ii. SWOT Analysis

By means of the SWOT technique, we provide an analysis in this section of the starting position of the e-MTA Campus regarding the previously described vision. For such purpose, we analyse its strengths and weaknesses, deeming these to be either structural or internal, and its opportunities and threats, considering factors external to the e-MTA Campus.  Each university’s SWOT has been taken into account and details have been included in the resulting SWOT of all shared aspects, those aspects that are not shared, and those that will help improve the overall results, thanks to contributions from both universities, the CSIC and the ICRA. The various aspects are only summarised here, as greater detail will be provided throughout the rest of the proposal.


The UIB-UdG-CSIC-ICRA group increases the capacity of the Campus Project’s research groups several times over in each of the fields of specialisation. It allows them to increase their critical mass and ensures the quality of changeover to new generations of researchers necessary to guarantee their continuity. Institutions and businesses that are frontrunners in their respective fields can be added to this core, which boosts the campus’ capacity to achieve its objectives.

The scientific prestige of the e-MTA Campus’  research groups –its excellent overall position in the research rankings of Spanish universities (among the top ten in a number of the determining categories)- along with its environmental appeal, helps when recruiting international talent. It should be highlighted that some groups are mainly composed of researchers from other countries. On the one hand, the UIB’s groups for tourism and sustainability and those for advanced research are reinforced by those at the UdG (with recognised groups and institutes in the fields of tourism, environment, chemistry, computation and food and health). On the other hand, the UdG’s groups related to the study of continental waters are complemented by those of the UIB, which specialise more in marine waters. We should draw attention to the fact that the joint institutes and centres belonging to the CSIC in their respective territories and the Catalan Institute for Water Research (ICRA) are also members of this group. This further increases the prestige and appeal of this project in its various fields of specialisation.

The existence of the cross-border PRES-PM agreement, in which both universities are involved. This agreement has led to the development of the e-MTA Campus, which not only allows for skills to be combined but also acts as a driving force for many of the e-MTA Campus’ planned actions (head hunting, mobility, joint international programmes, PhD schools etc.). Furthermore, it allows us to position ourselves in Europe and on an international level, and connect to the cross-border campus of excellence network. The involvement of the Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris VI) University, 39th in the Shanghai rankings, will above all increase the driving force of the PRES-PM, and especially of the e-MTA.

The excellence of teaching basically following a pre-determined and successful system, based on the new educational order derived from the guidelines laid out by the new European Higher Education Area. The e-MTA Campus stands out for its ability to recruit both national and international students.

Activation of the territory. Both universities are institutions of reference in their territories, which gives them greater appeal and influence over the social and economic players. This means they have a direct impact on the conversion and development of the territory. The e-MTA Campus’ fields of specialisation also guarantee an impact on economic sustainability in neighbouring territories.

The social and economic impact of both universities on their surroundings is determined by its capacity to provide higher education, which therefore leads to students achieving greater rates of employment than people with a lower level of education. Its impact also depends on the development of research and development programmes, which contributes to greater technological capital and entrepreneurship generating wealth and employment. The presence of joint institutes and centres belonging to the CSIS also decisively contributes to a greater social and economic impact and, together with the development of the PRES-PM Cross-border Group, this will increase the level of internationalisation of the members of the university community and its surroundings, and reinforce the institutional and business members, thus improving the cultural, social and economic environment in the areas where they operate.

Specifically, the impact of the UIB in the Autonomous Community of the Balearic Islands was analysed by the Economic Research Institute of Valencia (IVIE) in the period from 1977 to 2009. The results of the study show that nearly 7% of the average funding of human capital for the population of working age was generated directly by the UIB through its educational process. The training acquired by students equips them to earn more throughout their working lives and the results show that the output generated by this aspect is almost €700,000,000 per annum. The greater chance of finding a job in the market for graduates from the UIB increases the employment rate by almost one percentage point (0.9) in the Balearic Islands and reduces the unemployment rate by 0.3 percentage points. In other words, without the UIB there would be 3,700 fewer people working in the Balearic Islands. Likewise, by way of example, the workforce employed by the UdG is 1.27% of the total population of Gerona.

The UIB contributes a great deal to research, being responsible for 47.5% of the whole expenditure in the Autonomous Community. Since 1997, R&D work has generated technological capital of 0.5 percentage points, which, along with the 0.4 due to the impact of its graduates’ work quality and quantity shows that the UIB has contributed to the growth of the Balearic Islands by 0.9 percentage points over the last ten years. In other words, 31% of the whole average growth of the economy in the Autonomous Community over the last ten years is directly or indirectly due to its public university.

If we also bear in mind the increase in tax revenue due to the higher taxes paid by more highly skilled people because of being paid higher salaries, the simulations show that the UIB indirectly contributes to increasing personal income tax and VAT revenue in the Balearic Islands by €228,470,000 per annum, therefore the UIB returns €3.7 to society for each Euro the public authorities spend on financing it.

It should also be pointed out that the UIB and the UdG have created 33 spin-off companies (15 at the UIB and 18 at the UdG) with the corresponding new skilled jobs being offered, contributing in this way to the development of their respective technological parks (ParcBit in the Balearic Islands and PCiT in Gerona). Therefore the UIB-UdG-CSIC-ICRA group, within the framework of the current project, will increase several times over the current positive impact on the economies of their respective areas.

The experience in advanced ICT of the member institutions implies a strong point. In the case of the Balearic Islands, three aspects contribute to this experience:

  1. The UIB has developed distance learning knowledge and technology, due to the multi-insular nature of the territory to be covered.
  2. The Balearic health complex is a leader in Spain in applied ICT. Examples of this are: the Son Llàtzer hospital, which collaborates in projects run by the IUNICS research institute and was one of the first paperless hospitals in Spain; the new and also paperless hospital of reference of Son Espases; and the CAIB’s implementation of the electronic prescription system.
  3. Along with the expansion of hotel holdings and other companies operating in the tourist sector, applied ICT companies in this industry have undergone considerable growth in recent years.

The UdG has mainly focused its development on the following aspects:

  1. Tools for curriculum planning and the intranet (La Meva) as a resource for face-to-face teaching. Therefore the collaboration strengthens its position and provides the Cross-border campus with the best opportunities for communication as mentioned in the agreement.
  2. Tools developed by the UdG, which have been widely praised by the EUA and have been adopted in other Spanish centres (such as the ESADE business school), as well as international centres. They are currently in the process of being implemented in various Belgian and Austrian universities as well as all of the universities in Bosnia.
  3. The implementation of the basic e-Administration tools, for example e-billing, e-recruitment or e-voting and electronic document handling of which we are pioneers in the Catalan University System.
  4. Setting up a 2.0 office for designing and disseminating informative materials through new means of communication.

The competitive price of public university education means that students can enrol from other regions, especially for master’s and PhD courses, attracted by the quality of teaching and the environmental surroundings. The collaboration of CSIC researchers at a postgrad level means the offer can be extended. Furthermore, there are added recruitment possibilities provided by Gerona, as a university city with great cultural appeal and quality of life.

The strategic location of both universities: The Balearic Islands, in the centre of the western Mediterranean, with exceptional transport connections to the whole of Europe thanks to the airports in Palma, Ibiza and Menorca; and Gerona, less than one hour from Barcelona and France, with an international airport that flies to over sixty destinations, both provide the e-MTA Campus with international connections. Specifically, the UdG has a location that proves to be strategic for the development of the PRES-PM. Its proximity to France means that the project can be designed through real cross-border channels of connection and communication for circulation of cooperation, synergies, training, information, knowledge and human capital. In addition, we should highlight the direct flight links between Gerona and the Balearic Islands and the soon-to-be operational high-speed train line that will connect Gerona to the rest of Spain and Europe.


The structure of the research groups. Although the e-MTA Campus groups are actually leaders in their respective fields, as analysed in section 2.b, generally speaking they are either of a small or medium size, which often means they must rely on the leadership of few people. Therefore, the continuity of such groups is dependent on the consolidation of the changeover to new generations of researchers.

With regards to R&D&I, the level of funding is subject to basically competitive criteria and the budget mainly comes from outside of the respective autonomous communities. In the case of the UIB, this is because the Balearic Islands Community only provides 0.29% of the GDP for funding R&D&I. The UdG, in turn, receives 7.5% of the funding earmarked for research by the Autonomous Government, and this income is supplemented with about 9 million Euros received from competitive sources in Spain and the rest of Europe. For this reason, despite sometimes lacking critical mass, the research groups must be extremely competitive in order to receive funding.

The geographical location of both Universities. Although the location of the UIB is strategic for the Autonomous Community of the Balearic Islands for its international relations, its multi-insular nature becomes a handicap within the scope of national relations. Research groups, joint degrees, inter-university alliances, etc. are faced with operational and economic difficulties, not only when being set up, but also in their interaction with partners from other universities. Furthermore, the UdG is on the edge of an Autonomous Community where there are many large universities with more students and researchers and in a better position in some international rankings, thus making head-hunting and student recruitment more difficult.

Visibility. Both the UIB and the UdG have generalised profiles as a consequence of their social responsibilities as driving forces for development in their respective regions. This generalised profile reduces their visibility. The UIB is the only university in the Balearic Islands – member of the G9 – and this implies certain social responsibilities that have a certain impact on its CEI specialisation capacity.



The UIB-UdG-CSIC-ICRA collaboration proposed by the e-MTA Campus project and its degree of specialisation help to increase visibility and allow it to compete on an international market without neglecting the commitments and social responsibilities of both universities.

Identifying the basic tourism and water Innovation Ecosystems could be a crucial factor in drawing up a map of practical relationships between the campus’ different components (public and private).

Economic activity in the territories. The e-MTA Campus model significantly increases in value if its geographical location and economy is taken into account. Firstly, its location in the Mediterranean means that when referring to water, its impact on the territory and its management and distribution, you are talking about a real source of natural capital, sustainability and a possible source of crisis and conflict in the future. Secondly, in the territory covered by the campus one of the main economic driving forces is tourism, in which water plays a key role (both as a vital resource and for recreational activities).

Gerona and the Balearic Islands have a joint population of 1,850,000 inhabitants, similar in size to regions such as the Basque Country (2,200,000), the Canary Islands (2,100,000) and Castilla-La Mancha (2,100,000). Since they were founded, the universities of the Balearic Islands and Gerona have been activating elements in their territorial areas, contributing to the improvement of social and economic parameters in their respective Autonomous Communities.

The ability to activate key players in the territory by the institutions promoting the e-MTA, as shown by the members and associates in the project. These different players from the relevant territories who have become members (hotel sector, AGBAR, scientific parks, joint institutes, established professorships in the territories, businesses and institutions) increase the capacity and provide additional sources for recruitment of talent, both on a national and international level.

The Campus’ fields of specialisation fall within priority areas in the policies of both Autonomous Communities and are directly related to the objectives set out in the Sustainable Economy Act. The campuses of excellence and the cross-border agreements are priority factors in terms of European policy.

The national pilot project for regeneration of a mature tourist area: Palma Beach, which is part of the group, along with the unique technological platforms CIDTUR and SOCIB located in ParcBit, adjacent to the campus, and the National Professional Tourism Training Reference Centre, located on campus, all provide opportunities for innovation in sustainable tourism and the environmental, as well as in water management as a basic aspect for development.

The e-MTA Campus is of a cross-border nature and provides multi-insular coverage, which means, on the one hand, its capacity to obtain resources is limited. However, on the other hand, this multi-insular nature reflects an inevitable social need and an opportunity to develop a more advanced technological educational model.

The promotion of technological parks. ParcBit, adjacent to the UIB, promoted by the Balearic government, comprising 131 technology companies with a total of 2,500 workers, and the UdG’s PCiT, with about 100 companies, 30 research groups and 1,200 workers, both create interesting opportunities to combine the universities’ capacity for transfer, linking it to business and production thanks to the enterprising spirit the Balearic and Catalonian people are so well-known for.

The change to the teaching model promoted by the EHEA, which has now been carried out, provides the e-MTA Campus with an opportunity. The size of the universities means they can be more flexibly adapted to the EHEA and thus obtain a certain competitive edge for attracting high quality students.

The exportation of know-how in the field of sustainable tourism and water, at an international level, can be used as a launch pad for the educational, research and ICT lines related to the tourist sector and thus benefit such exportation. TurisTEC1, which participates in the project, has defined this process as the third level of access to foreign markets, which is supported by the first level – the very well-known potential for tourism in Catalonia and the Balearic Islands – and the second level – the foreign expansion of the main Balearic tourist companies on an international level. In other words, the global expansion of the Balearic and Catalonian hotel chains offers a framework within which Balearic ICT providers, with these chains as their main customers, have easy access to international markets as their customers continue their expansion. We should highlight the involvement of these players in the e-MTA Campus: the membership document was signed by the Balearic Hotel Chain Association (Agrupación de Cadenas Hoteleras de Baleares), Sol-Meliá, Barceló Hotels, Riu Group and the Hotel Business Associations of Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera (Federaciones Empresariales Hoteleras de Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza y Formentera); their involvement taking the form of initiatives such as the Sol-Meliá Professorship.

Gerona has been designated as a water innovation centre in Catalonia by the Autonomous Government. This makes the UdG a catalyst in a strong cluster for transfer regarding water. Firmly established project member organisations in the territory, such as the Costa Brava Consortium, have successfully launched projects for waste water management and recycling, for example in the wetlands of Aiguamolls del Empordà, where waste water is regenerated and recycled for environmental purposes. The involvement of the ICRA (The Catalan Institute for Water Research) in the nearby surroundings of the University of Gerona provides an opportunity to consolidate and even improve the UdG’s position with regards to the fields of science and water technology. Lastly, AGBAR’s involvement in the e-MTA Campus project gives the project an added dimension of R&D&I.

Gerona and Palma both consistently appear among the top 5 Spanish cities in terms of quality of life and income per capita, which could be a positive factor in the recruitment of international talent. The considerable international promotion as a tourist destination could help improve the perception of the Pyrenees-Mediterranean focal point (Gerona-Balearic Islands) as an attractive centre for business people and international talent. The CEI project must play a crucial role in this promotion.

The general situation of crisis, somewhat paradoxically, provides an opportunity for those regions where their economies are strongly dependent on foreign markets. The economic recovery of tourist areas depends to a large extent on the development of other European economies, where the situation, in some cases, is much better than in Spain. This difference may enable talent to be attracted from other areas of Spain with more limited possibilities for growth.

The change in the productive model, as described in the Sustainable Economy Act. Until recently it was focused on promoting construction but this trend has shifted towards creative industries based on training, research and production of contents, therefore the universities and research centres are positioned right at the heart of this new model.


The technological change, in particular the trend towards increasing distance teaching using new internet technologies, and increased mobility, imply a potential threat to the capacity of the e-MTA Campus to recruit local talent. Part of this talent could seek solutions outside of their respective areas. The significant growth in the number of students taking courses through distance universities in the last few years clearly proves this trend.

The social and economic structure surrounding the e-MTA Campus is fundamentally based in the SME sector and therefore places less value on R&D&I than in surrounding regions. In the case of the UIB, there is also the added economic dominance of the services sector that has very few needs for research. Emigration of specialised labour has also increased considerably, since the economy cannot currently provide jobs for all the people trained in higher education.

The high rate of students dropping out in the case of the UIB must be added to this emigration of specialised labour, precisely due to this social economic structure as such, which encourages young people to start working at an early age.

International research groups operating in the same fields as the main e-MTA Campus groups are in many cases larger than those of the Campus. This has an impact on obtaining financing resources through competitive programmes because their size gives them an advantage.

The concentration of thematic research groups in the more consolidated, larger universities also makes headhunting more difficult.

Funding in both autonomous communities has reduced considerably. The nominative transfer to the UIB from the Autonomous Community of the Balearic Islands was 4.4% lower in the academic year 2009/2010, in comparison to the previous year. In the case of the UdG, as part of the spending cuts, subsidies from the Autonomous Community dropped by 16.6% in the year 2011. Bearing in mind there was already a low level of financing compared with other universities of a similar size2, this reduction is a factor that could threaten the Campus’ objectives from being achieved. In addition, it should be highlighted that the funding level was already low in comparison to that of universities of a similar size. The population per university throughout the whole of Spain is 957,067, in Catalonia it is 1,041,476 and in the Balearic Islands 1,070,066, with a total of 141 transfers per inhabitant in Spain, 127 in Catalonia and 59 in the Balearic Islands. The proportion of GDP made up by transfers is 0.59% for the whole of Spain, 0.45% for Catalonia and 0.23% for the Balearic Islands (Source. Xavier Grau, La universidad pública catalana hoy, URV Publications, 2011).

1 The data from La Universidad Española en Cifras (CRUE, 2010) show that the Balearic Islands and Gerona respectively are the last and second to last regions in Spain with regards to funding both per inhabitant and per student


Proyecto financiado por el Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte en el marco del Programa Campus de Excelencia Internacional

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