Clean Planet Awarded Prize at 28th edition of the Night of Telecommunications and IT

Special recognitions for impactful work in this field where given to ICFO for its Clean Planet Program and to BSC’s department of Earth Sciences

March 10, 2023

The 2023 Night of Telecommunications and IT (La Nit de les Telecomunicacions i la Informàtica), which took place on Thursday 9th March in the Auditori of Barcelona, is an important annual occasion for the Information and Communication Technology sector, bringing together professionals, companies, members of the public administration, associations, and institutions. It is jointly organized by the Catalan Association of Telecommunications Engineering and Digital Technologies ( and the Official College of Computer Engineering of Catalonia (COEINF). Roger Torrent, Conseller of Business and Labor of the Generalitat de Catalunya, was present at the celebration, demonstrating the significance of this event for the ICT sector in Catalonia.

This year’s gala focused on climate change, addressing themes ranging from the digital carbon footprint, to how technology can become the best tool for curbing the impact of climate change and moving towards the sustainability of the planet.  As such, the organization gave a special recognition to ICFO, for its Clean Planet program, and to the Earth Sciences department of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, both initiatives that are leading in this field.

The Clean Planet program, made possible by funding from the Fundació Joan Ribas Araquistain, was unveiled in 2022. The initiative aims to strengthen and expand ICFO’s clean energy and environmental sensing research focus by bringing together all internal related activities, nurturing a multidisciplinary environment, facilitating exploitation-focused approaches, training young researchers within the scope, teaming-up with external partners and industries, and joining larger national and international efforts.

Dr Alastair Cunningham and Dr Guillermo Gerling, members of the Knowledge and Technology Transfer team who are coordinating and promoting ICFO’s Clean Planet Program, accepted the award. “It’s a true honor to collect this award on behalf of all of my colleagues that have worked so hard to bring the Program to fruition and that are conducting groundbreaking research in the field of clean energy”, commented Dr Cunningham in his acceptance comments. Reflecting further on the significance of the award, he adds, “The mitigation of climate change in order to assure the habitability of our planet for generations to come is a daunting task. It requires science to team up with industries like those present at last night’s event and also philanthropists, like Fundació Joan Ribas Araquistain, who make ICFO’s Clean Planet Program possible”.

As the first and foremost networking event of the year for members of the ITC sector, it is also the ideal venue for the “La Nit” awards. This year, the Salvà i Campillo award for Entrepreneurship was given Jordi Baylina, co-founders of PolygonID & Polygon Hermez and Jaume Sanpera, CEO of Sateliot . The Alan Turing award for Social Responsibility was given Ana Freire (STOP Project i Wisibilízalas). The Joan Clarke award for CIO of the year went to Benito Cerrillo, CIO de Vichy Catalan Corporation and Sergi Gistàs, CIO d’Esteve Pharmaceuticals. The evening’s highest award, the La Nit Premi d’Honor, went to ICREA Professor at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) Arcadi Navarro.

ICFO is honored to have had a place amongst these distinguished awardees and congratulates all for the positive impact they are achieving in Information and Communication Technologies.