Global Area: MATERIA

The global area MATERIA is oriented to the development of science and technology, yielding fundamental and applied knowledge from chemistry, physics and mathematics. This knowledge allows addressing new global scientific challenges, as well as, the promotion of sustainable development in diverse fields such as biology, medicine, energy, nanotechnology or the environment.


To achieve the objectives of the Global Area MATERIA, multidisciplinary teams are needed. For example, the preparation of new materials or new molecules or the development of new technologies capable of managing useful data for the prevention of pollution and climate change, the internet of things or the new concepts in robotics. More than 4,100 people work in the global area, of which 1,220 are researchers, who are integrated into 502 research groups and work in 44 research institutes.

Within the area, multiple, interconnected, competitive and leading research lines are addressed at national and international levels, such as production of new materials with improved properties, catalysis and biocatalysis, synthesis of organic compounds, chemistry and physics of materials, analytical chemistry, nanotechnology, simulation of materials and processes, chemical engineering, mathematical and physical models, high energy physics, atomic, molecular and nuclear physics, astrophysics and space sciences, robotics and automation, optics, acoustics, complex systems or quantum technologies and information.

The existing synergy with the Global areas of SOCIETY and LIFE allows this sort of interdisciplinary research to participate in the solution of the new societal challenges. These are some examples: design and synthesis of new bioactive molecules with therapeutic applications, biosensors and nanodevices, clean fossil fuel and renewable energy technologies, innovative applications in the environment, climate change, agroecosystems, food and health, as well as the research in the conservation and restoration of Historical and Cultural Heritage or new uses of modified materials in sectors as diverse as construction or nanomedicine.

Unique Scientific and Technical Infrastructures (ICTS) and special equipments, shared by groups of different Institutes and organizations, are necessary to carry out this interdisciplinary research. The Calar Alto Astronomical Observatory, the Integrated Micro and Nano Manufacturing Room of the National Microelectronics Center, the RMN laboratory “Manuel Rico” and the National Accelerator Center are examples of ICTS managed by CSIC and related to the Global Area MATERIA. Also, CSIC operates the SpLine synchrotron light line (for surface and single crystal diffraction and for high energy photoemission spectroscopy) of the European Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (ESRF) and the instrument D1B (neutron diffractometer for polycrystalline samples) of the Institut Laue Langevin (ILL). CSIC also participates, among others big infrastructures, in the European Solar Telescope (EST), the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) and in the European Laboratory for Particle Physics (CERN).