Samuel Reyes, the new director of the Catalan Water Agency (ACA), visits the ICRA
The new director of the Catalan Water Agency (ACA), Samuel Reyes, also accompanied by the new manager, Mar León, paid their first visit to the Catalan Water Research Institute (ICRA) this Friday, as top representatives of the organisation, to see first-hand the research projects currently being carried out at the Institute and to explore the possibility of new avenues of collaboration.
The meeting began with a guided tour of the ICRA laboratories, where they were able to see the L06 Wastewater Treatment Pilot Plant Laboratory in operation, as well as the Scientific and Technical Services Laboratories (SCT), which provide highly qualified scientific support for research and technology transfer projects; the Experimental Streams Facility, which allows the response of river ecosystems to be simulated, and the Curator space, for the conservation and classification of samples.
This was followed by a meeting with the ICRA's management team, its director, Damià Barceló, the deputy director, Sergi Sabater, and the manager, Ivan Sánchez, which allowed for an exchange of views on the role of the ACA as the ICRA's Patron and its contribution to the facilities and the research being carried out. The Institute's management highlighted the value of the collaboration that has been maintained for years between the two entities. Reference was made to the joint projects, both competitive and non-competitive, such as the Water Framework Directive in Catalonia or the SARS-CoV-2 Surveillance Network, a programme coordinated by the ICRA, which was promoted as a matter of urgency by the Department of Health and the ACA and which has been a pioneer in Europe for the detection of the circulation of the virus through the control and analysis of wastewater.
In this sense, Damià Barceló recalled that: "As an infrastructure of the country that is the ICRA - making reference to the fact that it is part of the National Pact for Research and Innovation (PNRI) - we maintain the willingness to allocate our resources and research team to serve society and the transfer of knowledge. That is why we have always been willing to coordinate with the ACA in any way necessary and our intention is that this collaboration will increase even more in the coming years".
For his part, Samuel Reyes explained that: "For the period 2022-2027, the ACA plans to allocate 3.5 MEUR in aid to promote research, innovation and development in the field of water, a figure that almost triples the amount allocated in this area in the current planning cycle, which has been 1.3 MEUR".
The meeting ended with the signature of the director of the Catalan Water Agency in the ICRA Visitors' Book and a group photograph outside the emblematic H₂O building.