FPdGi Awards

Samuel Sánchez Ordóñez, Princess of Girona Foundation Scientific Research Award 2015

The winner was chosen for his international scientific career which reflects his leadership in the field of nanotechnology


Samuel Sánchez Ordóñez has been named as the winner of the FPdGi Scientific Research Award 2015. The jury, which announced its decision this midday in Madrid, highlighted the winner’s very international scientific career which reflects his leadership in the field of nanotechnology. Samuel Sánchez’s work has had a particularly important impact on the pioneering design of self-propelled nanorobots, which could improve targeted drug delivery, and have potential environmental applications.

Since January, this young researcher has been working at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC), where he heads up the "Smart nano-bio-devices" group as an ICREA researcher ‒ a foundation that promotes elite scientific research by recruiting top professionals from all over the world.

In this sixth edition of the FPdGi Awards, the jury for the Scientific Research category was formed of Rolf Tarrach, former rector of the University of Luxemburg and member of the FPdGi Advisory Council; Maria Blasco, director of the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) and member of the FPdGi Advisory Council; Romain Quidant, FPdGi Scientific Research Award winner 2011; Jorge Wagensberg, doctor of Physics and member of the FPdGi Advisory Council; and Emilio Lamo de Espinosa, professor of Sociology at the Complutense University and member of the FPdGi Advisory Council. While announcing their verdict, the members of the jury stressed the excellent quality of all the candidates that were nominated as well as the importance of the research that the country’s young scientists are conducting.

After the award announcement, in an event presided over by Her Majesty the Queen of Spain, Rolf Tarrach and Cristina Garmendia led a discussion about science with three young scientists who have also been recognised by the Princess of Girona Foundation: Romain Quidant (FPdGi Award 2011), Oriol Mitjà (FPdGi Award 2013) and Alberto Enciso (FPdGi Award 2014). The conversation focused on the differences between applied research and basic research, researchers’ responsibility and their commitment to society and the policies that are needed to translate scientific potential into economic potential, among other issues.

The FPdGi Awards recognise the innovative and exemplary work of young people aged between 16 and 35 years, and that of an organisation working for young people. The ScientificResearch category recognises the work of young scientists, including those working in human and social sciences, with projects or experiences that show strong potential for future development.

The open call for nominations for this edition of the Awards received a total of 167 entries, of which 42 were for the Scientific Research category. With a prize of €10,000 and a reproduction of a sculpture by the artist Juan Muñoz, the awards will be presented during the IMPULSA Forum 2015, in an event being held on 25 June which will be presided over by Their Majesties the King and Queen of Spain.

So far this year the winners in the following categories have been announced:

  • FPdGi Arts and Literature Award 2015: Olga Felip Ordis, who was recognised for her demonstrated ability to combine the creation of new forms with respect for the environment, and her sober, elegant, warm and bright designs.
  • FPdGi Organisation Award 2015: Fundación Secretariado Gitano, which was chosen for its work to promote social inclusion and equal opportunities for the Roma community.
  • FPdGi Social Award 2015: Héctor Colunga Cabaleiro, who was recognised for his continuous, coherent and committed entrepreneurial work, through projects that contribute towards creating social capital and renewing forms of participation.

On 20 April the jury for the last of the five categories of the Awards to be decided will meet in Girona to announce the winner of the FPdGi Business Award 2015.

Samuel Sánchez Ordóñez, FPdGi Scientific Research Award 2015

Samuel Sánchez Ordóñez, born in Terrassa in 1980, holds a degree and PhD in Chemistry from the Autonomous University of Barcelona. He has been a visiting researcher at the University of Twente (Netherlands), the International Center for Young Scientists (Japan), the National Institute for Materials Science (Japan) and the Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research in Dresden (Germany).

Sánchez Ordóñez has also been a researcher at the prestigious Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart (Germany), and since January has formed part of the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC), where he is an ICREA researcher leading his own research group, entitled "Smart nano-bio-devices".

His principal research has focused on designing self-propelled nanorobots that navigate within the human body for medical purposes, such as delivering precise doses of drugs. Nanorobot design also has other uses beyond the field of medicine such as, for example, decontaminating water and other environmental applications. Samuel Sánchez has also written several scientific articles published in prestigious national and international journals.

Princess of Girona Foundation Awards 2015

The Princess of Girona Foundation awards these prizes every year with the aim of recognising the innovative and exemplary work of young people aged between 16 and 35 years, and that of an organisation working for young people. The goal is to promote and foster initiative and effort in the areas of scientific research, artistic creativity, solidarity and the development of talent in entrepreneurial and innovative young people.

In addition to the Scientific Research category, the Princess of Girona Foundation Awards also present:

  • The FPdGi Arts and Literature Award, which recognises the efforts of talented young people creating promising work in any discipline of the arts and literature and which serves as an inspiration to other young people.
  • The FPdGi Organisation Award, which recognises the outstanding work of entrepreneurial institutions that work for young people, fostering entrepreneurial spirit, employment and employability, education and academic success, vocation and talent
  • The FPdGi Social Award, which recognises young people who, through their leadership and personal commitment, have successfully created and promoted projects that foster the integration of marginalised people and groups or those at risk of exclusion, with a new vision and through social entities or businesses
  • The FPdGi Business Award, which recognises young people with entrepreneurial initiative who have led or are promoting original and viable business projects that stand out for their positive impact on society

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