The Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB, CSIC) Communication & Outreach Office has been accredited, for first time, as a Unit of Scientific Culture and Innovation (UCC+i) by the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT, for its initials in Spanish), and will form part of the Spanish UCC+i Network.
The Units of Scientific Culture and Innovation (UCC+i) act as intermediaries between their host institutions and citizens, with the main aim of promoting scientific, technological and innovation culture through a range of activities.
The accreditation lasts for two years and its renewal needs to be approved by the FECYT after an evaluation of the activities and actions launched the previous year. Now the ICMAB has just got this accreditation, which recognises our Communication & Outreach Office as one of the main agents for the dissemination and sharing of science and innovation in Spain, as well as a key service for improving and increasing the scientific training, culture and knowledge of citizens.
Also, by participating in the UCC+i Network, we can exchange experiences and explore collaborations with other institutes and organisations, thus improving the quality of our activities.
Types of UCC+i
According to the UCC+i whitepaper, there are four types of UCC+i, according to their activities:
- UCC+i that communicate R+D results
- UCC+i that organize outreach activites or scientific and technological knowledge
- UCC+i that train the reseachers in communication and outreach
- UCC+i that carry out research about science communication
The ICMAB Communication & Outreach Office is mainly type 1, 2 and 3. We communicate our R+D results through press releases, news in our websites, videos in our Youtube channels and posts in our social media accounts. We also organize many science outreach activities and educational materials for schools and for the general public, and we also organize and coordinate courses on science communication for our researchers.
At ICMAB, the UCC+i is formed by the Head of Communication, Anna May Masnou, and the Communication Officer, Artur Martínez. They work closely with the Information Technology Department, especially with Jags (webmaster and designer). Albert Moreno (software developer) and Joan Figuerola (Head of IT). On the other hand, the UCC+i reports directly to the Managing Director of the Institute, J. R. Ibánez, to the Deputy Directors, M. Rosa Palacín and Riccardo Rurali, and ultimately to the Director, Xavier Obradors, as seen in the Organization Chart.
ICMAB UCC+i Organization Chart. in 2021.
ComCiRed Meeting (Encuentro ComCiRed) is the UCC+i meeting that takes place every year in a different place in Spain, and in which the different UCC+i present some of their projects and share good practices. In 2022, ComCiRed will take place in October in La Laguna (Tenerife). We are happy that we will be able to participate soon in further ComCiRed meetings and share our experiences with the rest of the UCC+i.
UCC+i in Catalunya
In total, there are 23 UCC+i in Catalunya. There are 6 UCC+i at the UAB Campus, 15 more at the Barcelona metropolitan area, 1 in Lleida and 1 in Tarragona. We are the only CSIC Center in the UAB Campus, and the second one in Catalunya (after IBE, CSIC-UPF). There are other UCC+i in the rest of Spain and within the CSIC, as shown in the UCC+i map at the FECYT website.
At the UAB Campus (and next to it):
In the Barcelona metropolitan area:
In Tarragona and Lleida:
Very happy to be a UCC+i and to be part of this network of science communication and outreach professionals.