11 May 2016 National Research Award

Dr. Frank Koppens receiving the award. Photo credit: FCRi

PNR 2015 winners. Photo credit: FCRi

Prof Frank Koppens receives award in the Young Talent Category Yesterday, May 10th, the Catalan Foundation for Research and Innovation (FCRi), with support from the Government of Catalonia, celebrated the 26th edition of the National Research Awards, aimed at promoting the recognition of science in Catalonia, with a particular focus on educating society on the activity carried out by researchers working here.

The National Research Awards are the most prestigious honours given in Catalonia in the field of research, recognizing not only the important advances of scientists here, but also the entities and companies that support research through scientific patronage, public private partnerships, and scientific communication.

Organized by the Catalan Foundation for Research and Innovation (FCRi), the ceremony began with a dramatic reading by the actors Agata Roca and Pedro Aquillué, who presented texts from and about renowned scientists of the XIX and XX centuries. Following this introduction, Antoni Esteve i Cruella, president of the Catalan Foundation for Research and Innovation, gave a speech centred on the frontier research that is being conducted in Catalonia, emphasizing that Catalonia must promote and support talent and innovation for the future of its society.

The prizes were presented to this year’s awardees by the president of the Generalitat de Catalonia, the M.H. Carles Puigdemont i Casamajó, and the Minister of Industry and Knowledge of Catalonia, the H. Jordi Baiget. Awardees included ICREA Prof. Manel Esteller, director of the Cancer Epigenetics Program of IDIBELL, winner of the National Research Award; ICREA Prof. at ICFO Frank Koppens, winner of the Young Talent Research Award; The Fundació Catalunya- La Pedrera in the category of Scientific Patronage; the TV3 television program Quèquicom in the category of Scientific Communication; and the Fundació Alicia in the category of Public-Private Partnerships.

The Young Talent Research Award recognizes and encourages the efforts of young researchers who stand out for the quality and excellence of their scientific work. Dr. Koppens has received this award for his outstanding contributions to the field nano-optolectronics and his achievements for advancing graphene and 2D materials towards new technological applications that have been possible thanks to the support, among other institutions, from the Fundación Privada Cellex Barcelona. Upon receiving the award, Koppens stated “this award is a great honour, but it also reflects the momentum of the graphene community strongly supported by the graphene flagship program.”

The president of the Generalitat, in his keynote address, emphasized the importance of science as the economic motor of a country. He stressed that there are countries that help change the world. In order to be part of this proactive group as protagonists of the industrial revolution 4.0, Catalonia must continue to promote research at its highest level and, subsequently, to promote talent.