The IFCA is the central element of the Campus of Physics and Mathematics (CIFMA) in our project of excellence Cantabria International Campus. The Institute (UC-CSIC) has grown constantly since its creation in 1995 and this has been reflected in the strengthening of its international position, a substantial improvement in its laboratories and associated equipment and an increase in staff. It has doubled its staff members since the creation of the building in 2010. It is important to emphasise that a great part of this staff comes from contracts which were created for the same research activity. This increase in staff, as well as the need for more space for laboratories in order to withstand the activities described below, make it necessary for an extension of the Institute. (Objective B.4.1. CCI Strategic Plan)
Its principal lines of research have been consolidated throughout this time: Advanced Computation, Astrophysics, Particle Physics and Physics of Non-linear Systems. Examples of this activity are the participation, often by researchers with leading positions (X. Barcóns, T. Rodrigo, A. Ruiz, J. Marco amongst others), in important international collaboration for the design, construction, operating and use of some of the principal scientific instruments in recent years. Among them we will highlight the XMM space missions (operational) and Planck, EURECA the implementation project for the study of the universe in X-Rays, the OSIRIS instrument of the Great Telescope in the Canary Islands. In High Energies, participation in the DELPHI experiments of LEP, CMS of LHC (both in CERN, Geneva), CDF in Tevatron (Fermilab, USA) and the implementation development for ILC. All of this has allowed participation in many of the important scientific results in this field in the last decade.
It is necessary to point out the huge effort carried out in strengthening the implementation development in all areas, incorporating instrumentation to the Planck mission, launched into space in 2009 and designing and building the corresponding one for the CMS in LHC, and the new particle detectors for ILC.
A more recent line of creation, as a transversal axis is that of Advanced Computation, which has reached national and international importance. It develops e-fiction projects financed by the European Union and is one of the 3 initial nodes in the GRID-CSIS Project. Likewise, for the processing of data in the CMS experiment in LHC, this centre is one of the existing nodes in Spain and it offers its services to the whole of the international community (about 2,000 scientists from all over the world). Besides, it is a reference centre for the analysis of data for the Planck and XMM missions and forms part of several European distributed computation networks GRID (WLCG, EGEE, EGI).
IFCA houses the Altamira Node, within the Spanish Supercomputation Network (RES). This deals with a Singular Scientific-Technical Infrastructure (ICTS), included within the scientific-technical research services in the University of Cantabria, and which is also the computation reference centre for the cluster of Marine Energies, through the Institute of Hydraulics in Cantabria (IH Cantabria), the central axis for the International Campus of Water and Energy (CIAE). In this campus the area of meteorology also has an active participation, with agreements with AEMET and MeteoSwiss, fronting work-groups in the European project about the ENSEMBLES climate change.
The activity of IFCA has lead to the creation of outstanding and often unique infrastructures in the geographical surroundings, such as a laboratory in dimensional metrology in the accreditation phase, a cleanroom 1000 class with equipment for the development and characterization of semi-conductors, and a laboratory for optical communications.
In the same way, it has favoured the establishment of a variety of actions for technology transfer, reaching the recent creation of two spin-off type companies, MetroSensors (for the application of metrology solutions) and Aqualia (for integral monitoring of reservoirs). Also being carried out is a provision of services (in dimensional metrology, precision machining and thermal characterization) and agreement are being developed with companies such as CIC and TTI North (whose head offices are in the PCTCAN Scientific-Technological Park), and others such as ASG Metrology, WEP Industrial Projects, Ecohydros, Erzia or ENSA.
Transversally, IFCA support projects in other international campuses such as Water and Energy, Technology or Biomedicine and Biotechnology. In the first case, through collaboration with companies and consortiums such as Sinery, EUFER, KIERS, Siemens Renovables, Renovalia, GMVE and others, contributing to regional wind-power development.
All of this activity about research excellence, internationalism and transfer in our CCI, imperatively needs to be extended, with a 3rd storey in the existing building (see Annex 1-Letter CSIC). The current activity is at saturation point. New projects need to develop new laboratories and the predicted growth in staff means an urgent adaptation of new spaces for the Institute, just as was foreseen in the strategic plan presented in 2009 and with the possibility of construction which would allow a special plan for the Campus, developed by Santander Town Council.
The total estimated budget for this action to be carried out is 1,459,090 Euros in 12 months.