0. Introduction

This document includes the main actions proposed within the Strengthening sub-programme, integrated in the 2011 Campus of International Excellence Programme. This actions are aimed at turning the Pyrenees-Mediterranean International Campus: Tourism Sustainability, Water and Advanced Research (CEI-PM) into a Campus of International Excellence, and their main goal is to turn the campuses of its university members (Balearic Islands University and Girona University) into international points of reference in terms of innovation in tourism sustainability and water management, and into a connection node for major scientific collaborations in pre-existing areas of excellence.

Both universities, who have taken a big step by deciding to work together, are willing to share projects and efforts in this ambitious project in which the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and the Catalan Institute for Water Research (ICRA) are key elements and guarantee that all aspects related to research, innovation and transfer will be boosted. Also, both institutions are similar in size and share common values and a forward-looking approach, as well as a prominent position in the first quartile of scientific productivity rankings of Spanish universities.

The CEI-PM project revolves around several elements: the fact that the strength lines of both universities complement each other, their location, their willing to share their ways towards excellence in areas related with tourism and environmental sustainability, water science, technology and management, and participation in the Pyrenees-Mediterranean Cross-Border Pole for Research and Higher Education (PRES-PM), consisting of Girona University (UdG), Balearic Islands University (UIB), Lleida University (UdL), Perpignan Via Domitia University (UPVD), and Pierre et Marie Curie University (Paris IV), probably the most active and advanced in Spain and France. There is no doubt that carrying out such a project is a great challenge in terms of integration, programming and organisation affecting basic aspects of the 21st century university, and, in exchange, it offers the opportunity to build a unique Campus of Excellence in Spain thanks to its international renown and the opportunity to become a European point of reference in its areas of specialisation.

Both the Balearic Islands and Catalonia, where the UIB and the UdG are located, respectively, have developed a long experience in tourism and environmental sustainability and water study and management, and they have become an ideal framework to lead innovation in these fields, which is the main goal of this project.

The research carried out at UIB, UdG, CSIC and ICRA makes the project visible in the major international scientific collaborations scene, especially in the fields in which these institutions have a great international prestige, and follows two lines: the Physics, Computing and Aplication Line, and the Food and Health Line.

The strategic location of the Balearic Islands and Girona, both with excellent communications with the rest of Europe, makes these two regions natural venues between Spain and the rest of the EU. The aggregation of the four institutions, UIB, UdG, CSIC and ICRA is the motor element of their respective environments and is the base of the Pyrenees-Mediterranian Cross-Border Pole for Research and Higher Education (PRES-PM), in which other universities like Lleida, Perpignan Via Domitia and Pierre and Marie Curie (Paris VI, through the Oceanographic Observatory in Banyuls de la Marenda) are also involved.

No doubt this project should have a high impact in its area of influence, but also the territory itself must show a high degree of involvement in the project. In order to guarantee its success it is absolutely necessary that both public and private institutions join it.  For this reason, the project is supported by the commitment of the governments of the Balearic Islands and Catalonia and 70 other political, scientific and business institutions, together with the PRES-PM universities. That makes it easier to export know-how in tourism and environmental sustainability and water management.

The human resources used are part of competitive institutes and research groups whose publications in the last 5 years are featured, in terms of impact, within the first quartile of ISI magazines in the corresponding fields.

In addition, the project includes two cross-cutting focal points: one to do with campus transformation, an essential element for its development, which includes both actions of social university responsibility and the improvement of campuses facilities and the other to do with Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), which provides technological support to social and virtual campuses.

Therefore, this is a unique opportunity not only for universities and other institutions who are part of this proposal, but also and especially for the areas where they are located, since this is an aggregation with a high potential because of its field consistency, geostrategic opportunities and wish to achieve international renown.

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Universitat de les Illes Balears ⋅ Ctra. de Valldemossa, km 7.5 ⋅ Palma ⋅ 07122 Illes Balears ⋅ Tel: +34 971 173 000
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