The Institute of Environmental Science and Technology has received the award as a "María de Maeztu" Unit of Excellence 2015 from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO). The award is the highest institutional recognition of scientific research in Spain.
Patrizia Ziveri, currently deputy Director of Research of ICTA received the award from the Secretary of State for Research, Development and Innovation, Carmen Vela at an event held in Madrid in which “Severo Ochoa Centres of Excellence" Accreditations were also presented. Ziveri was accompanied by ICTA-UAB director Jordina Belmonte.
This programme aims to recognise excellence in stable research organisations located mainly in universities and includes a grant of 2 million Euros over four years.
According to MINECO, ICTA-UAB’s scientific production is internationally competitive in terms of quantity and quality, and its postgraduate training programmes are exemplary. The scientific committee’s report states that “there are not many places in Europe which can boast such a rigorous international perspective. The many international programmes and research projects and the excellence of the leading researchers should ensure an outstanding level for attracting postdocs” and the report praises the quality of ICTA’s dissemination materials and the fact that these target all relevant groups, from the public to specific stakeholders.
ICTA-UAB will implement a Strategic Research Programme between 2016 and 2019, intended to consolidate its scientific capabilities, contribute to the leadership of Spanish research and act as an international pole of attraction for talent. MINECO points out that “ICTA is well positioned and has the capacity to further strengthen its position as an acknowledged leader in climate and global change-related environmental research”.
The María de Maeztu project’s Scientific Director will be Patrizia Ziveri, currently deputy Director of Research of ICTA. Ziveri will chair the Steering Committee that will consist of the researchers Isabelle Anguelovski, Jordina Belmonte, Xavier Gabarrell, Eric Galbraith, Mario Giampietro, Giorgos Kallis, Victoria Reyes-García, Joan Rieradevall Pons, Antoni Rosell, and Jeroen van den Bergh.
Under the Strategic Research Programme, the research will focus 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. This will be done through five multidisciplinary strategic projects: 1. Translating natural science insights on climate change into models that can be used for systems and synergy analyses (project leader: Eric Galbraith). 2. Integrating socio-economic and policy studies with natural science studies (including modelling simulations and projections) to enhance consilience of climate policy science (project leader: Jeroen van den Bergh). 3. Combining engineering and economic-policy analysis to provide more complete information for policy makers about costs and rebound of technological design for climate solutions (project leader: Xavier Gabarrell). 4. Tapping into local climate change knowledge to provide more relevant insights into regional and local climate dynamics (project leader: Victoria Reyes-García). 5. Understanding bottom-up and top-down approaches in fostering a transition to a low-carbon economy (project leader: Giorgos Kallis).
This distinction is awarded after a rigorous evaluation process based on scientific criteria and in line with international best practices.