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CREAF receives for the second time in a row the Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence accreditation 

Severo Ochoa Excelence. Source: Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities.
Severo Ochoa Excelence. Source: Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities.

CREAF has obtained for the second consecutive time the Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence distinction awarded by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities of the Spanish government, with the aim of “promoting the quality of Spanish scientific research by recognizing the best centers and units, that stand out for the relevance and impact of their research results on an international scale.” The evaluation and selection process is carried out independently by an international scientific committee. The Severo Ochoa Excellence lasts 4 years and represents a contribution financial of 4.5 million euros and 10 training contracts (predoctoral) to promote innovation and institutional development on a global scale

In the current call (corresponding to the 2023 edition), the State Research Agency of the Ministry has published the provisional resolution of the accreditations and public aid for 10 Severo Ochoa centres of excellence and 6 María de Maeztu units of excellence. 

The high level of integration of excellence in research, the effective transfer of knowledge and the impacts on political and social reality stand out. Also the expansion of adaptation solutions to the resilience of ecosystems and society in the face of environmental change, and greater collaboration in disciplines such as Earth observation and modelling. The drive for excellence of the people who make up CREAF has also been valued. 

The evaluation committee has highlighted the good evolution of CREAF throughout the last Severo Ochoa distinction (period 2018-2023). Regarding the proposal accredited in this call, the committee highlights the high level of integration of excellence in research, the effective transfer of knowledge and the notable impacts at a political and social level. It also highlights the expansion of CREAF’s research field, by incorporating solutions for the adaptation and resilience of ecosystems and society in the face of environmental change, and greater collaboration in disciplines such as Earth observation and modelling. The centre’s commitment to promoting the excellence of its staff through professional career development, mentoring projects and talent attraction has also been taken into account. 

Joan Pino

“The Severo Ochoa excellence award allows us to continue the work we started 4 years ago and to shape CREAF’s future, which must continue to collaborate with organisations and institutions beyond our borders and must help us to better face the great environmental challenges of 21st century society”.

JOAN PINO VILALTA, CREAF director

CREAF’s director, Joan Pino Vilalta, states that “the Severo Ochoa excellence award allows us to continue the work we started 4 years ago and to shape CREAF’s future, which must continue to collaborate with organisations and institutions beyond our borders and must help us to better face the great environmental challenges of 21st century society”. The principal researcher of the Severo Ochoa program at CREAF and former director of the centre, Javier Retana Alumbreros, expresses the great satisfaction of receiving the prestigious Severo Ochoa Center of Excellence distinction for the second time, while admitting the responsibility it implies as a centre. Both Pino Vilalta and Retana Alumbreros appreciate the teamwork and involvement of all the people who make up CREAF. 

Javier Retana

“It is a great satisfaction to receive for the second time the prestigious Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence distinction, which is also a responsibility as a centre and is the result of great teamwork”.

JAVIER RETALA ALUMBREROS, principal investigator of the Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence programme at CREAF

Environmental change, resilience and adaptation 

In the current Severo Ochoa Excellence project, CREAF’s scientific proposal is called “ECO-RESILIENCE 360º: Transformative ecology to manage the future of ecosystems and human well-being“, and it focuses on three areas of application : (1) assessing the potential of nature-based solutions to benefit ecosystems, the economy and human health; (2) the understanding and prediction of risks to ecosystems arising from environmental changes, and (3) the adaptation of ecosystems for resilience in the face of these changes. 

The CREAF is a public research centre with more than 30 years of history, with almost a hundred active national and international projects, with which it proposes scientific solutions to the most important environmental challenges of the 21st century: the loss of biodiversity, the impacts of climate change and the necessary mitigation and adaptation measures, nutrient imbalances and their relationship with food security, sustainable water management, fires, or the involvement and awareness of citizens in the conservation of nature, among others. 

Its focus is terrestrial ecology, territorial analysis and global change, aimed at pursuing excellence in the generation and transfer of knowledge, management tools and methodologies. Its purpose is to create new knowledge and innovative solutions in the management of terrestrial ecosystems and land-atmosphere interactions. Scientific excellence drives it to become a first-rate research institution in the Mediterranean and throughout the world, pushing the frontiers of knowledge and addressing some of the most critical and complex socio-environmental challenges of the 21st century. 

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