Ángeles Rodríguez-Peña
Research Networks for Global Sustainability

Ángeles Rodríguez-Peña


Science and Technology have been essential for the development of our modern societies and constitute the basis for economic and societal wealth. After decades of nearly ‘unlimited’ growth, global sustainability has become THE major challenge for our world of tomorrow. Research cooperation is fundamental to address these problems in a global context and Europe is fully committed to not tackling this endeavour alone. For 40 years, COST – European Cooperation in Science and Technology – has played a pivotal role in bringing together scientists from all areas and aspects of research and technology development to create long-lasting networks of scientific collaboration. As the sole pan-European intergovernmental framework, and through its inclusiveness, it leverages national research investments based upon researchers’ proposals to jointly develop new ideas and initiatives across all scientific disciplines. In doing so, it contributes to the European Research Area and complements national or international funding schemes such as the Framework Programmes.

COST specifically encourages free and open thinking which both allows it to identify and tackle emerging problems, well before they are perceived as such, whilst also generating the intellectual potential necessary to develop the smart, sustainable and inclusive societies of tomorrow. It does so at the global level with special attention to providing dedicated networking opportunities for early career researchers– the human capital of our future.

Chemistry and its interface with most scientific disciplines play a central role in tackling and finding viable answers and solutions. COST networks (called Actions) in the ‘Chemistry and Molecular Sciences and Technologies’ (CMST) domain address many aspects in this context: from bio-nanoscience to modern healthcare; from photosynthetic chips to new catalytic methodology; and from biomass derived sustainable fuels to new kinetic models for cleaner combustion.

COST has shown through examples how research networking is essential to develop solutions towards a sustainable future for our world.

Ángeles Rodríguez-Peña#

Ángeles Rodríguez-Peña has been Special Advisor to the Technical Cabinet of the Secretary General of Innovation at the Spanish Ministry for Science and Innovation since January 2011.

As former Deputy Director General for European Programmes, from 2007 to 2010, she headed the Spanish delegation in the Scientific and Technical Research Committee of the Council of the European Union (CREST) and as a member of the newly-named European Research Area Committee (ERAC). She also represented Spain in the Strategic Forum for International Science & Technology Cooperation (SFIC), another CREST level created by the Council of the European Union. From 2002 to 2007, she was Deputy Head of International Affairs at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) responsible for European Science Foundation (ESF) relations as well as European policy fora such as the Framework Programme.

After obtaining her Ph.D. in Biology in Madrid, Spain, she obtained a postdoctoral fellowship from the European Molecular Biology Organisation in 1981 to join the former Imperial Cancer Research Foundation – now Cancer Research UK – in London, United Kingdom, where she remained as an associated scientist until 1986. She went back to Spain with yet another fellowship for ‘brain gain’ until she obtained a permanent position at CSIC and started her own research group. Her scientific activities then allowed her to spend time as a visiting scientist at Harvard Medical School in Boston, USA, and at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden.

Between 2002 and 2004 she was a seconded national expert at the Research Directorate-General of the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium.

Teaching is Dr Rodríguez-Peña’s hidden love which she is able to combine with her career thanks to an honorary professorship at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid in Spain obtained in 1995.

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