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In 2023, Ikerbasque researchers successfully secured over 45 million euros in funding for the Basque Country.

2024 May 9
  • Ikerbasque concluded 2023 with 373 research staff distributed across three categories: 191 in the consolidated category, 106 in the young person’s category and 76 in the Research Associate category, which is an intermediate category.
  • The economic effort to promote Ikerbasque and the funds raised by the research staff enabled the hiring of a total of 1,639 professionals engaged in scientific research.
  • The results for 2023 represent a new record for Ikerbasque in terms of the number of researchers, funds obtained, and projects led. It means that Ikerbasque has become a benchmark in attracting researchers from all over the world and demonstrates the profitability of its commitment to scientific research.

Bilbao, 9 May 2024.- At the end of 2023, Ikerbasque employed a total of 191 researchers with extensive research careers and leadership capacity, 106 young researchers with whom it aims to promote a pool of high-level young people, and 76 Research Associates. The latter category complements the two previous ones and seeks to cover the different stages of the research career. The research conducted by the company was reflected in 1,530 articles published in indexed scientific journals during the year. These journals are highly regarded internationally and represent a 6% increase in the number of articles published compared to the previous year. 

The total amount of funds obtained by Ikerbasque researchers in 2023 was 45,437,886 euros, representing an increase of 5 million euros compared to 2022. Since 2007, they have successfully generated a total of 380 million euros for the Basque Country. A total of 1,222 projects (164 more than the previous year) received external funding. Twenty-three of these were funded by the European Research Council (ERC), the most prestigious institution in Europe for promoting ambitious research projects at the frontiers of knowledge. At the end of last year, 1,639 people were employed in the groups led by these researchers. In addition, researchers have been instrumental in the establishment of 37 spin-offs, which are business initiatives that are based on the exploitation of new processes, products or services that have been developed using the knowledge and results obtained from their research.

The people recruited by IKERBASQUE from around the globe to develop their work in universities and R&D centres in the Basque Country come from 35 countries. The majority are men, with 71% men compared to 29% women. In terms of their area of expertise, 46% of our employees are specialists in experimental sciences, while 25% are medical scientists. A total of 15% of our employees are specialists in engineering, while 14% are experts in the social sciences and humanities. Ikerbasque researchers are drawn from the most prestigious academic institutions worldwide, including MIT, Harvard University, Oxford, Stanford, CNRS and Max Planck.

The results obtained in 2023 demonstrate that the Basque Country is a European benchmark in science. We are already recognised internationally as a region with advanced research, with Basque research groups of international standing and where the right conditions are in place to develop research of international stature. This is evidenced by the European Commission's selection of Ikerbasque's researcher attraction programme as one of the most effective European initiatives for scientific development in 2023. To date, Ikerbasque's various programmes have successfully secured 28 million euros from the European Commission.

Noteworthy Achievements

In the past year, IKERBASQUE researchers have made significant contributions to their field, with several noteworthy achievements:

  • Global research indicates that cities are not fully leveraging the potential of nature-based solutions. This study, which was conducted by Marta Olazabal, an Ikerbasque researcher, and Unai Pascual, a researcher at BC3, was published in the journal Nature Sustainability.
  • A significant breakthrough in Alzheimer's research was achieved. A study conducted by Amaia Arranz, a researcher at the Basque Achucarro centre and Ikerbasque member, has identified a mechanism of neuron death in Alzheimer's disease. This discovery could lead to the development of new therapies or drugs for the treatment of the disease. The study was published in the esteemed journal Science.
  • Iñigo Olalde, an Ikerbasque researcher at the UPV/EHU, in collaboration with the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (IBE: CSIC-UPF) and Harvard University, has led a study that has successfully reconstructed the genomic history of the first millennium of the Balkan peninsula for the first time. The work was published in the esteemed journal Cell.
  • Jesús Jiménez Cabello and Susana Carregal from CIC biomaGUNE have developed ultra-small calcium carbonate nanoparticles that can be used to improve the diagnosis of atherosclerosis. The nanoparticles provide information on the stage of plaque development in atherosclerosis. This work, published in the esteemed journal ACS Nano, may lead to the development of new therapeutic strategies for breast cancer.

Destination Centre

A total of 126 researchers from Ikerbasque have been assigned to the UPV/EHU. The remaining 247 have been integrated into the other universities (Deusto and Mondragon Unibertsitatea) and research centres, including the nine Basque Excellence Research Centres (BERCs), which fall under the Department for Education.

Below is a list of all existing BERCs:

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

In addition to the nine centres of excellence and the three universities mentioned above (UPV/EHU, Deusto and Mondragon), the recipients of the researchers contracted by IKERBASQUE also include the Cooperative Research Centres (CIC) biomaGUNE (biomaterials), bioGUNE (biosciences), energiGUNE (energy) and nanoGUNE (nanosciences), as well as the health research institutes Bioaraba. BioBizkaia and Biogipuzkoa, along with the research centres Azti, Neiker, Tecnalia and Tecnum (University of Navarre), and BioBizkaia and Biogipuzkoa, along with the research centres Azti, Neiker, Tecnalia and Tecnum (University of Navarra), are also included. Additionally, Globernance (a centre for research and dissemination of political thought) and the IISL/IISJ (International Institute for the Sociology of Law of Oñati) are part of the network. A total of 25 Basque universities and research centres have benefited from the recruitment of international researchers.

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  • Photo Xaver
    2024 May 13

    Lanbide batzuek ahalegin txikia egiten dute A-rako edo B-rako, eta hori gehiago irabazten da beste lanbide batzuen ahalegin intelektualarekin eta erantzukizun-ahaleginarekin alderatuta; izan ere, horrek pizgarriak ken ditzake euskarri berezia izateko ezinbestekoak diren karrera luzeak ikastera.

  • Photo Xaver
    2024 May 13

    Hay profesiones con poco esfuerzo por A o por B se gana más comparado con el esfuerzo intelectual y de responsabilidad de otras, que puede desincentivar el estudio de carreras largas e imprescindibles para soporte especialmente

Politicians attending the event