Constitution of the new SOMM alliance Executive Board

Severo Ochoa - María de Maeztu alliance (SOMMa)

·The SOMM alliance designates a new Executive Board for internal coordination across the strategic axes of action

·Four new delegates and a new executive director will design and execute in coordination with the presidency the strategies for communication, visibility, I+D+i, global impact and intitutional relations

·The new structure that is established by this precedes the change in the SOMMa presidency, that will take place next November 16th


During the afternoon of June the 30th was held the meeting by which officially took place the constitution of the new Executive Committee of the SOMM alliance. During the meeting, a new internal structure of the alliance was established, with the designation and approval of the new Executive Board. The Executive Board is henceforth composed of the presidency and vicepresidencies, together with the newly appointed 4 Delegates and the new Executive Director and Secretary of the Board.

To these changes will be added 16th November the change in the presidency of SOMMa, when the 1st Vice President Maria Blasco will take over the charge of President, currently held by Luis Serrano. The 2nd Vice President Mª José Sanz will then become 1st Vice President and a subtitute in the position of 2nd Vice President will be designated via a voting procedure.

All the new members of the committee have sound, consolidated research careers in their respective fields, with wide international experience. The newly appointed charges are: Antonio Molina, Executive Director and coordinator of the Board; David Barrado, Delegate of Communication and International Visibility; Ramon Miquel, Delegate of I+D+i Policy; Isabel Márquez, Delegate of Global Impact and Luis Vega, delegate for Intitutional Relations.


Final composition of the Executive Board:

SOMMa President: Luis Serrano (continues in position)

SOMMa 1st Vice President: María Blasco (continues in position)

SOMMa 2nd Vice President: María José Sanz (continues in position)

Executive Director, Secretary and Coordinator of the Board: Antonio Molina

Delegate of Communication and International Visibility: David Barrado

Delegate of R+D+i Policy: Ramon Miquel

Delegate of Global Impact: Isabel Márquez

Delegate of Institucional Relations: Luis Vega 


New appointments:

-Executive Director, Secretary and Coordinator of the Commitee:

Antonio Molina, of the Centre for Plant Biotechnology and Genomics (CBGP, UPM-INIA).

Molina is full professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Department of Biotechnology and Plant Biology of the Polytechnical University of Madrid. Since February 2016, he is director at CBGP, UPM-INIA. The research activity of Molina is focused on the study of plant immunity and its application towards the protection of crops. Molina has developed an intensive activity in the field of innovation and tech. transfer. A prominent highlight is his role as co-founder of PlantResponse Biotech, a spin off company that raised over 12 million Euro from venture capital and that has been designated as one of the most successful Spanish spin offs of the last decade.

As Executive Director, Molina will play a role in the coordination of the SOMMa delegates, in the pursuit of the decided strategic goals of SOMMa, with the help of the work groups that become established, to that aim.


-Delegate of Communication and International Visibility:

David Barrado, of the Centro de Astrobiología (CAB, CSIC-INTA).

Barrado is research professor, Scientific Director at CAB and former director of the German–Spanish Astronomical Centre, Calar Alto Observatory. Among his research and projects stand out the development of the mid-infrarred instrument that will fly with the next space telescope, the James Web Space Telescope; also, the coordination of funding for the PLATO satelite of the European Space Agency. Barrado is part of the scientific team of the CHEOPS space observatory. His research interests as a researcher focus on the study of the properties of stars of open cumuli, as well as the search and characterisation of substellar objects and exoplanets. He pairs his tasks as an astrophysicists with an intensive activity as science communicator.

As a Delegate of Communication and International Visibility, his responsibilities will fall into the the fields of communication strategy development, web & social media strategy, outreach event coordination (100xCiencia) and the improvement of international visibility of the Severo Ochoa - María de Maeztu programme, as well as that of the alliance.


-Delegate of R+D+i Policy:

Ramon Miquel, of the Institut de Física d'Altes Energies (IFAE).

Ramon Miquel is an ICREA professor since the year 2006, and director of IFAE since the year 2015. After a career devoted to high-energy physics, Miquel redirected his interests towards observational cosmology. His recent work has addressed, mainly, the projects "Dark Energy Survey" (DES), "Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument" (DESI) y and the IFAE-led project "Physics of the Accelerating Universe" (PAU). Each one of these initiatives attempt to cast new light onto the intrinsic nature of dark energy, which causes the sustained acceleration of the expansion of the Universe.

As a Delegate of R+D+i Policy, Miquel will focus on the analysis of regional, national and international policies of research, development and innovation. He will aim at defining proposals for financing entities with the goal of improving the impact and management of R+D+i funding.


-Delegate of Global Impact:

Isabel Márquez, of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC).

Prof. Márquez is the Scientific Director of IAA-CSIC and has held numerous other positions of responsibility in national and international organisms, mainly in connection to the field of astrophysics. The research activity of Prof. Márquez focuses on the nuclear activity of galaxies, particularly those with a low luminosity. To be highlighted, are the studies developed regarding the mechanisms of nuclear activity in circumnuclear regions of active galaxies, comparing against inactive galaxies. Her research of LINES nuclei using X-ray approaches became the originary core of the X-ray branch of the Extragalactic Astronomy Department at the IAA.

As the Delegate for Global Impact, Prof. Márquez will analyse and undertake a follow-up of the impact of the Severo Ochoa - María de Maeztu initiative on Spanish R+D+i, both nationally and internationally, with attention towards social and economic impact.


-Delegate for Institutional Relations:

Luis Vega, of the Basque Center for Applied Mathematics (BCAM).

Luis Vega is and a mathematician and full Professor of the University of the Basque Country, specialised on the study of partial differential equations. He was the Scientific Director at BCAM (2013-2019) and is now is the current Severo Ochoa Scientific Director at the institution. His research addresses mainly the interaction and interconnection between partial differential equations and Fourier analysis. More recently, Vega directed his interests towards the principles of uncertainty and the lower limits to find solutions towards linear and non-linear dispersive equations. Vega was awarded the Premio Euskadi de Investigación in 2012, and the Blaise Pascal Medal in 2015.

In his new position at the Executive Board, Vega will address aspects connected to institutional relations of SOMMa with Spanish autonomous communities, embassies, foundations, technology platforms, business associations as well as any relevant international contacts.

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