INL History and Governance

International Status and History

INL is an international intergovernmental research organisation aiming to perform cutting-edge research and development in nanotechnology and to function as an innovation integrator in multiple application domains.

INL was established in 2005 by a joint decision of the Governments of Portugal and Spain. Operating since late 2010, following an initial investment of 100 M€, INL is currently financed by the member states (30%), competitive funds from Horizon 2020, Horizon Europe, and national PT2020 scientific calls (50%), and industry collaborations and user fees (20%).

Our infrastructure provides a high-tech research environment for INL staff and users. It extends over an area of 47,000 m2, with 26,000 m2 of buildings. This includes 7,500 m2 of laboratory space, with high-accuracy laboratories, a cleanroom with an area of 1,200 m2, an auditorium and other public areas over 4,800 m2.  


The INL Statutes anticipate the possibility of opening INL to the membership of other countries and the participation of institutions and experts from all over the world to establish an international pole of excellence, developing partnerships with higher education institutions and industry, transferring knowledge with added value, generating employment and training specialised professionals. Our neutral grounds are a common venue for ambassadors, ministers, and other national representatives to meet and discuss new opportunities for collaboration.

The INL Council is the sovereign body of the INL and is composed of representatives from each member state. The role of the Council is to determine the policies at scientific, technical and administrative levels, approving the programme of activities and the budget, based on proposals of the Director-General. The President of the Council is Dr. Madalena Alves. The Vice-President of the Council is Mr Gonzalo Arévalo Nieto.

Council Members representing the Kingdom of Spain

  • Gonzalo Arévalo Nieto, Director-General for Research Planning, Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation
  • Ana Aricha Yanguas, Vice Deputy Director-General for the Internationalisation of Science and Innovation, Secretary General for Research, Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation
  • Hernan Ruy Miguez Garcia, President of the Materials Science and Technology scientific area, Spanish State Research Agency (AEI)

Council Members representing the Portuguese Republic

  • Madalena Alves, President of the Board of Directors of the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (‘Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia’)
  • José Higino Gomes Correia, Full Professor of Industrial Electronics at the University of Minho
  • Pedro Miguel Cândido Barquinha, Associate Professor of Advanced Functional Materials for Micro and Nanotechnologies, NOVA School of Science and Technology

The INL Council appoints the Directorate of INL

  • Paulo Freitas, Interim Director-General and Deputy-Director General

The main advisory body of the INL Council is the Scientific Policy Committee. The members of this committee are:

  • Yvan Bruynseraede – KU Leuven
  • Manuel Martín-Lomas – CIC biomaGUNE
  • Helmuth Möhwald – Max-Planck-Institute of Colloids and Interfaces
  • Carlos Oliveira – InvestBraga
  • Mihail C. Roco – National Science Foundation
  • François Rossi – European Commission – Joint Research Centre
  • Julia Yeomans – The Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics

INL has a Finance Committee. Its members are:

  • Guadalupe de Córdoba Lasunción, Ministry of Science and Innovation of Spain, Sub-Directorate General for the Internationalization of Science and Innovation
  • Ricardo Miguel Lavado Araújo, FCT – Funding Agency for Science, Research and Technology of Portugal Technology Office – International partnerships

The External Auditing Bodies are:

2020 / 2021 / 2022 – Tribunal de Cuentas España
2023 / 2024 / 2025 – Tribunal de Contas de Portugal

Research Ethics Committee

The Research Ethics Committee (INL REC) is an Advisory Board that was established by the INL Council, designed to be a multidisciplinary, independent and permanent collegiate body, with the purpose to provide advice on the ethical, social and legal aspects of research developed in, or supported by, the INL, in order to ensure the respect and protection of dignity, fundamental rights, safety, and well-being of the research participants and researchers. It is composed of internal and external members. Its current composition is:

Chair of INL REC: José Antonio Seoane
Vice-Chair of the INL REC: Ernesto Alfaro-Moreno

Internal Members:

  • Ernesto Alfaro-Moreno (Nanosafety Research Group Leader)
  • Paulo Freitas (INL Deputy-Director GeneraI)
  • Begoña Espiña (Water Quality Research Group Leader)
  • Marta Prado (Food Quality and Safety Research Group Leader)
  • Lorenzo Pastrana (Food Processing and Nutrition Research Group Leader)

External members:

  • José Antonio Seoane (Full Professor of Philosophy of Law Universidad de la Coruña)
  • Noelia Martínez-Doallo (Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Konstanz, Universidad de la Coruña)
  • María Rovira (Head Professor Universidad de la Coruña)