The Strategic Managing Unit, responsible for the implementation of the funding obtained by the Institute, was created in 2016 to reinforce the strategic projects, support all the initiatives related to the Severo Ochoa FUNMAT governance and initiatives, coordinate with the Managing Director the expenditures control and justification, promote the achievement of strategic projects complementing the FUNMAT actions and provide support to researchers in preparing, submitting and reporting new projects and grants. In close collaboration with ICMAB’s governing bodies and the other available Units, it promotes a continuous development strategy to position ICMAB as one of the leading European Research Centers in Materials Science.
Among its main objectives, the Unit is responsible for the constant search for new funding opportunities focusing on the strategic and innovation objectives of our Severo Ochoa FUNMAT project with the aim of enhancing ICMAB's scientific excellence, with an open-minded approach to detect new opportunities for our researchers. In 2019 the Unit was formed by Montse Pérez, and Laura Cabana.
The ICMAB is leading several collaborative research projects funded by the European Commission under its Framework Programmes and several national (RETOS and I+D Excelencia) and regional projects. This continued leadership results in high visibility, a strong reputation as well as relevant scientific and innovation output.
In 2019 we continued with a high success in international grant attraction: 4.2 M€ were from European H2020 projects, and 2.6 M€ from National projects. In total, we had 36 EU ongoing projects, 6 of them started in 2019: a new ERC Consolidator grant was awarded, a new FET-Proactive project, one MSCA IF and one MSCA ITN projects, an EUROFUSION and a NMBP project.
The Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC) coordinates the first MSCA COFUND programme awarded to CSIC. The doctoral fellowship programme DOC-FAM (DOCtoral training programme in Functional Advanced Materials) is currently allowing the mobility of 22 Early Stage Researchers in the field of functional advanced materials, 9 of them at the ICMAB. The first call of the project was on October 2017, and the first fellows were incorporated during the second semester of 2018. The second call was on September 2018 and the fellows were incorporated during 2019.
The other participants in DOC-FAM programme are the Institute of Microelectronics of Barcelona (IMB-CNM-CSIC), the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), the Catalonia Institute for Energy Research (IREC) and the ALBA Synchrotron. The duration of the programme is 5 years and involves a budget of 3,453,120 €. Half of this budget is supported by the 1,726,560€ EC grant, while the other half will be cofunded by the project participants. At the ICMAB, the project is cofunded by the Severo Ochoa project.
ICMAB is one of the host institutions of the NFFA-Europe (Nanofoundries for fine analysis) project for the synthesis and characterization at the nanoscale across Europe, which started in 2015 and will finish in 2020 (probably extended to February 2021).
During 2019, ICMAB has participated in the following way: we have received 4 users in our facilities, from the following institutions and countries: Institut d'Electronique et des Systèmes CNRS UMR 5214 / Université Montpellier (France), University of Paris (France), University of Cologne (Germany) and IMEC-Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre (Belgium).
All four users used the AFM in the Scanning Probe Microscopy Lab, with Andrés Gómez and Maite Simón, and one of them also used the SQUID in the Low Temperatures and Magnetometry Lab, with Bernat Bozzo. These services represented an income of more than 33,000 € for the ICMAB.
The NFFA project also allowed to subcontract the XCMD (X-ray magnetic circular dichroism) service at the ALBA Synchrotron to a user from the Institute of Structure of Matter (ISM-CNR) (Italy).
Two articles were published as a result of the NFFA exchange programme (as accredited in the acknowledgements):
Ferroelectricity-free lead halide perovskites
Andrés Gómez, Qiong Wang, Alejandro R. Goñi, Mariano Campoy-Quiles and Antonio Abate
Energy Environ. Sci., 2019, 12, 2537-2547
Functionalization of polyacrylamide for nanotrapping positively charged biomolecules
Nadejda Davydova, Xavier R. Rodriguez, Carlos Blázquez, Andrés Gómez, Igor Perevyazko, Judith Guasch, Vladimir Sergeev, Elena Laukhina, Imma Ratera and Jaume Veciana
RSC Adv., 2019, 9, 15402-15409