The CEO of Santander Spain, Ángel Rivera, the President of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Eloísa del Pino, and the President of the Spanish Universities Association (Crue Universidades Españolas), Eva Alcón, presented this morning at the National Library the keys to their institutional collaboration to foster research in Spain.
The CEO of Santander Spain announced that the institution will allocate 32 million euros until 2025 to programs that promote research and are carried out in collaboration with Spanish universities and Fundación General CSIC (FGCSIC). The initiatives developed through this public-private collaboration support scientific and research work through the call for awards and recognitions, the promotion of scientific vocations through training programs, the promotion of employability, and the development of the careers of researchers through pre and postdoctoral contracts. Additionally, the collaboration encourages mobility and the attainment of international recognition for the Doctorate through various Santander Scholarships.
Ángel Rivera has highlighted that the bank has allocated 80 million euros to research in the last five years and has stated that “for research to materialize into realities capable of generating wealth and employment, it must stay close to the challenges our society faces and link research activities with innovation and business creation processes. This is key for knowledge to add value, and the first step to achieve it is to strengthen collaboration between institutions, universities, and companies”. Rivera has also assured the presidents of CSIC and Crue that they have the present and future commitment of Banco Santander to support science.
Eloísa del Pino explained that “CSIC, the main public research organization in the country, works on cutting-edge research in all areas of human knowledge. With more than 14,000 people and 124 centers throughout Spain, in the last year, CSIC has launched various programs such as the MaX program, junior talent attraction and retention programs (JAE-Predoc or IMOVE), Science4Policy, or Transfiere-Converge, that combine a strong commitment to basic excellence science and the transfer of knowledge and technology to companies and administrations to address the great challenges of the planet”. The president of CSIC believes that these challenges include: “decisively advancing in green energy while ensuring a fair transition, addressing digitization with security, facing new biomedical challenges, safeguarding biodiversity, and building a sustainable food system, eliminating poverty, continually extending and improving democracies, and deepening the understanding of human nature and the universe”. To achieve this, “there is no doubt that all actors in the scientific ecosystem, public science organizations, companies, and civil society, must join forces. There is no doubt that CSIC, Crue, and Santander have understood this”.
On her part, Eva Alcón has emphasized that the university system is “one of the main actors in knowledge generation” and has indicated that it is important for Spain that more entities, such as Banco Santander, join in supporting innovation. In this sense, she recalled the success of the cooperation between the public and private sectors with the Supera Covid-19 fund in addressing the global challenge posed by the pandemic.
The event also featured the participation of Alberto Muñoz de las Heras, a researcher in the FGCSIC’s ComFuturo program, co-financed by Santander through its Foundation to attract young research talent and improve their employability. Gabriel Ángel García Benito, a beneficiary this year of the UAM-Santander grant program for the mobility of young researchers, also addressed the audience. Both have emphasized that the programs from which they benefit represent a great opportunity to complement and advance in the consolidation of their scientific careers.
Santander y su apoyo a la educación, la empleabilidad y el emprendimiento
Banco Santander maintains a pioneering and established commitment to education, employability, and entrepreneurship that started more than 27 years ago, setting it apart from other financial entities worldwide. The bank has allocated more than 2.2 billion euros and has supported over a million individuals and businesses through agreements with over 1,300 universities. Additionally, it has been recognized as one of the companies making the most significant contributions to changing the world for the better, according to the Fortune magazine ‘Change the World’ 2023 list (www.santander.com/universidades).
CSIC and FGCSIC
The CSIC (Spanish National Research Council) is an autonomous public research organization, of a multisectoral and multidisciplinary nature, with its own legal personality and assets, with a presence throughout Spain and international projection. Among its functions are the promotion, coordination, development, and dissemination of multidisciplinary scientific and technological research, with the aim of contributing to the advancement of knowledge and economic, social, and cultural development. It also focuses on personnel training and provides advice to public and private entities in these matters.
Fundación General CSIC is a private non-profit entity whose main objective is to valorise scientific knowledge, especially that arising from the CSIC, through various public-private collaboration initiatives, ensuring its reach to society. Since 2014, the Foundation has been coordinating the ComFuturo program, with Banco Santander as its main benefactor. The current ongoing third edition is also developed in the international context of the COFUND program of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA).
Crue Universidades Españolas
Crue Universidades Españolas, established in 1994, is a non-profit association comprising 77 Spanish universities: 50 public and 27 private. It serves as the main representative of universities with the central government and plays a key role in all regulatory developments affecting higher education in our country. Additionally, it promotes various initiatives to foster relationships with the productive and social fabric, institutional relations both nationally and internationally, and works to highlight the value of the Spanish university.