Asociación de Investigación MPC – MATERIALS PHYSICS CENTER’ (henceforth MPC) is a non-profit research association founded by Ikerbasque - Basque Foundation for Science, Gipuzkoa Provincial Council and Donostia International Physics Center Foundation (DIPC). MPC was established on April 3, 2009, and registered in the Basque Network for Science, Technology and Innovation on April 23, 2009. MPC has been declared as Basic Excellence Research Centre (BERC) in all BERC programme calls of the Basque Government (2009-2012, 2013, 2014-2017, 2018-2021).

The body of governance of MPC-BERC is constituted by the Board of Founder Partners of the MPC Association. The Board of Founder Partners is the highest level of governance of the MPC Association and, therefore, the maximum level of decision‑making. The positions on the Board of Partners, occupied by representatives of each partner institution, are the following:


  • President: Pedro Miguel Echenique Landiribar, as representative of Donostia International Physics Center Foundation (DIPC).

Pedro Miguel Echenique Landiribar is Professor of Condensed Matter Physics at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), President of DIPC, President of CIC nanoGUNE, President of MPC and Vice-president of Euskampus Fundazioa, the Campus of International Excellence.


  • Member: Jon Gurrutxaga Mongelos, as representative of Gipuzkoa Provincial Council.

Jon Gurrutxaga Mongelos is the Director of Innovation of the Gipuzkoa Province Government since September 2019.


  • Secretary: Adolfo Morais Ezquerro, as representative of the Basque Government and Ikerbasque Foundation.

Adolfo Morais Ezquerro is the Viceminister for Universities and Research of the Basque Government since 2015.


The Board of Founder Partners meets at least once a year to review the report of activities of the centre, approve the previous-year official financial and accounting report of MPC, and debate any important issue related to the association that requires a decision or an approval at the maximum level.

The Board of Partners appoints a Scientific Director at MPC, and delegates the daily management of the association on this Director. According to the rules of MPC Association approved in its foundation by the Founder partners, both the scientific strategy as well as economical decisions, up to a certain level of responsibility, are completely delegated in the Director, who reports the activity and strategic decisions of the centre to the Board of Partners. The appointment of the Director is for terms of four (4) years with the possibility of one single renewal for another term. Since October 28, 2019, the Director of the Association MPC is Daniel Sánchez Portal.

Daniel Sánchez Portal is a Research Professor of the Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) at the Center for Materials Physics (CFM), where he leads the “Simulation and Modelisation” group ( devoted to study the electronic properties of surfaces and nanostructured materials using first-principles calculations. His group also develops new methodologies and program suites to perform such calculations. He is one of the developers of SIESTA, a computer program for ab initio calculations used by hundreds of research groups worldwide. D. Sánchez Portal received his PhD from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM) in 1998 on the study of the electronic properties of nanometer-sized systems. After postdoctoral stays at the University of Illinois (UI) at Urbana-Champaign and the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), he joined CFM as a research associate under the “Ramón y Cajal” program in 2002. Since 2005, he is a permanent member of CFM, leading the “Simulation and Modelisation” group since its creation in 2008. Since October 2019, he combines his scientific activity with his duties as MPC Director as well as with the management of CFM, since he is also CFM Director.

The combined and united strategic activity of MPC Association and CFM is ensured by the appointment of the same person as joint Scientific Director for the two administrative bodies. The Director at CFM is jointly appointed by the President of CSIC and the Rector of UPV/EHU, once the Scientific Board of CFM has suggested a candidate. The different Boards at CFM are considered as consulting bodies by the MPC Director to implement a joint strategy. The joint direction of MPC-CFM thus implements the scientific strategy of the centre.