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Ikerbasque researchers attracted funds worth nearly 20 million euros in 2014

2015 February 20
  • Ikerbasque has contracted 137 established researchers and 44 young researchers. All these researchers, with international experience and from 31 different countries, have joined Basque universities and R&D research centres
  • The Ikerbasque researchers have attracted 80 million euros to the Basque Country since 2007 and 415 research jobs have been created
  • IKERBASQUE researchers are involved in 305 projects with external funding and ten of them have attained millions of euros in ERC grants from  the leading European organisation to drive scientific excellence

The 2014 results confirm that IKERBASQUE has consolidated its position as a magnet attracting researchers from around the world and are proof of the profitability of the commitment to scientific research: researchers recruited worldwide to work at universities to develop their work at Basque universities and R&D centres managed to attract funds in 2014 worth nearly 20 million euros for research projects. Since 2007, Ikerbasque researchers have managed to bring a total of 80 million euros to the Basque Country and have enabled 415 jobs to be created in the research field.  This yet again shows that investment in research can likewise obtain immediate returns in the form of research funds, along with the long-term benefit in terms of competitiveness and improving the standard of living of a country.

Specifically, the total funds obtained by IKERBASQUE researchers came to 19,905,298 euros. Ten out of a total of 305 projects with external backing obtained funding from the ERC (European Research Council, Europe's most prestigious institution in terms of promoting ambitious research projects at the frontiers of knowledge. Four new spin-offs headed by Ikerbasque researchers were also created. The spin-offs help to transfer knowledge and scientific research to the business world, by looking for ways to apply them directly in the production processes and even in their marketing.  

At the end of 2014, IKERBASQUE had a total of 137 researchers on permanent contracts and 44 young researchers.  During the year, they published a total of 848 articles in indexed publications, i.e. in internationally journals of high scientific quality.  On average, each of the experts contracted by the Basque Foundation for Science contributed 177,131 euros as funding from fellowships or other grants for scientific research last year.

The persons recruited by IKERBASQUE to develop research work in the Basque Country are from 31 different countries and the majority of them are experts in the field of Experimental Sciences and Mathematics (48%). 19% are specialists in Social Ssciences and Humanities, 12%  in Technology and the remaining 21%  in Medical and Life Sciences. As regards their countries of origin, the majority are Spanish (90), Italian (15), Germany (13), British (7), Russian (6), the USA (6), Canadian (5) and Ukranian (5), although there are researchers of a further 23 nationalities from Europe, America and Asia. They are mostly male (80%) and their average age is around 45 years old.

These Ikerbasque researchers came from the most prestigious centres worldwide, including MIT, Harvard, Oxford, Stanford, CNRS and Max Planck.

Some key projects

Particularly noteworthy among the work carried out by the IKERBASQUE researchers and the leading publications during the last year are:

  • A novel imaging platform for a targeted battle against cancer.  Banafshé Larijani, an Ikerbasque researcher at the Biophysics Unit (CSIC - UPV/EHU), has developed, together with researchers from the United Kingdom and France, a novel quantitative imaging  platform and assay to assess biomarker activation in cancer patients.  This will enable high-risk patients to be identified who could benefit from a more specific targeted drug therapy.
  • A star explosion on the outer reaches of the Universe provides clues about black hold formation. The data obtained from the explosion of a star, that occurred around 11,000 million years ago, have made it possible to reconstruct how a black hole is formed.. The research, which involved the Ikerbasque researcher Javier Gorosabel, co-director of the Associated Unit with the Astrophysics Institute of Andalusia/CSIC-UPV/EHUU, has been published in the prestigious Nature journal.
  • The chronology of Neanderthal disappearance.  High-precision dating of materials from 40 archaeological sites, from Russia to Spain, has revealed that the disapperance of the Neanderthals from Europe occurred around 40,000 years ago. But rather than a rapid replacement by anatomically modern humans, the research published by the prestigious Nature journal reveals a much more complex picture, a more biological and cultural mosaic that lasted some thousands of years. The Ikerbasque researcher, María José Iriarte,  from the Prehistory Team at the University of the Basque Country/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea, was one of the member of the international ream and author of the article entitled ‘The timing and spatiotemporal patterning of Neanderthal disappearance”.

Host institutions

As regards their postings, 104 Ikerbasque researchers have been assigned to Basque universities (UPV/EHUDeusto and Mondragon Unibertsitatea). The remaining 77 joined research centres, including the nine BERC (Basque Excellence Research Centre), centres of excellence linked to the university complex.

The full list of existing BERCs is as follows:

  • Achucarro – Basque Center for Neuroscience (Zamudio)
  • Basque Center for Materials, Applications and Nanostructures(Zamudio)
  • Polymat – Basque Center for Macromolecular Design & Engineering (Donostia)
  • DIPC - Donostia International Physics Center (Donostia)
  • Materials Physics Center (Donostia)
  • Bizkaia Biophysics Foundation (Leioa)
  • BC3 - Basque Centre for Climate Change (Bilbao)
  • BCAM - Basque Center for Applied Mathematics (Bilbao)
  • BCBL - Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language (Donostia)

Apart from these nine centres of excellence and the aforementioned three universities (UPV/EHU, Deusto and Mondragon), the host institutions for the researchers contracted by IKERBASQUE include the Cooperative Research Centres (CIC), biomaGUNE (biomaterials), microGUNE (microtechnology), bioGUNE (biosciences) and nanoGUNE (nanosciences), along with Biodonostia and Biocruces, the heath research institutes, CEIT-IK4 technical  research centre, research centres belonging to Tecnalia, the Bioef founding (under the Department of Health) and Globernance (centre for research and dissemination of political thought. In total, 23 Basque universities and research centres benefit from the recruitment of international researchers.

The 2014 results confirm that IKERBASQUE has consolidated its position as a magnet for attracting researchers from around the world. Its Evaluation Committee is external to the Basque Science System and is made up of 181 researchers from 31 countries, coordinated by six renowned professors and researchers. And the ScienceCareersportal features the job offers from 65 institutions or research groups of the Basque Science, Technology and Innovation System.


IKERBASQUE is the result of a Basque Government initiative that seeks to reinforce the commitment to scientific research that the authorities and the companies and universities of the Basque Autonomous Community have been working on for years and which is embodied in the Basque Science, Technology and Innovation Plan.  A key area of IKERBASQUE’s mission is to attract top researchers to help to the endeavour to position the Basque Country among the leading powers in R&D&i. 


  • @VArechavala
    2015 March 16

    Comentario de Twitter:
    El personal investigador de Ikerbasque lograron en 2014 atraer fondos por valor de casi 20 millones de euros

  • @PGNalda
    2015 February 23

    Comentario de Twitter:
    RT @AchucarroNeuro: Se retornan 2 euros por cada euro de los impuestos vascos que financian Ikerbasque - Basque Foundation for... http://t.…

  • @izosgi
    2015 February 23

    Comentario de Twitter:
    RT @AchucarroNeuro: Se retornan 2 euros por cada euro de los impuestos vascos que financian Ikerbasque - Basque Foundation for... http://t.…

  • @AchucarroNeuro
    2015 February 22

    Comentario de Twitter:
    Se retornan 2 euros por cada euro de los impuestos vascos que financian Ikerbasque - Basque Foundation for...

  • @CyberEuskadi
    2015 February 20

    Comentario de Twitter:
    "El personal investigador de Ikerbasque lograron en 2014 atraer fondos por valor de casi 20 millones de euros"

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