (MULFOX) Group, it is the fruit of the collaboration between ICMAB, the Institut de Ciències de l'Espai (ICE) and the Instituto de Nanociencia y Materiales de Aragón (INMA).
Closure and results of the Smart-4-Fabry project
Nora Ventosa, Researcher from the Molecular Nanoscience and Organic Materials (NANOMOL) group, presented the results of the Smart-4-Fabry project at the NANBIOSIS Sessions within the CIBER-BBN Annual Meeting. This project aimed to obtain a new nanoformulation of GLA that improved its efficacy and tolerance compared to the actual treatment of Fabry disease that uses non-formulated GLA. It was the product of collaboration between NANBIOSIS Units 6 (ICMAB-CSIC), 1 (IBB-UAB), 3 (IQAC-CSIC) and 20 (VHIR).