Gemma Geis, Regional Minister for Research and Universities, visits the ICRA
The Catalan Minister for Research and Universities and President of the Board of Trustees of the Catalan Water Research Institute Foundation (ICRA), Gemma Geis, paid an institutional visit to the ICRA headquarters in Girona on 16 September. During the visit, she was able to learn about the centre's research and innovation activities from its management and researchers.
As part of the visit, a meeting took place between the councillor Gemma Geis, the management and research staff of the ICRA and members of the UdG. During the meeting, issues such as the global challenges of efficiency and competitiveness related to the management of water resources in the Mediterranean area and some of the most emblematic projects of the centre, aimed at achieving a sustainable use of water through research and innovation, were discussed.
The director of the ICRA, Damià Barceló, expressed his intention to consolidate the Institute as a research centre of national and international reference and advanced that the ICRA will seek recognition as a Maria de Maeztu Unit of Excellence, an accreditation that is valid for four years and that involves an investment of five hundred thousand euros per year. This recognition would allow, according to Barceló, to apply new policies to consolidate the scientific excellence of the Institute and increase the results of high impact. The ICRA will also continue to opt for European projects. Just this month, the centre received €1,376,650.92 from the Horizon Europe programme to initiate four projects in the field of water. Damià Barceló also assured that one of his objectives is to consolidate the research team with the incorporation of new permanent researchers.
Once the meeting was over, the councillor signed the ICRA's Book of Honour and began a visit with the research staff to see projects and facilities such as the Pilot Plant Laboratory where wastewater treatment is carried out; the UdG-LEQUIA and ICRA collaboration in membrane recovery technology; the Mass Spectrometry Unit; the Biological and Molecular Techniques Unit, or the Mesocosmos, a leading scientific facility in Europe for experimental rivers that will help to improve the management of river basins. In addition, during his visit, he had the opportunity to greet Jelena Radjenovic, recent winner of the National Research Award for Young Talent 2022.
Also present at the meeting with Councillor Gemma Geis were the Rector of the University of Girona (UdG), Quim Salvi; the Director General of Research, Joan Gómez; the Vice Rector for Research and Transfer of the UdG, Maria Pla de Solà Morales; the CACB Manager and President of the Business and Social Council of ICRA, Jordi Agustí; the director of the ICRA, Damià Barceló and the deputy director, Sergi Sabater; the researcher of the Quality Area, Maria José Farré; the head of the Technology and Evaluation Area, Maite Pijuan; the head of Resources and Ecosystems, Vicenç Acuña; the ICREA researcher of the Technology and Evaluation Area of the ICRA, Jelena Radjenovic, and the manager of the ICRA, Ivan Sánchez.