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 2018 the Unit was formed by Montse Pérez, and Laura Cabana, who substituted Jorge Pérez.
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 2018 we continued with a high success in international grant attraction: 3.8 M€ were from European H2020 projects, and 2.6 M€ from National projects. In total, we had 34 EU ongoing projects, 4 of them started in 2018: a new ERC Consolidator grant was awarded, a new FET-Proactive project, as well as two MSCA IF projects.
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) will allow the mobility of 22 Early Stage Researchers in the field of functional advanced materials, 9 of them will be recruited by the ICMAB. The first call of the project was on October 2017, and the first fellows were incorporated during the second semester of 2018. 5 of them stated at the ICMAB their PhD.
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 will be supported by the 1,726,560€ EC grant, while the other half will be cofunded by the project participants.
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. During 2018, ICMAB has participated in the following way: we have received 16 users to our facilities, from France, Italy, India, Switzerland, Russia, Germany and China.
The installations used in 2018: scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR), magnetometry by Superconducting Quantum Interference Devices (SQUID), Raman Spectroscopy, Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD) and lithography. We also hosted one researcher who came to the ICMAB to learn the Raman spectroscopy technique with Alejandro Goñi for one week.
Two articles were published as a result of the NFFA exchange programme: