With the recent incorporation of Dr. Massimiliano Zanin, IFISC (UIB-CSIC) has become the first center in the Balearic Islands to administrate one of the prestigious Starting Grant contracts awarded by the European Research Council (ERC). These grants have a budget of more than 1,200,000 euros for researchers to develop their personal research project.
Massimiliano Zanin was one of the 20 Spanish scientists, out of a total of 408 at European level, who received in 2019 this "starting grant" that encourages research excellence led by young researchers with a promising professional and scientific career. Dr. Zanin's research, entitled "Air transport as information and computing", proposes understanding delays in the transport network as a transfer of information that is distributed and handled at each airport. This idea is based on the same concept behind the fact that, in order to understand how the brain operates, it is not enough to analyze the activity at a neuron level, but the global functioning of the complex system and its emerging processes must also be understood.
ERC contracts seek to provide long-term funding for projects by excellent researchers and their research teams to carry out novel and potentially profitable, but high-risk research. Their specific objective is to "strengthen the excellence, dynamism and creativity of European research". The winners of these contracts are fully mobile and can take their funds to the center they feel is most appropriate for the development of their research. In this case, Dr. Zanin chose to join IFISC, an institute with which he had no previous relationship but offered an attractive research environment for this project.
Massimiliano Zanin graduated in Aeronautical Management at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, obtaining his PhD at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa in the application of Complex Networks and Data Analysis to the study of biomedical problems. Afterwards, he did a postdoctoral stay at Innaxis and at the Center for Biomedical Technology, at the Polytechnic University of Madrid.