These highly competitive grants are awarded annually to exceptional research leaders for the development of ambitious, pioneering and non-conventional research projects in any area of science, engineering and knowledge.

Coronado is the first Spanish chemist to be granted with this funding, coming from the program IDEAS of the 7FP.

Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at the Universitat de València, Eugenio Coronado has been awarded with an ‘Advanced Grant’, a funding for projects granted by the European Research Council (ERC) in the framework of the Ideas Program of the EU’s 7FP. This European initiative, whose first edition was the 2008 one, finances European researchers of excellence for the development of pioneering and highly risky projects with the possibility of a major breakthrough with a high impact in any area of science, engineering and knowledge. This funding scheme evaluates individual innovative ideas, considering three criteria: the idea, the researcher’s curriculum and the research environment. The projects are granted for a maximum period of 5 years and a funding up to € 3.5 M per grant.

Professor Coronado’s Project, Magnetic Molecules and Hybrid Materials for Molecular Spintronics, deals with Molecular Spintronics, a new research area in which the research is focused towards the possibility of incorporating molecular systems into spintronics devices. Spintronics is a development of Electronics which benefits from the magnetism in materials to obtain more sensitive, quicker and low energy consumption electronic devices. Albert Fert and Peter Grünberg received the Physics Nobel Prize in 2007 for their discovery in 1988 of the giant magnetoresitence phenomenon, which is the origin of this new technology. Currently the lecture heads of every hard disc are based on this phenomenon. Their huge sensitivity has allowed the miniaturization of hard discs in computers and the availability in the market of electronic devices such as the iPods. The incorporation of molecules in these systems is completely innovative and opens up huge expectations in the information technology field. Moreover, it establishes a formidable scientific challenge in which breakthroughs can only be obtained from the joint effort of chemists, physicists, and engineers.

Eugenio Coronado will receive for the development of this Project an amount of approximately two million Euros. Around 1.500 European researchers applied to this call, and only less than one hundred have obtained an Advanced Grant.

Born in Valencia in 1959, Eugenio Coronado is Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at the Universitat de València, director of the Institute for Molecular Science of this institution from its foundation in 2000 and scientific director of the European Institute of Molecular Magnetism set up last year. He is a Doctor in Chemistry by the Universitat de València and a Doctor in Physics by the Université Louis Pasteur d’Estrasburg. His research career has been devoted to the design and synthesis of new molecular materials with magnetic, electrical and optical properties.

During the last years, Coronado’s research has been focused on the use of a molecular approach for the design of multifunctional materials and molecular nanomagnets. From the 90’s, Coronado is one of the world leaders in this research area. The results of his work are reflected in more than 400 papers in international scientific journals and in more than 30 peer reviews.

His research career has merited several prizes and distinctions, such as the Premio Nacional de Investigación Científico-Técnica Rey Juan Carlos I (2001) or the Premio Rey Jaime I de Nuevas Tecnologías (2003), among others. On November 16th, Coronado has received the Gold Medal from the Real Sociedad Española de Química (RSEQ), maximum prize awarded by this institution dedicated to the promotion, development and dissemination of Chemistry.
At the international level, he has been honored with the Van Arkel professorship by Leiden University (2003); he has been elected as Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry of England (2004) and is a member of the prestigious Academia Europaea from last May.