In 2015, external funding stood for nearly 60% of the total budget secured by the institute, leading it to reach the highest level of funding ever. Competitive funds from the European Commission represented the largest source (~€17 million), positioning the CRG second in the Catalan ranking of organizations that attract the most funds from the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for research and innovation. Success stories include three prestigious ERC Advanced Grants supporting the ambitious projects of senior scientists Luis Serrano, Juan Valcárcel and James Sharpe.
Many European awards have been obtained so far, of which six have been for transnational projects headed up by the CRG. A number of scientists are engaging in diverse and challenging contexts: ‘frontier research’, public-private collaborations tackling highly prevalent diseases or actions pairing scientific excellence with social responsibility, such as the project LIBRA, focused on implementing gender-equality plans in research organizations across Europe (Isabelle Vernos).
At the national level, the funding secured in 2015 (~€4 million) followed the consistent trend set over previous years, with 11 research groups obtaining one or more awards from the Plan Estatal 2013-2016 to build new research pathways.
Last year, local broadcaster TV3’s fundraising telethon (La Marató) supported the work of staff scientist Rory Johnson by providing funding for his research project, which has just begun in cooperation with the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM). Its goal is to develop essential diagnostic tools for coronary artery disease using the latest genomic and IT technologies.
The institute continues to promote access to the best training opportunities and training networks to form a new generation of scientists: last year, 11 postdoctoral and 14 PhD fellows were awarded individual fellowships from international, national and regional life sciences funders to carry out their own research project. Other travel grants were obtained by students to spend secondments abroad in renowned international centres. Once again, in 2015 a mobility training programme was launched to host four African students in conjunction with the Wits University in South Africa and Novartis.
Last but not least, the CRG received several grants from different funding bodies to help develop its public engagement and science education activities (i.e. Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology, FECYT; the Barcelona Institute of Culture, ICUB; etc.).