The Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), a centre supported by ”la Caixa”, is one of the six Spanish centres that in 2019 have been named a Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence by the Spanish State Research Agency, an organism that depends on the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities. This accreditation recognises the excellence, scientific contributions, social and economic impact, and talent-attracting capacity of research centres in Spain and elsewhere. ISGlobal is the only Spanish global public health centre to receive the Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence award.
“The promotion of interdisciplinary science will facilitate the development of cutting-edge science and innovation” says Professor Manolis Kogevinas, Scientific Director of the Severo Ochoa program at ISGlobal. "We have the opportunity to strengthen our capacity to develop large studies and effective population interventions on a global scale."
3 x 3 Approach
The Severo Ochoa grant will allow ISGlobal to promote competitiveness and interdisciplinary research through a 3 x 3 approach that will strengthen the 3 main strategic research areas of the centre with three new groups applying advanced technologies. The three new research groups will focus on: 1) mobile health technologies for diagnosis and exposure assessment; 2) data science and big data, and 3) health impact assessment and implementation science. The new groups will work in a close interdisciplinary way with the three internationally recognized areas of ISGlobal: 1) malaria and other diseases infectious, 2) maternal and child health, and 3) urban health, climate and non-communicable diseases.
ISGlobal Director General Antoni Plasència thanked the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities for the award. “This accreditation confirms the success of our vision – the notion that health problems don’t recognise borders in a globalised world – and of our pioneering approach, which is based on the promotion of interdisciplinary science that incorporates research on poverty-related transmissible diseases as well as research on chronic diseases and their environmental and climate-related causes,” he commented.
Josep Maria Antó, ISGlobal Scientific Director, added that “it also provides a unique opportunity for us to keep working to improve our understanding of complex health problems and to help address urgent needs associated with the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals agenda.”
Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence Accreditation
The purpose of the Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence award is to fund and accredit research centres and public research units that have developed highly competitive, cutting-edge research programmes positioned among the best in the world in their respective scientific fields. The award provides €4 million over a four-year period. It will also provide priority access to scientific facilities, greater flexibility in the hiring of researchers and the ability to attract patronage.
In addition to ISGlobal, the International Center for Numerical Methods in Engineering (CIMNE), the Center for Ecology and Forest Applications Research (CREAF), the Donostia International Physics Center (DIPC), and the Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research (IDAEA) have also achieved the 'Severo Ochoa' accreditation for the first time, while the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalunya (IBEC) is re-accredited.
The Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) is a public-private centre that is the result of an innovative alliance between ”la Caixa” and various academic and government institutions, including the Spanish Government, the Catalan Government and the Barcelona City Council. It was set up to contribute to the efforts of the international community to address health challenges in a globalised world. With a track record in global health stretching back more than 30 years, ISGlobal has consolidated a hub of excellence in research and medical care that has its roots in work first started in the world of health care by the Hospital Clínic and the Mar Health Park and in the academic sphere by the University of Barcelona and Pompeu Fabra University.