Agents of the Scientific Unit for Business Innovation (UCIE) Ana Isabel Delgado and César Senra, represented IFIC at the latest edition of TRANSFIERE, held on February 15, 16 and 17 at the Palacio de Ferias y Congresos de Málaga.

TRANSFIERE has established itself in recent years as the main R&D&I meeting in Southern Europe to share scientific and technological knowledge, promote innovation and connect science and business. The 2023 edition, which has been the twelfth edition of this event, has closed with the participation of more than 4,300 professional visitors and more than 420 speakers who have debated around more than 80 thematic panels of maximum interest for the innovative ecosystem, such as green hydrogen as a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels, or the Strategic Projects for Economic Recovery and Transformation (PERTE).

The experience of the agents in this type of events has been worth attending this time with a previous work of defining objectives, implementation of processes for the identification of participants of interest and with a pre-established communication plan (including the development of renewed cards for the promotion of scientific and technical capabilities of IFIC), in order to improve the results of previous attendances. Through the agenda of B2B meetings and visits to stands, several contacts for potential collaborations were established, as well as proposals for innovative financing and training tools in different aspects of intellectual property.

It is also noteworthy the presence at the event of several agents of the network innoagents of the Agència Valenciana d’innovació (AVI), which has helped to give a greater presence and to exalt the work of the Agency among the attendees. It has also been noted that the transfer model of the Valencian Autonomous Region was referenced in various interventions as a model of success and that it is serving as a reference for other communities.

On the other hand, the CSIC, as an activity within the Comte-Innovation program, has promoted the participation of IFIC researcher Luis Caballero for the presentation of MAGAS, a device that combines gamma imaging techniques with ultrasound imaging, and improves image-guided biopsy procedures.

Technological applications of particle accelerators, the focus of the next IFIC colloquium

Over the last century, particle accelerators have been associated with basic physics: they have been tools of discovery and exploration of new frontiers, areas in which they have achieved numerous successes. Their interest for basic science is associated with the possibility of concentrating large amounts of energy in a small volume, which allows the production of heavy particles to which we do not normally have access or the exploration of regimes in which matter is subjected to very high temperatures. Examples of great results in this direction have been the discovery of the Higgs boson, the study of the internal structure of the proton or the creation of the first neutrino beams for research.

In recent decades, however, accelerator technology has found more and more applications as it has matured and become more accessible. One of the fields in which these applications have been most visible is medicine, where particle beams can be used to treat ailments, especially when surgery is not a good option. Within this field several options have appeared, since the beams used can be of photons, protons or even nuclei. Other areas in which accelerators have found application are, for example, crystallography, analysis of archaeological remains or materials physics.

In this week’s colloquium at IFIC, our colleague Juan Fuster will talk to us about the fields of application that are opening up for accelerator technology today, well into the 21st century. Medicine continues to be a strong motivation for the development of this technology, but industry is also coming on board as an increasingly powerful driver. In particular, he will dwell on the role that IFIC can play in these initiatives and on the collaboration with the Center for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI) of the Ministry of Science and Innovation to participate in a future center for medical treatment using ion therapy.

Juan Fuster Verdú is Research Professor at CSIC and member of IFIC since 1996. He has developed his research career in experimental high-energy physics, as a member of the CELLO, DELPHI and ATLAS experiments, and is also heavily involved in the development of detection technology for the future linear accelerator. His current research is mainly focused on top quark physics. He has been director of IFIC, and also vice-director of Technology and Innovation, a stage during which he promoted the creation of the UCIE that exists today at the institute. Since 2019 he is the CSIC Institutional Delegate for the Valencian Community.

The colloquium will take place next February 16 at 12:30h in the Assembly Hall of the Head Building of the Parc Científic and will also be offered telematically through Zoom. Check the events agenda to access the seminar.

IFIC, the sole research center among the top 10 national institutions according to the Nature Index

The Nature Index is an indicator of excellence of Nature Research, one of the most prestigious scientific journals in the world, obtained from a database of the institutions of the authors of scientific articles published in 82 high-impact scientific journals in four major areas: Chemistry, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Life Sciences and Physical Sciences. These journals, although they represent only 4-5% of those covering the natural sciences in the best known database, Web of Science, accumulate about 30% of the total citations.

There is an entry in the Nature Index both for large institutions such as CSIC, universities and their equivalents in other countries (CNRS in France, the German Max Planck Society, INFN in Italy, etc.) and for research centers. In the latter, the Institute of Corpuscular Physics (IFIC, CSIC/UV) is reflected, in such a way that its publications are assigned equally to the two institutions on which it depends: the CSIC and the Universitat de València.

The institutions are ranked using two factors (Count and Share), both calculated from the corresponding publications in any of the journals of the selection during a 12-month period. The default ranking uses the Share indicator, which is obtained by considering that all the authors of an article make an equal contribution. It thus favors more theoretical papers, where the number of authors is usually smaller. On the other hand, the Count factor is simply the total number of publications, so it prioritizes institutions with the highest scientific productivity.

In the latest update of the Nature Index, which takes as reference the period from November 1, 2021 to October 31, 2022, IFIC occupies the ninth position in Spain, in a ranking that leads the whole CSIC, an institution with more than 120 research centers throughout Spain. It is followed by the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST), a foundation that brings together seven research centers in Catalonia, and several universities, including the Universitat de València in fifth place.

This ranking has been calculated by comparing the Share factor of all Spanish institutions, i.e., adding the proportional contribution of their authors to each publication, and not the overall number of scientific articles. Therefore, IFIC is currently the national research center with the highest Share factor in the Nature Index ranking.

IFIC is a center dedicated to research in nuclear, particle and astroparticle physics and its applications, both in medical physics and in other fields of science and technology. With a history dating back to the 1950s, IFIC is a pioneer in Spain in the investigation of the constituents of matter. It participates in international experiments such as those carried out at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC), KM3NeT or FAIR, both considered priority scientific infrastructures for Europe.