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ICFO Director Lluis Torner awarded Barcelona’s Gold Medal for Scientific Merit

Date Announced: 23 Jan 2024

Barcelona, Spain -- In a ceremony that took place in the emblematic Saló de Cent of the Barcelona City Council, presided over by the mayor of Barcelona, Jaume Collboni, the director of ICFO, Lluís Torner, together with professor Andreu Mas-Collel and doctor and specialist in neurology, Mercè Boada, all Barcelona figures recognized internationally for their professional excellence, received the gold medal for scientific merit from the Barcelona City Council.

Mayor Jaume Collboni reaffirmed that Barcelona is today a European scientific capital by quoting a phrase attributed to Newton: "if I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants". The science that is done and projected from Barcelona, today referring to a global scale, "is done on the shoulders of giants who today we recognize with the Gold Medal for Scientific Merit", he declared.

  • Andreu Mas-Colell is an economist, professor emeritus of the UPF and Barcelona GSE, and current president of the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST). He is distinguished in the institutional field "for his tireless dedication to positioning the city's scientific fabric at the forefront of international excellence, through contributions from different institutions and entities. He is also recognized for his vital dedication to ideas, science, talent, universities, innovation and research".
  • Lluís Torner, director of ICFO, is awarded the medal "for his lifelong dedication to the field of photonic sciences, and the ability to have combined his scientific enthusiasm with tireless management of ICFO, thanks to which he has placed the center at the forefront of global scientific excellence, projecting the metropolitan region and Barcelona as a world-class pole for research".
  • Mercè Boada, neurologist and founder of the ACE Foundation, is awarded the medal "for her lifelong dedication to the study of dementia and Alzheimer's disease, and for her innovative approach to the fight against the disease , through non-pharmacological treatment based on the patient's holistic care, including improving their independence and quality of life". Their work has contributed to positioning Barcelona as an international reference hub for research excellence in Alzheimer's disease.

Upon receiving the medal, Torner expressed immense gratitude for the honor it bestowed as well as recognition of the importance of receiving the award from the city of Barcelona, a city that is itself "a symbol of values that we care about deeply: modernity, the aspiration to be a world leading city in innovation, creativity, and quality of life."  He also stressed his respect for fellow medal recipients, Prof. Mas-Collel and Dr Buada and their generous contributions to society,  his admiration for the distinguished physicist Rolf Tarrach who presented his award, his appreciation of all those that warmly accompanied him in celebrating the recognition, and finally, for what the award represents: 

I am receiving this award as a result of what we have created together – with all ICFOnians - since the turn of the century, and also because of what we will continue to do together for decades to come, “ remarked Torner to members of the ICFO community before the event.  “I simply got to ICFO first, but what we have achieved is a joint effort, and  it will be my honor to accept this medal on behalf of all of us.”


ICFO – The Institute of Photonic Sciences
Mediterranean Technology Park
Av. Carl Friedrich Gauss, 3
08860 Castelldefels
Tel.: (+34) 93 553 4002
Fax: (+34) 93 553 4000

E-mail: secretariat@icfo.eu

Web Site: icfo.eu

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