In 1986, two young and, therefore, inexperienced researchers named Francisco Javier de la Nieves López and Roque Hidalgo Álvarez planted the seed for what has grown to become the Biocolloid and Fluid Physics Group. They started with next to nothing but soon received projects from the CICYT and began to enjoy the collaboration of other young researchers who did their theses and doctoral dissertations within this small research group. When Rafael MartínezGarcía and José CallejasFernández joined, it was proof that the group had started to take shape. The time spent in the Colloidal Physical Chemistry laboratory of the university that was, at the time, known as the Agricultural University of Wageningen (The Netherlands) was fundamental in their becoming familiar with other ways of working, other ways of organizing research, and other ways of thinking and doing. It was also important because it put them in contact with new teachers with whom to learn about new directions for the research that was then on the leading edge of the field internationally. Fortunately, having research contracts with companies in the biotechnology and aerospace sectors allowed them to bring many interns onto the team, as well as improve the scientific infrastructure of the I-8 group of the Applied Physics Department of which they were members. Those were days of grown when everything seemed to turn out well, when international publication and even references by other authors became an almost normal occurrence. Around 1990, two more researchers, Miguel CabrerizoVílchez and María José Gálvez Ruiz were brought in, which opened up new possibilities for the I-8 research group. Since then, many things have happened, most of them positive.
During these 25 years of work, the research group has had three coordinators: Francisco Javier de la Nieves López, Miguel CabrerizoVílchez and María José Gálvez Ruiz, who have worked consistently to improve its operation, bringing together people, whose goals and interests favour the group. In 2011 the group is composed of physicists, chemists, biochemists and external collaborators. Currently, the group is made up of three full professors, eleven lecturers (of whom two are already accredited with full professor), two associated professors, four post-doctoral researchers and thirteen doctoral students, and financed by programs run by the Ministry of Education, MICINN, Andalusia Regional Government, European Union and the University of Granada.
Looking towards the future, I believe that these young people will be able to do better than we did, starting at a point far ahead of where we started and having excellent international connections. They will definitely be faced with the challenge of demonstrating, with their work more than with their words, that Spanish universities in the future will also be research universities.