Annual Report 2021
In 2021 we harvested the fruits of the self-prospecting and strategic shift we made during the period 2019-2020.
Redefining our strategy in line with the current scientific, environmental and social challenges has allowed the ICM to obtain great scientific results and has contributed considerably to our growth:
The IIP gave birth to the ICM and to the Marine Research Institute (IIM) of Vigo, the Torre de la Sal Aquaculture Institute (IATS), the Andalusian Institute of Marine Science (ICMAN) and the Centre for Advanced Studies of Blanes (CEAB).
Following the trend of previous years, we continued to attract talent and generate high-impact publications.
We further increased the quality of our studies and continue to be the marine research centre with the highest Nature Index in Spain and in the Mediterranean.
In 2021 we continued to attract young talent, future research leaders and promising new researchers.
Our multidisciplinary research allowed us to recruit 14 doctoral students and 20 postdoctoral researchers in such demanding public calls for staff as the Juan de la Cierva, Beatriu de Pinós, Ramon y Cajal, Junior Leader and Marie Skłodowska Curie calls.
To advance towards achieving effective equality between women and men, we drafted the first Gender Equality Plan adapted to the reality of our institution. This document was drafted with the encouragement of the European projects LeTSGEPs and ResBios, under the umbrella of the CSIC’s Equality Plan.
In addition, in 2021 various actions aimed to promote the participation, recognition and research initiatives of women of the ICM. These include a pilot tutoring programme for young researchers, the establishment of criteria that guarantee gender sensitivity in the allocation of funds from internal calls, and the monthly publication of articles on gender equality topics in the ICM newsletter.
Finally, within the framework of “Awareness Month”, lasting from the International Day of Women and Girls in Science (February 11) to International Women’s Day (March 8), women researchers of ICM participated in awareness-raising talks in schools.
The Equality Task Force, which aims to promote institutional actions on gender equality, was also given wider responsibilities and powers in 2021.
An ICM researcher was appointed as a member of the CSIC’s Women and Science Committee, and the scientific journal Scientia Marina obtained the Mention of Good Editorial Practices in Gender Equality of the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT).
At the ICM we place special emphasis on training scientists to develop critical and independent thinking.
A total of 15 doctoral students defended their theses within the doctoral programmes of six universities in Spain and abroad in 2021. Numerous bachelor’s and master’s degree final projects were also supervised.
These figures indicate that the ICM is a good place to start a brilliant career in marine science in a multidisciplinary environment, whether in the field of biology, physics, chemistry, geoscience or fisheries.
These talks are an opportunity for exchanging ideas in which the working groups of the ICM and other centres share the latest advances in marine science.
At the ICM we carry out cutting-edge research. It is our commitment to promote the transfer of knowledge and technology related to the interactions between the ocean and climate, the conservation and sustainable use of marine life and ecosystems, and mitigation of the impacts of natural hazards and anthropogenic activity.
Thanks to this facility, during the last two decades more than 350 sea expeditions have been carried out, providing an enormous amount of information on the abundance, diversity and function of the bay’s marine microorganisms.
This collection of data and samples is very valuable, as it is one of the most complete and longest time series in the world.
The ICM carries out campaigns in all the seas and oceans of the world to collect scientific data and increase knowledge of their conservation status. The ultimate goal is to improve their health status and the management of the resources they provide.
In 2021, as many as 48 researchers from the Institute embarked on oceanographic campaigns in various parts of the world, accumulating a total of 180 days at sea.
The international Ocean Cities network coordinated by the ICM and the Marine Technology Unit (UTM) seeks to promote the development of sustainable ocean cities. This network is made up of 26 organizations from all over the world and has been recognized by the United Nations as a programme of the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).
The goal of Ocean Cities is to change the way coastal cities interact and evolve with the ocean. Therefore, the initiative will use and promote ocean science to support the Sustainable Development Goals, especially numbers 13 and 14 referring to climate change and life in the oceans.
We see knowledge transfer as a means to foster the transition towards a more sustainable socio-economic system that improves the well-being of society and the planet.
We therefore drafted an action plan to promote knowledge transfer in our field. The aim is to combine the search for excellence with social engagement, in order to continue growing as an institution and reduce the gap between knowledge and action. In drafting the plan, we applied analysis tools from the business world, involving numerous internal and external actors. The result was the creation of ICMTransfer.
This framework seeks to strengthen and coordinate knowledge transfer and collaboration with local actors and social sectors and includes co-governance actions with citizens and institutions, projects with companies, and the creation of useful new patents and models.
All this is aligned with the objectives of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) and is framed in the 2030 Maritime Strategy of Catalonia and in the Blue Economy Plan of the Barcelona City Council. The challenge is to become guarantors of sustainability for the development of the blue economy and transformative innovation in the Mediterranean.
At the ICM we understand science as a fundamental part of our daily lives. Therefore, with the support of the Marine Science Literacy Committee, we carry out many activities to raise the public’s awareness of the importance of the ocean for life on Earth.
Indeed, the ocean’s well-being is very closely linked to our own, and our mission is to spread this message. In 2021 we played a leading role in events such as the 2021 City and Science Biennial and the science festival “Festa de la Ciència” to bring marine research closer to society.
The ICM’s Outreach and Communication Unit experienced unprecedented growth in 2021. We were more present than ever in the media and in the social networks, where we had more than 12,000 followers, 40% more than in 2020.
We also published our new ICM corporate video, which has received more than 30,000 views. This video explains how the quest for excellence in marine science helps us reveal the fascinating story behind the ocean and solve the great challenges we face as humanity.