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Valencian chemist Rubén Darío Costa Riquelme, FPdGi Scientific Research Award


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Doctor of Chemistry Rubén Darío Costa Riquelme fromValencia has won the 2020 Princess of Girona Foundation Scientific Research Award. The winner’s name was announced on 12 February at an event presided over by Her Majesty the Queen of Spain, before an audience of more than 400 people at the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV).

The jury of experts highlighted “the originality of the winner’s research in the field of LEDs with biological components, designed to reduce environmental impact”. They also recognised that his research “has potential uses in biomedicine and biorobotics”, adding that “part of these results have led to patents that have been transferred to the production sector”.

In a message shown during the event, after the winner announcement was made, Costa Riquelme thanked the Foundation for the award, saying “belonging to the Foundation’s community of award winners is an honour”, and he also wanted to include his team in the award.

The jury, meeting at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, was chaired by María Blasco Marhuenda, scientific director of the Spanish National Cancer Research Center (CNIO) and composed ofÁngel Carracedo, researcher at the Center for Research in Molecular Medicine and Chronic Diseases (CIMUS) and director of the Galician Foundation of Genomic Medicine; Avelino Corma, research professor and researcher at the Institute of Chemical Technology; Adela Cortina, professor of Ethics and Political Philosophy at the University of Valencia; Rosa Menéndez, president of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC); Daniel Ramón Vidal, biologist; Guadalupe Sabio, researcher and 2012 Princess of Girona Scientific Research Award winner (acting as secretary to the jury); Rolf Tarrach, physicist and rector emeritus of the University of Luxembourg; and Lluís Torner, physicist and founding director of the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO).



Rubén Darío Costa Riquelme, 2020 FPdGi Scientific Research Award 

Rubén Darío Costa Riquelme obtained his PhD in Chemistry from the University of Valencia, and later conducted a research stay at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU) in Germany. Since 2017, he has been a research professor at the IMDEA Materials institute in Madrid where he heads the Hybrid Optoelectronic Materials and Devices laboratory. His research has focused on the new generation of BioLEDs, a project that seeks to eliminate the need to use rare-earth metals, very scarce chemical elements found in the Earth’s crust which are toxic, non-renewable pollutants. Among other recognitions and awards, he has received MIT Technology Review’s 2017 European Innovator under 35 award, the 2016 Young Researcher award from the Spanish Royal Society of Chemistry and the European Young Chemist Award’s Silver Medal, also in 2016.

Dr. Costa recently took part in the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of the New Champions in the Chinese city of Tianjin, for which 36 researchers under the age of 40 from more than 20 countries were selected.

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