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.


Fernando Hueso Gonzalez receives the Bruce H Hasegawa Young Investigator Medical Imaging Science Award

Every year the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) through the Nuclear Medical and Imaging Sciences Technical Committee (NMISTC), one of the bodies responsible for medical imaging, awards several highly reputable prizes in the field of medical physics. In this edition, Fernando Hueso González, CDEIGENT researcher at the Institute of Corpuscular Physics (IFIC, CSIC-UV) has received the Bruce H Hasegawa Young Investigator Medical Imaging Science Award 2022.

Fernando Hueso’s work focuses mainly on improving the precision with which proton therapy cancer treatments are delivered. Thanks to the development of high-resolution radiation detectors, it is possible to verify in real time and with millimeter precision that the proton beam is aimed at the right place (the tumor), thus avoiding collateral damage to surrounding healthy tissues. Other lines of research are the optimization of dosimetry in brachytherapy and the prevention of collisions between the machine and the patient in radiotherapy.

The NMISTC Council is in charge of the management and promotion of activities useful to its members. One of its actions is to invite committee members to nominate people for the NMISTC Awards. In this case, Magdalena Rafecas López, former UV professor and IFIC researcher, and currently researcher at the Institute of Medical Engineering of The University of Lübeck and member of the IEEE Transactions on Radiation and Plasma Medical Sciences committee, presented the nomination of Fernando Hueso.

These awards are announced annually and candidates are judged on the basis of their contribution to medical imaging science, demonstrated by the technical merit and creativity of their research. Priority is given to nominees whose research has been published in peer-reviewed journals, especially if the nominee is the first author. The award consists of 1500 € and a plaque which was presented during the “2022 IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium, Medical Imaging Conference”.

“It is an honor to receive this award as a young researcher for my career in medical imaging. It is a recognition of years of hard work, together with the privilege of working in leading hospitals such as OncoRay or Mass General Hospital, which have provided all the means at their disposal to develop this research. I would also like to thank Prof. Magdalena Rafecas for the nomination, as well as Dr. Guntram Pausch and Prof. Thomas Bortfeld for their letters of recommendation,” says Fernando.

Fernando Hueso González studied the Master in Advanced Physics at the Universitat de València in 2011-2012. The following four years he was at the proton therapy center of the Technische Universität Dresden (OncoRay), doing his PhD in real-time therapy monitoring from fast gamma rays. Subsequently, he worked as a postdoc at Massachusetts General Hospital to transform a gamma spectrometer from a ‘laboratory’ to a clinical prototype for first application with patients. He is currently continuing his research at IFIC (CSIC/UV) in the IRIS Medical Physics group, thanks to the GenT program (GVA).

Image credits: Ralf Engels

Developments of ion therapy against cancer are discussed at the Casa de la Ciència del CSIC in Valencia

The headquarters of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) in the Valencia Region is today hosting a conference organized by the Institute of Corpuscular Physics (IFIC, CSIC-UV), CIEMAT and the Castellón Provincial Hospital Foundation to discuss the future of ion therapy in the fight against cancer in Spain. Attended by more than 60 experts from the fields of research, health, industry and public administration, the meeting opens a debate on the benefits of this new technique in an international context of implementation of heavy particle therapies against cancer. In addition, the technological challenges necessary to achieve its application in the medical field will be addressed.

The regional secretaries for Universities and Research, Carmen Beviá, and for Efficiency and Health Technology, Concha Andrés, as well as the executive vice-president of the Valencian Innovation Agency (AVI), Andrés García Reche, the vice-rector for Research of the UV, Carlos Hermenegildo, and the vice-president for Organization and Institutional Relations of the CSIC, Carlos Closa, will participate in the conference.

The institutional delegate of the CSIC in the Valencian Community, Juan Fuster, is one of the promoters of this conference, where the challenges for the implementation of ion therapy in Spain in the next decade are analyzed. “This requires a process of innovation that simplifies the instrumentation of the equipment and makes it possible to convert hospital spaces and make them suitable for therapy with heavy particles or hadrontherapy,” says Fuster, a CSIC researcher at the Institute of Corpuscular Physics.

Both conventional radiotherapy and hadrontherapy require accelerators that send the particles to the tumor tissue to destroy it. Radiotherapy uses photons, while hadrontherapy uses heavier particles such as protons (components of the atom’s nucleus) or ions (atoms that have had electrons removed). The complexity of heavy particle accelerators makes them more difficult to implement in hospitals, although this type of therapy has advantages: it is more effective, allows localized treatment of the tumor and reduces toxicity.

For Carlos Ferrer, general manager of the Castellón Provincial Hospital Foundation, “although cancer treatment with radiation is receiving a great boost in Spain, there are tumors in which much remains to be done. In sarcomas, pancreatic tumors or central nervous system tumors, commercially available technologies, whether with photons or protons, do not offer sufficiently satisfactory results. There is room here for ion therapy, which has not yet been developed, despite its great therapeutic potential.

While proton therapy is already implemented in developed countries (Spain has a plan to provide the public health system with 10 proton therapy units in collaboration with the Amancio Ortega Foundation), ion therapy is not yet developed despite its great therapeutic potential. “It is estimated that this technique optimizes the dosimetric benefit in oncology patients by three to five times compared to conventional therapy, both X-ray and proton therapy,” says Ferrer.

Most ion therapy facilities are based on a circular accelerator with a circumference of 60 meters, whose relatively high cost limits its expansion. “The challenge is to develop accelerators that are more compact, simpler and cheaper to operate and maintain,” summarizes José Manuel Pérez, head of CIEMAT’s Technology Department. “Linear accelerators based on radiofrequency systems (linacs) represent a reasonable alternative due to their capacity to vary the characteristics of the ion beam, particularly its energy, a modular design in line with the installation and a reduction in cost. For this reason, their development is one of the fundamental lines for a breakthrough in ion hadrontherapy”.

The conference brings together at the Casa de la Ciència representatives from CSIC centers, CIEMAT, Valencian public universities and other research organizations (CIPF, Institut Curie de Paris, Heidelberg Ion-Beam Therapy), together with doctors (hospitals of La Fe, Clínico Universitario and General de Valencia, San Juan de Alicante, Castellón, Vall d’Hebrón in Barcelona and the Clínica Universidad de Navarra in Madrid), representatives of the Center for Technological Development and Innovation (CDTI, Ministry of Science and Innovation), the Spanish Science Industry Association (INEUSTAR) and the Valencian Innovation Agency (AVI).

The participants contribute to outline the current panorama and future needs of cancer treatments with particle accelerators, from advances in conventional radiotherapy, through the implementation of proton therapy in Europe to ion therapy. This would complete a network with different levels and characteristics for treating patients depending on the type of tumor.

This is what is being developed in our neighboring countries, where, together with the progressive implementation of proton therapy centers, other carbon ion centers are being planned. Thus, for example, Italy has 3 proton therapy units in operation and one carbon ion unit, and 2 additional units are being installed. France, the United Kingdom, Germany and Switzerland have similar circumstances.

BSBF: Final considerations

Last October the second edition of the Big Science Business Forum was held in Granada, a congress that brings together the world’s leading scientific infrastructures and industry, with a clear focus on business, bringing together on this occasion more than 1200 participants and more than 120 companies.

The congress has been a unique window for different actors to know first hand the investment and contracting forecasts of European Big Science organizations for more than 37 billion euros in the coming years and in the following areas:

– Electrical, power electronics, electromechanical and RF systems.

– Affiliated Big Science Organizations (ABSOs)

– Diagnostics and detectors, sensors, optics and instruments

– Information and communication technologies


– Research Infrastructures and e-Infrastructures in Horizon Europe – European Commission

– Industrial Opportunities for IFMIF-DONES

– Basic material technologies and advanced manufacturing techniques

– Complex building construction and its safety related systems

– High precision and large mechanical components

– Instrumentation, control and CODAC

– Cryogenics, vacuum and leak detection technologies

– SME Involvement and Key Aspects for Procurement


– Affiliated Big Science Organizations (ABSOs) II

– Superconductivity and superconducting magnets

– Career opportunities and pathways in the Big Science market

– Remote handling systems


In this second edition of the congress, IFIC has been able to count on the attendance and active participation of UCIE agents, who have had the opportunity to learn about business opportunities in different areas of technology and to establish contact with representatives of various institutions and companies, as well as to hold B2B meetings and formalize relationships that may be of great interest to researchers of the Institute.

In addition, they have been in charge of compiling information that may be of interest, such as the list of companies that participated in the event or the presentations corresponding to the parallel sessions in which the aforementioned investment opportunities were presented.

All this information is available to the groups upon request by contacting any of the UCIE agents.

The UCIE at the innovation events of the Comunitat Valenciana

UCIE agents Ana Isabel Delgado and César Senra have participated  in the innovation events VLC Heath&I and Valencia Digital Summit, held in the city of Valencia.

VLC Health&I Day was an initiative led by Innosalud, Bioval and Innotransfer, in which representatives of the Bio business cluster, universities, science parks and health research centers participated. The aim of the event was to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in the healthcare sector, connecting research groups, companies and investors to foster synergies and promote new projects.

The conference, held in the new Biohub building in the Marina of Valencia, began with an assessment of the impact of the tools to promote innovation in the Valencian Region by representatives of the AVI, Generalitat, RUVID and BioVal. In parallel, there were networking sessions, talks on entrepreneurship and investment in the Bio sector, presentation of challenges and solutions by institutions and companies in the sector. In addition, there was a competition in which ten Valencian startups in the health sector presented their projects to different investment funds.

On the other hand, the Ciutat de les Arts y les Ciències was the chosen venue for the Valencia Digital Summit, now in its fifth edition, which places Valencia as a benchmark in technological innovation.

This new edition of the VDS, organized by STARTUP VALENCIA, brought together more than 12,000 attendees from 35 different countries, more than 400 national and international investors and 450 world-renowned speakers, around 1,500 startups, and more than 130 sessions on various topics such as sustainability, blockchain technology, smart cities, talent acquisition and collaboration between companies and startups.

With this initiative,it seeks to boost innovative companies in the Valencian ecosystem so that their projects consolidate, scale and contribute to inspire a better future.

On this occasion, IFIC was also represented by the researcher Luis Caballero, who presented the project he leads in the showroom of the event, within the framework of the COMTE-Innovation program in which it participates.

The presence of the agents in these events allows us to keep abreast of the main lines of work and identify relevant actors in the fields of health, biotechnology and digital technology. Likewise, we have been able to establish contacts with some startups that have shown interest in IFIC’s activity and are expected to lead to future collaborations.


BSBF2022, the world’ most important congress in Big Science, is attended by the UCIE-IFIC

The Scientific Unit for Business Innovation (in Spanish, UCIE) of the Instituto de Física Corpuscular (IFIC), a joint center of CSIC and the Universitat de València, has recently attended the Big Science Business Forum (BSBF) 2022. The BSBF is an international congress that brings together the main players in cutting-edge science, mainly in the fields of high-energy physics, astronomy and energy. The aim of this congress is to be a meeting point between research institutions and industry.


UCIE agents Ana Isabel Delgado and César Senra have participated in this meeting with the aim of disseminating IFIC’s activity and capabilities among the different organizations and companies that attended the event, in order to identify synergies and promote possible collaboration and transfer agreements. During the course of the event, the agents had the opportunity to hold B2B meetings with company representatives and with the heads of some of the most important infrastructure projects of the moment in our country, who showed great interest in the work of the Institute.


After the success of the first edition in Copenhagen, Granada was the city chosen to host the second edition of this important congress, gathering around 1,200 participants and more than 120 companies from different countries to discuss the future prospects of the Big Science market.


The event was organized by the CDTI and the Ministry of Science and Innovation with the collaboration of CIEMAT, national and international technical coordinator of the IFMIF-DONES project, an infrastructure for the study of the materials that will form part of the new fusion energy generation systems. This project also counts with the participation of the Granada City Council, where it will be located, the UGR, On Granada, ICEX Spain Export and Investment, the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia, the Granada Provincial Council and the Andalusian Regional Government.

Valencian Agency for Innovation renews the Scientific Unit for Business Innovation at IFIC

The Agència Valenciana de la Innovació (AVI), the instrument of the Generalitat Valenciana to coordinate its innovation strategy, continues to promote the Scientific Unit for Business Innovation (in Spanish, UCIE) of the Institute of Corpuscular Physics, (IFIC / CSIC-UV), during the year 2022, with the granting of an annual aid.

This aid, granted by the agency in competitive concurrence for first time, aims to promote knowledge transfer and connect research centers and universities with the challenges and needs of the bussines community. For this porpouse, it subsidizes different actions that may be eligible for 60% co-funding by the ERDF Operational Program of the Valencian Community 2021-2027.

In its four years of existence, the IFIC’s UCIE has promoted the development of more than 15 innovative projects in collaboration with companies and technological and research institutes of the Valencian Community.

AVI has allocated this year almost 5 million euros to finance 11 UCIEs in centers of excellence research in the Valencian Community, with the aim of promoting applied research oriented to the productive sector. The network of UCIEs is therefore expanded, with the incorporation of the Institute for Research, Development and Innovation in Health Biotechnology of the Miguel Hernández University (IDIBE-UMH) and the Valencian Institute for Research in Artificial Intelligence (VRAIN) of the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV).

Also within the framework of its program for the valorization of research results, AVI will provide approximately 4.5 million for the development of 17 prototypes and pilot tests in universities, research centers and technological institutes.

In the resolution of concession of four of its six annual aid programs to promote and strengthen the innovation system of the Comunitat, the Generalitat finances the development of 103 innovation projects worth 14.5 million euros.

IFIC’s UCIE was created in 2018 with the aim of bringing the Institute’s research results closer to the industrial environment by implementing two strategies: bringing IFIC’s research closer to the needs of companies and supporting the establishment of collaborations with other agents of the Valencian R&D&I system to achieve an effective transfer of the technologies generated at IFIC.

Among these technologies are the medical applications of physics, such imaging systems diagnosis, surgical assistance and the development of new technologies in accelerators with clinical applications. Also of great potential are the development of applications linked to artificial intelligence, electronics and the environment. These technologies arise from IFIC’s experience in basic research on the elements of matter, a field where it is a pioneering center in Spain.