Chapter 6

Search Re-Search



Today, the first thing I want to do is to thank you for your interest in my blog! When I began to write it I didn’t think it would prove so interesting for other people who wanted to learn more about the Spanish model of research and innovation. So today, in view of the curiosity aroused, I’ve decided to explore the subject in greater depth. So I shall begin by answering a question formulated by several of my readers regarding the most important research centres in Spain, which I’m sure will be of great interest.

I’ve decided to answer a question formulated by several of my readers regarding the most important research centres in Spain, which I’m sure will be of great interest.

As I think I’ve already told you, the Spanish public research system is very important in the development of the country’s R&D&I, and almost half the research budget derives from the public administrations.

CSIC mission is to foster, develop and promote scientific and technological research in order to contribute to advancing knowledge and cultural development.

Spain has several universities — fifty public centres and thirty private centres — that play a key role in the fields of research and innovation. The National Scientific Research Council — CSIC, for its initials in Spanish — is the most important public institution in this sector, and the third largest in Europe, counting on twenty-nine centres of excellence certified by the government.

Almost half of the research budget derives from public administrations, and universities and knowledge centres play a key role in the Spanish public research system.

A pioneering project sample is the large-scale furnace designed and implemented by the CSIC in Asturias to produce ultra materials, intended for applications in the air space industry, car manufacturing and electronic engineering among others.

Along with the universities, Public Research Organisations or PROs — OPIs for their Spanish abbreviation — develop most of the country’s scientific production following the National Plan for Scientific and Technical Research and Innovation. The CSIC, the Energy, Environmental and Technological Research Centre — CIEMAT, the Geological and Mining Institute of Spain — IGME, the National Institute of Aerospace Technology — INTA, the Spanish Institute of Oceanography — IEO, the National Institute of Agrarian Research — INIA, the Carlos III Health Institute — ISCIII, and the Canarian Institute of Astrophysics — IAC, are the eight PROs that lead research in agro-biotechnology, molecular biology, marine science and aerospace technology, areas in which we have developed pioneering projects around the globe.

The GTC construction, sited on a volcanic peak, took more than seven years. First light was achieved in 2007 and scientific observations began in 2009. As of 2015, is the world’s largest single-aperture optical telescope.

01_POSTS_#06_02Besides the PROs the Spanish research system also has Singular Scientific and Technical Infrastructure — ICTs, for the Spanish initials — devoted to avant-garde research and technological development. At present there are twenty-nine centres that embrace fifty-nine organisations such as the Great Canarian Telescope — GTC, the Doñana Biological Reserve — RBD, the Integrated Infrastructures for the Production and Characterisation of Nanomaterials Biomaterials and Systems in Biomedicine — NANBIOSIS — and the Spanish Extended Supercomputing Network — RES BSC–CNS, among others.

The eight PROs and the fifty-nine ICTs are dedicated to hight quality research and to promote transfer, exchange and preservation of knowledge, technology and innovation.

I think this answers the question, and I invite you to send me a message if you have any queries. I may take a little while to reply as this weekend I’m going to visit the National Park of Abisko in the north of Sweden with my friends, where I hope to witness, at long last, the Aurora Borealis!

GLORIA stands for Global Robotic-telescopes Intelligent Array and is the first free and open-access network of robotic telescopes in the world, where users can do research in astronomy in a 2.0 environment.

01_POSTS_#06_03I remember that in 2012 a friend of mine was chosen to take part in the GLORIA Project programme by means of which scientists from the Canarian Institute of Astrophysics — IAC — and computer technicians from the Polytechnic University of Madrid — UPM — travelled to Greenland to make the first live broadcast, worldwide, of the Northern Lights. She found the experience very exciting, and the project was a fine example of innovation and of the opportunities that Spanish universities provide for their students.

I’ll be back soon!

01_POSTS_#06_notebookIf your curiosity has aroused and you want to explore ‘Which are the most important research centres in Spain?’ in greater depth, I recommend you to start having a look at my notebook. I’ve summed up some official information which could be of a big help in your re-searchs!