In 2015 the IFIMAC – Condensed Matter Physics Center has been awarded with a “María de Maeztu” grant corresponding to the Unit of Excellence 2014 program financed by the Secretary of State for Research, Development and Innovation of the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness.
On January 27, 2016 has taken place the IFIMAC’s Inaugural Conference. The event was chaired by José M. Sanz president of Universidad Autónoma de Madrid who praised in his opening speech the levels of excellence achieved by researchers devoted to Condensed Matter Physics. In the presentation of the IFIMAC its director Francisco José García-Vidal explained that the distinction “María de Maeztu” will serve to continue supporting young researchers and the dissemination of science.
After receiving the “María de Maeztu” distinction as Unit of Excellence, IFIMAC from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid confirms its financial and scientifical support for young researchers, also for the promotion and dissemination of science by using its financial resources associated to the “María de Maeztu” Unit of Excellence program. Therefore IFIMAC will afford eight master scholarships for the 2015-2016 academic year and four fellowships for postdoctoral researchers. IFIMAC also will be involved in accommodation of two young scientists in order to initiate and lead their own research groups by starting four collaborative projects, explained Francisco José García-Vidal.
As part of the opening day of IFIMAC as a Unit of Excellence, Fernando Flores Sintas, Emeritus Professor at Department of Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid introduced Pedro M. Echenique from Universidad del País Vasco and president of DIPC – Donostia Internacional Physics Center, one of the most important scientific authority in Spain who gave a speech “La sublime utilidad de la ciencia inútil”. Fernando Flores highlighted Pedro M. Echenique’s academic and scientific reputation and also his work and achievements in the Ministry of Education between 1980-1984 in the Basque Government, Spain. Fernando Flores has also remarked prestigious awards received by Pedro M. Echenique such as: Max Planck Research Award in Physics, Princess of Asturias Award both received in 1998 and Blas Cabrera Award received in 2005.