SOMMa: excellent Spanish research alliance

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. Curently, the centers forming part of SOMMa has increased. It currently brings together 29 centres and 20 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.

SOMMa is organized by a Chair (Luís Serrano, CRG), two Vice-Chairs (María Blasco (CNIO) and María José Sanz (BC3)), a Project Manager (Joaquim Calbó, CRG), and by a steering committee in charge of different work packages.

ICMAB participation in SOMMa

The ICMAB participated, during 2019, in the following:

Organization of the 100xCiencia meetings
In 22-23 Nov 2019, the 100xCiencia4 meeting was held in Donostia/San Sebastián (co-organized by the Basque Centre on Cognition, Brain and Language (BCBL)), the topic was “Building bridges between Science and Society: What is science doing for you?" and addressed technology transfer projects and research.

As part of the Work Package 3, Xavier Obradors and Anna May Masnou helped in the organization of the meeting, by evaluating the abstracts proposed for talks and for stands. Nora Ventosa, researcher at the Nanomol Group, attended the meeting and presented the 10-minute talk "Liposomes for nanomedicine", in which she explained her experience in creating the spin-off Nanomol Technologies.

The past 100xiCencia meetings of the SOMMa were the following: in 2017, the 100xCiencia2 meeting was held in Alicante (co-organized by the Neuroscience Institute), and its topic was “Co-creating value in scientific research” and was focused on technology transfer success stories. In 2018, the 100xCiencia3 meeting was held in Madrid (co-organized by the CNIO), the topic was "Bridging science and society" and was more devoted to outreach and educational activities.

First meeting on Gender Equality Policy
On October 29, 2019, the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) hosted the 1st Gender Equality Event of the Alliance of SOMMa. The meeting aimed at sharing best practices in this area to promote a change of the institutional culture to support female talent and gender equality in science and of strategic decision-making in a coordinated and institutional way. Riccardo Rurali, ICMAB Deputy Director and Coordinator of the Gender Equality Committee at the ICMAB, and also participant in the Work Package on Gender Equality in Science, attended this meeting.

SOMMa Editorial Board
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. The Editorial Board meets once or twice a year and is in permanent contact with the SOMMa Communication Officer, Karel De Pourcq, who manages the articles for the website and its social networks.

SOMMa Job Openings
The SOMMa website has an active jobs site with job openings from all the SOMMa centers and units, and in which we keep posting new job offers.

Directors Meeting with the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities
On the afternoon of Monday, 9 September 2019, a meeting was held between the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities, the SOMMa research centres and units, and representatives of 15 autonomous communities. The purpose of the meeting at the Ministry was to highlight the impact of the Severo Ochoa - María de Maeztu programme, and to expose its benefits for the consolidation of excellence research of the different autonomous communities. Xavier Obradors, ICMAB Director, attended the meeting.

SOMMa General Assembly
The ICMAB also participated this year in the SOMMa General Assembly, which took place before the 100xCiencia4 meeting in Donostia/San Sebastián, on 22 Nov 2019. Among other topics, the continuation of the SOMMa as an Excellence Network was discussed. Nora Ventosa, ICMAB researcher at the Nanomol Group, attended the meeting.

Anna May-Masnou This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Anna May-Masnou This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web & Graphic Editor
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