The Madrid Regional Government celebrated the fifteenth anniversary of the creation of the Madrid Institutes for Advanced Studies (IMDEA) on 25 February at the Real Casa de Correos. The event was attended by the directors, researchers and staff of the IMDEA Institutes and by the Director General of Research and Technological Innovation, Ana Cremades, the Deputy Minister of Universities, Science and Innovation, Fidel Rodriguez, and the Minister of Education, Universities and Science, Enrique Ossorio.
Created by the regional government in 2007, each of the seven IMDEA institutes focuses on strategic areas – water, food, energy, materials, nanoscience, networks and software – oriented to the demands of the market and society. Since then, almost a hundred patents and more than 20 software developments have been registered. In addition, they have participated in the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme with more than 70 projects, 25 of which have been led by the Madrid centres.
Their experts have also taken part in the creation of spin-off companies (companies that arise from scientific results generated at IMDEA) in sectors of activity as diverse as the development of sustainable electrodes for batteries, new markers and anti-tumour therapies, the manufacture of new advanced metallic materials with medical applications and the automotive industry, and the production and commercialisation of nanostructured instrumentation and surfaces.
IMDEA currently brings together more than 900 researchers, half of whom have obtained their PhDs at international centres and around 40% of whom come from other countries. In addition, more than 300 doctoral theses have been defended and researchers have published over 5,000 articles in international journals such as Nature, Science, Physical Review Letters or Scientific American. These articles have been cited more than 100,000 times by other researchers.
In Spain, several of the IMDEA Institutes have obtained outstanding accreditations that place them among the best research centres of the country, as is the case of IMDEA Nanoscience, with the Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence recognition, or IMDEA Materials and Energy, both recognised as María de Maetztu Unit of Excellence.
During his speech (video below), the director of IMDEA Materials, José Manuel Torralba, highlighted the tremendous effort that has been made to achieve the excellent results presented by the 7 institutes in just fifteen years. These results are the merit of a great collective effort that includes the research administrative section of the Comunidad de Madrid, which believed in the project, set it in motion and has constantly promoted it. The Madrid scientific community (including the 6 public universities) with which IMDEA has interacted and actively collaborated. Our board of trustees and international scientific council, which has guided and accompanied us. The companies that have considered us their strategic partners, with whom we have shared projects. José Manuel Torralba wanted to personalise his thanks to specific individuals: the two directors who preceded him, Javier Llorca and Ignacio Romero, and the Institute’s Manager, Covadonga Rosado, who has solved numerous problems over the years that seemed impossible to solve. To the great management and technical team of the Institute. The researchers can do their work because the whole team helps them to obtain resources, manage projects and solve the problems that always exist in a laboratory. And above all, he emphasised how important it is to attract the best talent. Talented people make outstanding things happen and IMDEA is the main tool for attracting scientific talent in the Region of Madrid.