27.10.2015

'Maria de Maeztu' distinction of excellence awarded to the Department of Information and Communication Technologies

Maria de Maeztu

According to the notification by the Secretary of State for R&D&I of 27 October, as part of its Centres and Units of Excellence programme, the granting of a further seven distinctions, three " Severo Ochoa " and four " María de Maeztu ", and the renewal of the eight centres that were accredited in the first announcement for a further four years confirms the establishment of excellence in science and innovation in our country.

UPF's Department of Information and Communication Technologies (DTIC) is one of the four research units that has obtained " María de Maeztu " accreditation from the Spanish State at this announcement. It is the only university department to achieve this at this announcement and the only one in the field of engineering. The DTIC will be granted funding of 500,000 euros per year for the next four years.

In recent years, the DTIC has positioned itself as a benchmark in various areas of research in information technology located at the core of Data Science. As stated by professor Xavier Binefa, director of the DTIC, "this prestigious distinction will not only strengthen our research capacities but also our training capacities, increasing the skills and interdisciplinarity of the new degree in Data Science promoted by the department for the coming years"

With the recognition obtained by the DTIC, four UPF research centres and units have now obtained one of the two awards granted by the Spanish State. At the previous announcement, the Department of Experimental and Health Sciences (DCEXS) obtained a "María de Maeztu". Furthermore, the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics (GSE), an inter-university research institute in economics attached to UPF and UAB founded in 2006, has been awarded a "Severo Ochoa", which has just been renewed at this same announcement. Finally, the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), attached to UPF and with UPF participation, obtained a "Severo Ochoa" distinction in 2012.

The requirements, standards of exigency, criteria and procedures for evaluation and selection related to scientific excellence that have been taken into consideration do not establish any differences between centres and units: both structures have been selected for their scientific results and their strategic programmes after  rigorous assessment involving renowned  international scientists

At this announcement, fifteen distinctions for excellence have been granted to research, eleven as "Severo Ochoa" centres and four as "Maria de Maeztu" units. In Catalonia, in addition to those obtained by the UPF group, five research centres have been distinguished or have renewed their "Severo Ochoa" distinction: the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), the Institute of Material Science of Barcelona (ICMAB), the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB), the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO) and the Centre for Research in Agricultural Genomics (CRAG). And within the "Maria de Maeztu" distinction, with the DTIC, the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA) was also awarded.

"Maria de Maeztu" distinctions awarded by the Spanish State recognize excellence in smaller research organizational structures, located mainly at universities, and complement the "Severo Ochoa" aimed at research centres. The call was endowed with an overall budget of 52 million euros.