The Institute of Environmental Science and Technology was accredited as María de Maeztu Unit of Excellence 2015 (MDM-2015-0552) by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness. The award is the highest institutional recognition of scientific research in Spain. This programme, which aims to recognise excellence in stable research centres and includes a grant of 2 million Euros over four years, confirms ICTA-UAB as a leading research institute focused on environmental science and global change. The Scientific Director is Prof. Patrizia Ziveri.
ICTA-UAB is implementing a Strategic Research Programme (2016-2019) intended to consolidate its scientific capabilities, contribute to the leadership of Spanish research and act as an international pole of attraction for talent. The plan addresses major global environmental and sustainability challenges related to anthropogenic climate change, focusing on establishing the current state of knowledge on climate change and its socio-economic impacts, and on putting forward transformative solutions at the local and regional levels. ICTA researchers follow a trans-disciplinary approach that ranges from the natural sciences to engineering and social sciences.
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- The María de Maeztu accreditation aims to promote excellence in scientific research in Spain.
- Targets centres that carry out cutting-edge research & among the world’s best in their areas.
- ICTA-UAB is the only centre working in the environmental sciences and climate change in Spain awarded with the accreditation.
- The Programme provides financial support for developing ICTA-UAB Strategic Plan 2016-2019.
The implementation of the Maria de Maeztu (MdM) programme is fundamental for finding the necessary synergy to deal with the many regional and local challenges related to anthropogenic climate and global change. At ICTA, we aim to stimulate a societal transformation not only through the drastic reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but also through the improved flexibility to adapt to climate risks and impacts, and improve the resilience of the natural systems and humankind. Science should provide solution-oriented strategies at the local, regional, national, and international levels.
There are two overall integrated themes that ICTA-UAB focuses on:
- State of knowledge on climate change and its socio-economic impacts;
- Transformative solutions at the local and regional levels.
At the interface of the above wide themes the centre works with 5 multi-disciplinary strategic projects for the period 2016-2019, which combine natural, social and engineering aspects of climate change science and of the problem’s prospective solutions:
- Translating natural science insights on climate change into models that can be used for systems and synergy analyses. Project leader: Prof. Eric Galbraith.
- Integrating socio-economic and policy studies with natural science studies (including modelling simulations and projections) to enhance consilience of climate policy science. Theme leader: Prof. Jeroen van den Bergh.
- Combining engineering and economic-policy analysis to provide more complete information for policy makers about costs and rebound of technological design for climate solutions. Theme leader: Prof. Xavier Gabarrell.
- Perceptions of impacts of Climate change, including: a large number of potential impacts (impacts on biodiversity, health, subjective wellbeing, productivity) and a diversity of actors from indigenous peoples, rural people, or people in cities. Theme leader: Prof. Victoria Reyes-García.
- Understanding bottom-up and top-down approaches in fostering a transition to a low-carbon economy. Theme leader: Prof. Giorgos Kallis.