The Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço (IA) is a research infrastructure with a national dimension, embodying a bold vision for the development of Astronomy, Astrophysics and Space Sciences in Portugal. It results from the merging, in 2015, of the two most prominent research units in the field in Portugal: the Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto (CAUP) and the Centro de Astrofísica e Astronomia da Universidade de Lisboa (CAAUL).
Currently the institute is the largest research unit of this area in Portugal, being responsible for the majority of the national productivity in international ISI journals in the area of Space Sciences. This is one of the scientific areas with the highest relative impact factor and highest average number of citations per article for Portugal.
IA has a demonstrated ability to drive major astronomical projects, at all development levels: scientific and technical definition, instrument concept and design, construction and commissioning, and scientific exploitation.