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 in these institutions.

ICREA’s contribution to the Catalan research system has been very successful again in 2019. Its key role at attracting and retaining talent is never easy, but the extremely large number of applications we received is a testimony of the tremendous appeal of our universities and research centers. Moreover, for the first time in ICREA’s recent history, all selected candidates in the 2018 Senior Call accepted ICREA’s offer and have joined their host institutions. We want to congratulate all the new ICREA Research Professors and their host institutions for this outstanding result. An appealing and competitive research environment, skillfully crafted attraction and retention packages from the host institutions, and excellent researchers full of potential is the perfect combination to keep producing frontier research.

Browsing along the different sections in this memoir you will be able to discover some of the outstanding science created by the ICREA Research Professors, part of their contributions to society, how they perform at the highest level and the strong influence they have in their respective fields. Just one of many examples is their performance in terms of field-weighted citation impact versus output on top 10% citation percentiles compared against some international institutions, see Figure 1.


Citation impact

Figure 1. ICREA Research Professors: Citations & Impact. Average of last decade (2010-2019). Source: SciVal, © 2020 Elsevier


In 2019 we had 120 ICREA Acadèmia researchers in our universities. The program seeks a research boost in their careers through a five-year intensive research grant. Again, this can be measured in many ways. Figure 2 shows the normalized impact of grantees before and after receiving the grant against the average of their respective departments.

Normalised impact

Figure 2. ICREA Acadèmia Researchers. Average impact factor of awardees before and after the grant, against the average impact factor of their respective university departments. Data covers the 2008-2018 period.


None of the above would have been possible without the continued and faithful collaboration of the ICREA researchers’ hosting universities and research centers. We are very grateful to them. Above all, we are indebted and give our warmest thanks to the Catalan Government and the Catalan Parliament for their strong commitment to ICREA’s success. This support is evermore appreciated in difficult times such as the ones we are now living, and it is good to know that frontier research, which is so necessary for the well-being of our society, is nurtured by our stakeholders.


Antonio Huerta