SOMMa launches in Madrid

Directors and representatives of Spain’s 25 Severo Ochoa centres – including IBEC’s Josep Samitier – and 16 María de Maeztu units gathered in Madrid yesterday to launch SOMMa, an alliance aimed at raising the national and international profile of science in Spain.

Secretary of State for R&D+I Carmen Vela chaired the kick-off meeting, which defined the strategic and working plan for the coming months. Luis Serrano, director of Barcelona’s Centre for Genomic Regulation, will head the alliance over the next two years, while Teresa Garcia-Milà, director of the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics, will be its vice-president.

SOMMa will achieve its goal by promoting the exchange of knowledge, technology and best practices among its centres and units and with the international scientific community and other stakeholders, by cooperating with other research centres in Spain to strengthen the R&D+i system, and by being a voice in Spanish and European science policy.

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Its first actions will include the website, a window into the world of excellent science being conducted in Spain and a unique resource for the scientific community, policy makers, journalists and the general public. SOMMa will also run future editions of the 100xCiencia conferences, the meetings of the SO centres and MdM units, that began in 2015 in La Palma and continue this year in Alicante.

Spain’s Severo Ochoa centres and María de Maeztu units, which are recognised for their research efforts at the forefront of their fields, cover a broad range of scientific disciplines from biology and medicine to mathematics, chemistry, physics, engineering, economics and social sciences.