ICREA, Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies, is a foundation promoted by the Catalan Government to help the Catalan R&D system to attain global visibility and recognition.

ICREA is an institution without walls. To achieve its goals it works in close cooperation with Catalan universities and research centres by means of long-term agreements that allow ICREA researchers to integrate fully within these institutions.

This year is particularly special,  because we celebrate our 15th anniversary. It is therefore a proper time to take a step back and review our history. Since its creation in 2001, ICREA has become a world-renowned institution and a trademark for excellence in research. The quality of ICREA scientific output is on a par with that of leading research institutions worldwide and ICREA Research Professors have continued to receive significant awards in recognition of their work. ICREA is able to keep attracting the most talented global scientists thanks to the unique research environment created by our outstanding universities and research centres.

The impact of ICREA on the Catalan research system -and on the economy of our country- is remarkable. Since its creation, ICREA Research Professors have attracted over 600M euros of research funds to Catalonia, while the accumulated cost of ICREA has been 210M. On average, ICREA researchers bring to Catalonia each year 4 times their cost in research funds, and have been especially successful at obtaining ERC grants.

ICREA selects its people on the basis of excellence in research, but it seems clear that some ICREA researchers are also extremely successful innovators: since its creation, ICREA Research Professors have generated 20 spin-off companies, which so far have raised 85M euros from investors worldwide.

As a result of the 2016 ICREA Senior call, for the first time ever we have made more offers to female than to male researchers: 6 to 5, totalling 11 positions offered this year. We hope this is not an exceptional fact, but rather a trend for the future.

Apart from the ICREA Senior call, ICREA started in 2008 the ICREA Acadèmia programme, aimed at tenured faculty in Catalan public universities who are in a fully active and expansive phase of their research career. The award grants them the support to have a research intensification period of 5 years. The ICREA Academia call closed this year with more than 260 applicants of all disciplines, and awarded 15 new grants.

In 2016 we continued, as part of our outreach programme, a successful collaboration with the CCCB by organizing a new cycle of debates, this time about aging and disease, tackling very fundamental questions on the meaning of aging and the perspectives that open up as a result of the latest discoveries.

Since its beginnings 15 years ago, ICREA has received a continued unfailing support from both the Catalan Parliament and the Government of Catalonia. It is thanks to them and to the loyal collaboration of the universities and research centres that ICREA has been able to play its role attaining a success far beyond the expectations of its founders.

In this memoir we have tried to convey the energy and commitment of this community as it is today. Please take the time to browse through it and learn about ICREA, our researchers, and the outstanding science that they do.