David Fairén Jiménez, from the University of Cambridge, receives the 2018 SRUK Emerging Talent Award

David Fairén-Jiménez, granted with the 2018 SRUK Emerging Talent Award, a prize sponsored by Fundación Banco Santander with the aim to recognise the work of young Spanish researchers in the UK.

• Fairén-Jiménez, a Royal Society Research Fellow and Lecturer at the University of Cambridge, has developed a vertiginous career in the development of advanced porous materials with applications such as hydrogen storage, carbon capture, and the development of new therapies against cancer.

• With the third edition of this award, SRUK/CERU and Fundación Banco Santander consolidate their support to young talent and the commitment of institutions and companies with Spanish researchers worldwide, promoting as well knowledge transfer between academia and industry.

Dr. David Fairén Jiménez

London June 7th, 2018. The Society of Spanish Researchers in the United Kingdom (SRUK/CERU) and Fundación Banco Santander have awarded the SRUK 2018 Emerging Talent Award to Dr. David Fairén-Jiménez (Madrid, 1979) for his excellent academic career in the chemistry of advanced materials, a career that ranges from the design of new materials to its development and commercialization with therapeutic and industrial use.

A committee formed by researchers of recognized international prestige, chaired by Professor Laura M. Lechuga (Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology -ICN2, Barcelona), evaluated 12 nominations of the highest level submitted to this award. Dr. Lechuga believes that this award “not only means a great recognition of the excellent research carried out by this young and promising researcher, but also serve to promote other important aspects of the scientific career as the technological transfer, and at the same it will contribute to balance parental and professional responsibilities.”

Fairén-Jiménez developed his scientific career in Spain, the UK and the United States, before settling in the United Kingdom in late 2012 as a Royal Society Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge. He currently directs the Adsorption and Advanced Materials Laboratory in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology at the University of Cambridge. He has published more than 70 scientific articles and he has filed five patents. He is also founder and director of Immaterial Labs Ltd and Tarsis Technologies Ltd. In 2016, he received a Consolidator Grant from the European Research Council.

His group is an international reference for the design and development of new materials. His work combines the use of supercomputers to predict, simultaneously, the performance of thousands of materials in each application with the synthesis of the best candidates in the laboratory. This approach reduces the time required to develop new materials from years to days as it allows to identify and design materials in an efficient way. These materials allow the storage of gases such as hydrogen or natural gas, or they can capture gases to reduce the greenhouse effect. In addition, these same materials can be used to control drugs release in diseases such as cancer. Fairén Jiménez is a perfect example of how basic research has a beneficial impact on the society, as shown by the combination of lab work with its commercial development.

This trajectory, according to Borja Baselga, director of Fundación Banco Santander, makes Fairén-Jiménez “a leading exponent of Spanish research not only in the United Kingdom, but internationally, and once again, highlights the prestige that the Spanish researchers have abroad”. Baselga stressed that Fairén’s research” helps developing new therapeutic practices that can change the diagnosis and treatment of a disease as destructive as cancer”.

Fairén-Jiménez is enthusiastic: “Receiving the 2018 SRUK Emerging Talent Award is an extraordinary boost to professional recognition in my career that will facilitate the development of my scientific contribution. Although international mobility has helped me to build an excellent curriculum, this has only been possible at the expense of my partner’s professional career. Part of this award will allow us to work on improving this situation. In addition, it will also contribute to support my first company, Immaterial Labs, based in the commercial development of ideas generated in our laboratories in Cambridge”.

The third edition of the Emerging Talent Award consolidates SRUK’s commitment to support, give visibility to Spanish researchers in the United Kingdom, and foster relations between the two countries. Javier Escudero, SRUK/CERU president, has highlighted: “during these three years we have received extremely competitive candidacies that reflect the incredible talent of Spanish researchers in the United Kingdom.” In addition, “David is a magnificent example of the talent of Spanish researchers in the United Kingdom we want to promote in SRUK/CERU. His application has stood out, not only for the quality of his science, but also for proposing the use of the award to focus on technology transfer and family conciliation.” “We hope that this award will help David to consolidate his vertiginous scientific career at the same time that to commercialise the results of his excellent research”, he concludes.