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BCAM, BC3 and BCBL research centres celebrate 15 years of strengthening science in the Basque Country

2023 November 24
  • In 2008, the Basque Government’s Department of Education promoted the creation of the BC3, BCAM and BCBL research centres through the Ikerbasque Foundation.
  • These 3 centres are part of the BERC (Basque Excellence Research Centres) network, promoted by the Department of Education of the Basque Government:
    • BC3 researches the environmental, socio-economic and ethical dimensions of climate change
    • BCAM researches mathematics applied to biosciences, advanced manufacturing and energy
    • BCBL research on cognition, brain and language
  • More than 350 researchers work in these three centres, which have received the highest award for research excellence in Spain
  • Over the last 15 years, these three centres have been involved in research projects that have generated more than 171 million euros in funding for the Basque Country and have resulted in more than 3,800 publications in internationally renowned scientific journals.

 The BC3, BCAM and BCBL research centres, members of the Basque Excellence Research Centers (BERC) network, promoted by the Basque Government’s Department of Education, today celebrated their 15th anniversary. The event was attended by the Minister of Education, Jokin Bildarratz, and representatives of the Basque Government and the scientific system, as well as researchers from these centres.

The Basque Government created the Ikerbasque Basque Foundation for Science in 2007 with the aim of promoting scientific research in the Basque Country. To this end, Ikerbasque set up international programmes to attract researchers and also promoted the creation of new BERCs (Basque Excellence Research Centers) in areas strategic for the Basque Country. As a result of this work, three new research centres were created in 2008, forming part of the BERC (Basque Excellence Research Centers) network, which is now celebrating its fifteenth anniversary.

In these 15 years, these 3 research centres have consolidated their position as a reference in the Basque scientific system and have been recognised as centres of excellence at national level. More than 350 researchers from 36 countries work in these three centres, which have participated in research projects that have resulted in more than 3,800 publications in scientific journals of international prestige and have generated more than 171 million euros for research in the Basque Country.

The Department of Education of the Basque Government is funding the scientific activities of the research centres that make up the BERC network (a total of 9 BERC Centres of Basic Research and Excellence) with more than 50 million euros over the four-year period 2022-2025.

BC3 - Basque Center for Climate Change It aims to promote the co-production of relevant knowledge for decision-making, integrating the environmental, socio-economic and ethical dimensions of climate change. The future plan of the BC3 research team is to continue working on generating socially transformative solutions with different actors, in order to create a positive social impact, through in-depth research on climate change and sustainability in general. 

It currently has 126 researchers, 44 projects (23 European projects) and good results in attracting talent (3 ERC, 7 MSCA). In addition, BC3 collaborates with more than 40 international organisations and research centres in more than 20 countries.

BCAM – Basque Center for Applied Mathematics is a global research centre in applied mathematics, supported by various entities such as the UPV/EHU, the Provincial Council of Bizkaia, Innobasque, Petronor Innovation and, since 2023, the Bilbao City Council. Its focus lies in applying mathematics for the benefit of society, working in areas such as biosciences, health, energy and advanced manufacturing, and collaborating with institutions and companies at local and international level.  With more than 150 researchers of 36 nationalities, BCAM specialises in areas such as mathematical modelling and data science. Recognised for its excellence, it has been accredited as a "Severo Ochoa" centre of excellence three times in a row by the Spanish National Research Agency, consolidating its position as a world leader in applied mathematics.

BCAM’s future challenges are focused on continuing to be a world reference in multidisciplinary research in applied mathematics, leading international networks and establishing strategic alliances to address major research challenges. It is also positioning itself as a pole for the promotion of collaborative research laboratories with renowned scientists, fostering collaboration between scientific and technological centres in the Basque Country and highlighting its role in the transfer of knowledge to industry and social institutions.

BCBL – Basque Center for Cognition, Brain and Language is a multidisciplinary research centre dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in research, training and knowledge transfer in the cognitive neuroscience of language. Its research aims to elucidate the neurocognitive mechanisms involved in language acquisition, comprehension and production, with a particular focus on bilingualism and multilingualism. With a team of 90 researchers of 25 nationalities, it studies the processes involved in normal language acquisition in children and second language learning in adults, as well as language learning disorders, aphasia and other language-related brain damage, the effects of ageing on language and neurodegeneration, and the use of language in different social contexts. To address these lines of work, the BCBL is developing a dual research programme that promotes neural and behavioural models and theories of language processing and translates this knowledge into clinical and educational applications that benefit society. BCBL has the Severo Ochoa 2022-2025 accreditation. BCBL has the Severo Ochoa 2022-2025 accreditation.

The UPV/EHU participates in these 3 centres, promoting collaborative research among the agents of the Basque science system. Other participating entities along with Ikerbasque and the UPV/EHU as partners in these research centres: Provincial Council of Bizkaia, Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa, Bilbao City Council, Innobasque, IHOBE and Petronor Innovación.

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Politicians attending the event
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  • Fernando Cossío