about icar

The future begins here

ICAR Foundation

Ageing involves a progressive loss of physiological integrity and is the leading risk factor for many major pathologies such as cancer, metabolic, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. Its importance for health and society is on the rise as a result of the increase in life expectancy, which has led to a radical transformation of the population pyramid in the most developed countries, which now have considerably ageing populations. Spain, with an average age of over 44 years, is one of the countries with the most ageing population.

According to the WHO, “by 2030, one in six people in the world is expected to be aged 60 or over, doubling by 2050. The number of people aged 80 and over is expected to triple between 2020 and 2050”. Regarding this issue, the United Nations General Assembly declared the period 2021-2030 as the Decade of Healthy Ageing.

Furthermore, it is worth bearing in mind that “we have gone from wanting to live as long as possible to living as long as possible in good health, and young older people are increasingly asking to live as long as possible in order to continue their activities,” explain the experts.

An appropriate approach to the social and health issues posed by ageing requires the generation of knowledge in order to understand this biological process in a broad sense (molecular, genomic/metagenomic, epigenetic, etc.), as well as an analysis of the associated pathologies that affect such a fragile group.

From this standpoint, and with the institutional support of the Generalitat Valenciana and its founding partners, the ICARinitiative was created in 2021, with the firm commitment to carry out excellent research into ageing, transferring the resulting knowledge and innovations to society, in order to have a social and economic impact, mainly on the elderly.

This is a major commitment to research excellence, with a Scientific Committee of renowned international prestige chaired by María Blasco Marhuenda (Scientific Director of the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre).


ICAR’s vision is to be and become an international centre of excellence in multidisciplinary research on ageing and a hub for attracting talent.


Excellent research into ageing, transferring the resulting knowledge and innovations to society, in order to have a social and economic impact, mainly on the elderly.


Lines of Activity

Research excellence (biological, molecular, cellular and genetics of ageing).

Innovation and technology transfer (computational and systems biology, artificial intelligence).

Research oriented to the target audience (therapy, treatment of diseases, ageing).

The Hallmarks of Aging

grafico lineas actividad
Cell Press: The Hallmarks of Aging Carlos López-Otín – María A. Blasco – Linda Partridge – Manuel Serrano – Guido Kroemer

Excellence in training/talent attraction: training programmes, seminars, congresses.

Communication and dissemination.

ICAR Headquarters


The ICAR Directorate is located in the municipality of Elche, in the Elche Technological Campus (ECT) enclave located in the industrial area of Elche Business Park, considered as a technological pole for the establishment of entities of a clearly innovative nature, and a reference center

ICAR Headquarters