i. Current situation

Within the field of research, e-MTA Campus stands out for its efficiency and high level of internationalisation it has already achieved. Both the main R&D&I work of the universities involved and the presence of the CSIC and the ICRA contribute to this. The CSIC is the third largest European research institution (SCIMAGO 2010) and has 135 research centres, three of which take part in the e-MTA Campus (two joint UIB-CSIC institutes in the Balearic Islands and a centre in Girona). The ICRA is a reference research centre for water and its geographical location in the Scientific and Technological Park near the Montilivi Campus of the UdG proves the specific importance of water science and technology in the research fabric of the Autonomous Community of Catalonia. The ICRA has a headcount of 41 researchers, 21 of them PhDs, in the fields of resources and ecosystems, water quality and technologies and evaluation. About one hundred SCI articles were published in 2010 (70% in the first quartile). It currently has 28 research, transfer and HR projects, 5 of which are European projects.

University of the Balearic Islands

research excellence at the UIBThe UIB is the only university in the Autonomous Community of the Balearic Islands (CAIB) and is its main research body. Proof of this is that the UIB is responsible for 47.5% of the expenditure on research in the Autonomous Community and 80% of its scientific production (in ISI journals) is generated in the Balearic Islands. With 18 departments, 6 institutes and 130 research groups, the UIB is committed to quality research and transferring to society the knowledge it generates. This commitment is also confirmed by its outstanding results that stand out in numerous indicators. A large number of these publications are produced in collaboration with researchers from foreign institutions. According to the SCImago 2011 report, the UIB ranks in second position in the number of publications co-authored with international institutions. The UIB also stands out in the average scientific quality parameter that, for the analysis, does not take into account the size of the institutions. It is in 2nd place among Spanish public universities. Moreover, UIB ranks in 7th position among Spanish universities in the other quality parameter considered: percentage of publications, classified by their impact factor in the top 25% in its respective subject areas (see the SCImago Latin American Ranking 2011). The UIB’s position in terms of obtaining funds in competitive calls for projects is also outstanding. It is in third place in research effort (average percentage of projects approved by researcher) according to the COTEC2006 report: Technology and Innovation in Spain. The previous data are the result of our teaching and research staff’s hard work and commitment to research. This has been recognised by most of them having been granted research lines, which has put us in the top 25% of Spanish public universities in terms of the percentage of tenured staff with recognised research tranches, according to the study conducted by researchers at the University of Granada (G. Buela-Casal et al, Psicothema 22 (2010) 171). According to the same study, the University of the Balearic Islands is also above average in terms of patents registered and exploited in the 2002-08 period by tenured lecturers. Lastly, we should point out that, according to the CyD2010 report, the UIB is in 4th place in the percentage of journals in the first quartile in the field of Environmental Science, 3rd position in standardised impact in the field of Agriculture and Biological Sciences, 1st place in standardised impact in Computing Science and 2nd place in the percentage of journals in the first quartile in the Material Science field.

The University of the Balearic Islands has close relations with its surrounding area and participates and collaborates with most of the research and knowledge transfer institutions in the Balearic Islands. It is on the boards of trustees of the Scientific and Technological Park (ParcBit Desenvolupament, SA), IBIT Minorca, the Caubet-Cimera Foundation and a member on the Management Board of the SOCIB, special facilities of national reference, and the CIDTUR Foundation. The forthcoming opening of the Congress Centre will offer a new opportunity for the international expansion of the UIB.

The UIB already actively collaborates with many of the members of the strategic group, some of which take part in postgrad training processes, in particular the CSIC, the institution supporting this project, through its two joint institutes, the Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies (IMEDEA) and the Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Physics and Complex Systems (IFISC), together with the associated unit of Cognition and Human Evolution and the Spanish Oceanographic Institute (IEO). Many of the researchers at its Balearic Islands Centre collaborate with the Biology Department and actively take part in several competitive groups at the UIB and the IMEDEA, and participate as well in the Master’s in Marine Ecology and Analysis, Planning and Management of Coastal Areas.

The UIB, in collaboration with the University-Company Foundation of the Balearic Islands (FUEIB), has set up the website, which mainly organises the UIB’s technological offers, highlighting the services available for companies and technology transfer.

University of Girona

Research excellence at the UdGMoreover, the University of Girona is a centre of academic excellence that is in an outstanding position compared to the rest of Spanish universities in various research-related rankings. The research groups of excellence belonging to this project contribute to this. According to the CyD 2009 report (published in July 2010,) one of the most prestigious rankings of productivity and quality indicators, the UdG comes 3rd overall in the classification of university research productivity and also 3rd in terms of productivity in the engineering field and 6th in chemistry, both of which are significant for this international campus’s fields of specialisation. The CyD 2010 report, which analyses other fields of knowledge, positions the UdG in 7th place in the field of Computing Science and in 10th place in the field of Environmental Science, always according to the standardised impact index of publications. In this index however, considering all the productivity, the UdG also stands out in 9th place among all Spanish universities.

In the SCIMAGO Latin American Ranking 2011, the UdG holds 9th place among the Spanish universities in average scientific quality and 8th place in the percentage of publications in the first quartile. Meanwhile, in its recent publication in Psicothema (22, 171-179) the UdG came a worthy overall 11th among 48 public universities in Spain. Its 3rd position in winning projects and 8th position in the quality of ISI articles in this ranking is worth noting. In previous reports published by the SCImago group, based on library measurement analysis of the Scopus database, the University of Girona’s production is the 14th University in the ranking for citations per document and 3rd in the real impact of publications (in both cases in comparison with Spanish universities). Finally, it is in 3rd position in the newspaper El País ranking1.

In short, the UdG has been objectively shown to be a university of quality, with results of excellence, in particular in scientific productivity in both quantitative and qualitative terms, and in obtaining projects and external funding for research. In this respect, two Starting Grants from the European Research Council are worth noting, which were obtained in the 2009 and 2011 calls, both in the field of chemistry.

The UdG’s good position in research can also be extended to its transfer activities. Although indicators in this field are not as standardised, there is evidence of the quantity and quality of the work performed by the UdG’s researchers in this field too. For example, there are 11 groups at the UdG recognised as members of the TECNIO network, a quality label awarded by the Catalan agency to encourage innovation (ACC1Ó). Another priority of these groups is the results evaluation of their research in collaboration with companies and institutions.

The University-Company Office has recently been set up. Its main objective is to help companies and institutions access the information generated throughout the entire university environment. This office is responsible for the OUE 2.0 portal, an IT tool for social players with the aim of providing an assistance service to institutions and companies to speed up this communication in an innovative way. On the one hand, it is a smart search engine that uses natural language techniques to answer the company or institution that wishes to make any kind of query about research and innovation projects with training, funding or subsidies, and an employment exchange, etc. On the other hand, it is an electronic notice board of news and events related to the University-Company Office, which is made available to any company or institution that want to keep regularly informed of the latest news.

The University of Girona collaborates with research institutions in its nearby area and, naturally, at an international level too. In this respect, the aforementioned SCImago Ibero-American ranking places the UdG in 6th position regarding the number of publications that involve international collaboration. Regarding the closest collaborations, those with the ICRA and CSIC must obviously be highlighted, and those with other Catalan and Spanish universities but, in particular, with the University Hospital of Girona and the Research & Technology Food & Agriculture (IRTA).

Prior to implementing the medical courses at the University of Girona, there was already intensive collaboration with the Josep Trueta University Hospital of Girona. The research quality of this hospital is outstanding, appearing as the top hospital institution for the standardised impact of its publications in a report issued by the CyD Foundation in 2010. The University of Girona has set up, with this hospital and with the backing of the Health and Research Departments of the Autonomous Government of Catalonia, the Biomedical Research Institute of Girona, which is the precisely core of the whole biomedical research in the area.

The collaboration with the IRTA also dates back a long time, since the UdG has offered food engineering courses since its very beginnings. Therefore the IRTA facilities are jointly used by researchers from the UdG and for student internships. The IRTA’s research is focussed on its fields at the regional level of Catalonia and is also ranked in top position among Spanish research institutions. In 2007 the Centre of New Food Processes and Technologies (CENTA) was set up, a technological centre with the UdG and IRTA, ACC1Ó and various companies in the sector are included among its patrons.

Joint quality indicators

If we refer to an association of two universities widely differing quality indicators would necessarily imply a decrease due to dilution. So it is important to find the fields in which the associated universities are equally excellent since this will allow us to identify the areas in which the association will be jointly excellent and that in some way reveal their natural identity.

CI 2011 (in the SCImago 2011 Ranking Table)

Classification of Spanish universities according to the international collaboration ranking. The UIB is in 2nd place and the UdG in 6th placeº. Source: SCImago 2011

CCP 2011 (in the SCImago 2011 Ranking Table)

Classification of Spanish universities according to the average scientific quality. The UIB is in 2nd place and the UdG in 10th place. Source: SCImago 2011

Q1 2011 (in the SCImago 2011 Ranking Table)

Classification of Spanish universities according to the percentage of publications in the first quartile. The UIB is in 7th place and the UdG in 8th place. Source: SCImago 2011

These data confirm that the excellent starting position of both universities in facing the opportunity to transform their campuses through a unified Campus of International Excellence project.

It is also worth pointing out that among all Spanish universities, the UdG and the UIB hold the top two positions in tourism qualifications according to a recently published study2. Regarding employability, the UdG stands out for helping its alumni find work in qualified, high-quality jobs. This university is involved in the future Tourism Research Institute of Catalonia, in the Catalan Tourism Research and Innovation Institute and the Atlas and Ibertur international tourism networks. Meanwhile, the UIB has proven the quality of its teaching through TEDQUAL certification by the World Tourism Organisation. It offers students involved in the industry a course in Seasonal Tourism Adaptation, in which teaching focuses on the low season. Its location in one of the most tourist regions in the world also enables students to stay in constant touch with the sector.

Another notable aspect of the universities’ joint quality is their excellent position in terms of research effort and the percentage of projects approved by a tenured lecturer in which the UIB comes 3rd and the UdG is in 4th position3 which is another good joint indicator.

The efficiency of both universities’ scientific production compared to Spanish universities as a whole is clearly shown in Figure 12. The UIB’s position is shown by a yellow circle and the UdG’s is shown by a red circle. It can be seen that both universities have high scientific productivity, which is above average. The UIB’s low funding compared to the average is worth noting. This demonstrates how efficient both universities are.

publications per permanent researchers

Number of publications per tenured research member versus staff expenditure per number of students in Euros, which varies between €3,000 and €6,000 per student. The data were obtained from the SCImago 2009 report and from La universidad española en cifras 2008. The yellow circle shows the UIB and the red one shows the UdG

The research efficiency of research at the UIB and the UdG is shown in the following figure:

overall impact per milion euro

This figure shows the overall impact for Spanish universities (number of articles weighted to the average impact of the articles) per million € of transfer by the Autonomous Communities. The data was obtained from the La universidad española en cifras 2010 Report, published by the CRUE and  SCImago Institutions Ranking 2010. The resulting indicator was compiled by the Rovira i Virgili University

The UIB-UdG-CSIC-ICRA group is therefore the best guarantee for converting the e-MTA Campus into a reference centre with international expansion in its pre-existing fields of excellence.

Research lines in the e-MTA Campus project

In order to continue improving the quality of our research, this project is aimed at consolidating and strengthening the research fields in which the institutions of the e-MTA Campus project have tried-and-tested skills that have given them proven international prestige, and/or in those that are unique compared with other campuses. Such fields are structured in 4 lines of specialisation: Water; Tourism Sustainability; Physics, Computing and Applications; and Food and Health, which are of strategic importance to both regions in which scientific work goes hand-in-hand with large-scale knowledge transfer.

LST: Tourism Sustainability Line

The objective of this line is to encourage research in the line Tourism Sustainability and the Environment. At both the UIB and the UdG excellence in these lines is demonstrated by the existence of consolidated research and several university institutes, some run jointly with the CSIC, which work on related topics. This certainly adds a quality boost to the project. Notable examples at the UIB are the Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies (IMEDEA UIB-CSIC), the Economic Research Centre (CRE), the Spanish Oceanography Institute and the outstanding SOCIB and CIDTUR facilities, which are joined by the recently created INIA-CAIB-UIB institute for agro-environmental and water economy research (INAGEA). The Catalan Institute for Research into Cultural Heritage and the Higher Institute of Tourism Studies are included at the UdG.

The Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies (IMEDEA) has 4 research lines:

  1. Ecology, Evolution and Systems in Island Environments
  2. Structure, Dynamics and Functioning of Marine Systems
  3. Physics and Technology of the Oceanic Coastal System: Observation, Forecasts and Interactions
  4. Global Change Research

The institute has 81 researchers, 30 of whom are tenured members and collaborate in the Physics and the Advanced Microbiology Master’s, both of which are PhD courses with a quality award and the Master’s in Coastal Areas Analysis, Planning and Management. The institute is currently involved in 105 research projects (17 from the EU) and obtained revenue of more than €6 million in 2009. In 2008, it published 150 ISI articles. One of its researchers, Professor Carlos Duarte, supervises the Master’s in Global Change offered at the UIB (UIMP-CSIC with the collaboration of the UIB). Professor Duarte was awarded the 2007 Alejandro Malaspina national research prize and the Rey Jaume I Environmental Protection prize, coordinator of the Malaspina expedition and is in charge of a supplementary research line related to the role of oceans and their impact on the coastline. Professor Joaquín Tintoré, who was awarded the Alejandro Malaspina national research prize in 2003, supervises an integral and interdisciplinary research line regarding the coastal area and the environment and is currently the director of the special technology platform SOCIB. The UIB collaborates in the main scientific focal areas of IMEDEA4.

The Economic Research Centre (CRE) is a research institute of the UIB, in collaboration with the savings bank “Sa Nostra” Caja de Baleares, and plays an active role at a regional level, promoting and cooperating in various projects financed by the VI Programme of the EU, the CICYT and the Autonomous Government, as well as in research agreements with public and private institutions related to specific aspects and issues of the Balearic Islands’ economy.

Since it was founded in 2001, the CRE has played a key role in the archipelago by reporting on the evolution of the Balearic macro-economy and closely monitoring the determining factors for regional welfare. It focuses on guaranteeing long-term economic growth, promoting competitive tourism and ensuring environmental sustainability.

Its research line, focussed on regional, tourism and environmental economics, has been reported in articles published in important journals on an international level.

Similarly, the CRE offers a possibility of taking part in training actions within the framework of the UNESCO business management and the environment professorship, and it also takes part in the Master’s in Tourism and Environmental Economics, which is part of the PhD course of the same name with a mention of quality. In 2008, it participated in 7 research projects, two of which were European, and published 14 articles.

Tourism research at the University of Girona has recently gained considerable importance thanks to the existence of 2 institutes, one of which belongs to the Catalan government network of official research institutes (CERCA), along with the work related to sustainability by the Institute for Environmental Research. These institutes are as follows:

The Catalan Institute for Research into Cultural Heritage (ICRPC) was set up in 2006 by the Autonomous Government of Catalonia and the University of Girona. It is part of the group of research centres that have been created in Catalonia to develop quality research with an international outlook (CERCA Programme). The institute’s main objective is focussed on the development of research projects, either promoted by the institute itself or performed in collaboration with other institutions or organisations. At the same time, research in this field is communicated to society as a whole through talks, seminars, conferences and other events. Another of the Institute’s objectives is to encourage, collaborate and participate in cultural heritage training programmes. Various possible interactions stem from its research lines within the field of tourism, obviously focussed on cultural heritage: use of heritage, museology, etc. In 2009, more than 20 articles, chapters or books were published as a result of its participation in a large number of projects.

The Higher Institute of Tourism Studies (INSETUR): In 2005, the University of Girona set up the Centre for Research and Innovation in the Tourism Industries (CRIIT) a foundation run by a board of trustees from the University of Girona, the Tourism Patronage of Girona, Costa Brava, the Girona Chamber of Commerce, the Girona Hotel Federation, and various associations related to tourism. In 2010, the University of Girona set up the Higher Institute of Tourism Studies (INSETUR) to extend the research and transfer work developed by the CRIIT. Insetur is involved in the research groups Multidisciplinary Laboratory of Tourism Research (LMRT) and Organizational Networks, Innovation and Development of Strategies and Tourism Products (ONIT). In total it is made up of 27 tenured researchers and in 2008-09 87 articles were published. It coordinates the Erasmus Mundus European Master in Tourism Management, the only Erasmus Mundus Master’s on the subject of tourism, which has attracted a large number of students from all over the world to the UdG and other participating universities.

The competitive research groups that have research lines within the LST framework are as follows:

  1. Economic analysis of the impact of tourism (UIB)
  2. Territorial environmental analysis and planning (UdG)
  3. Archaeology and prehistory (UdG)
  4. Plant biology in Mediterranean conditions (UIB)
  5. European private law (UdG)
  6. Economics, industry and services (UdG)
  7. Physiology of Mediterranean plants in the context of global change (UdG)
  8. Literary Heritage Research Group (UdG)
  9. Historical memory and identities (UdG)
  10. Analysis and landscape management laboratory (UdG)
  11. Multidisciplinary tourism research laboratory (UdG)
  12. Environmental and geographic information technology (UdG)
  13. Meteorology (UIB)
  14. Microbiology (UIB)
  15. Inter-Disciplinary Oceanography (UIB)
  16. Analytical chemistry, automation and the environment (UIB)
  17. Renewable marine resources and the environment (UIB)
  18. Organisational networks, innovation and development of tourism products and strategies (UdG)
  19. Marine Technologies, Operational Oceanography and Sustainability (UIB)

Lastly, there are various professorships at the UdG professorships, in collaboration with external institutions, with the aim of promoting and disseminating research work. The professorships most connected with the field of tourism are as follows:

  1. The UNESCO Professorship in Sustainable Human Development
  2. The UNESCO Professorship in Cultural Policies and Cooperation
  3. The Professorship in Geography and Territorial Thinking
  4. The Professorship in Contemporary Art and Culture

The research thus covers the following fields:

  1. Land and sea
  2. The coastal area, through SOCIB in collaboration with the Information Technology Centre (CTI) of the UIB
  3. Heritage, through the ICRPC
  4. Innovation needed in the sector, through CIDTUR and INSETUR
  5. And their economic impact, through the CRE.

The collaboration is worth mentioning of UIB researchers with those from the University of Girona and the Banyuls-Sur-Mer Observatory (Paris VI University) in the field of studies on marine and coastal areas, through a series of scientific meetings that are already in process.

Moreover, the combination of the aforementioned research groups and centres has formed a critical mass of multidisciplinary research with great potential and higher capacity for internationalisation and transfer of the knowledge generated. This implies a solid guarantee for correctly performing and achieving the campus project presented in this document.

Technology transfer

The research capacity of these groups and centres is supplemented by the participation of important companies and business groups in the e-MTA Campus project involved in the fields of tourism, the environment and energy, forming part of the strategic group and in some cases these collaborations have been in place for a long time. The participation of these businesses in the project provides the insight and experience of the business sector and we consider it to be absolutely essential for certain fields of strategic importance for our region, such as tourism and the environment.

Transfer actions within the scope of this axis:

  1. As previously mentioned, the UIB participates in the national pilot project for the regeneration of mature tourist areas, located on Palma Beach, issuing management recommendations for improvement of environmental quality and adaptation to global change. It studies the effects of climate change on atmospheric, climatic and tourism variables as well as biodiversity and functions of the ecosystems in the area, invading species, water quality and urban ecosystems.
  2. In addition, the UIB is also carrying out the environmental monitoring plan of the Majorca Island Council and the control of the EU framework directive for water. Within this context, TIRME and MACInsular are reference companies in the field of solid waste treatment.
  3. Moreover, the CCStaR project, which is a prototype solar-panel developed by the company Tecnología Solar Concentradora, the UIB’s Building and Energy Management Engineering Group, with the economic support of ParcBit, the companies in the tourism sector, especially the Sol-Meliá group, and the UIB home automation laboratory, in collaboration with SAMPOL S.A. is an example of transfer that will certainly become stronger by setting up new spin- offs.
  4. The ÍCAR project (behavioural indicators of visitors to Girona – Costa Brava Airport) began in 2010, as an example of transfer between the UdG and the Spanish airport management body (AENA), the Costa Brava Tourism Board and the Girona Chamber of Commerce.
  5. The UdG has also worked on aspects of sustainability through a green path usage project for the Green Paths Consortium (2009).
  6. The UdG has also drawn up documents for public authorities, which endorse the importance of the tourism research conducted and its direct transfer to society through the institutions that manage it. Examples of this work include the feasibility study for operation of thermal water in a thermal leisure facility in Sant Climent Sescebes, the Strategic Tourism Plan for Caldes de Malavella and the business plan for the Development Agency.
  7. Finally, the UdG has exported a beach resource assessment methodology to support the integrated management of coastal tourist areas.
  8. The ICRPC has conducted various studies and tests, assigned by the Catalan Government, regarding the use of its cultural heritage. The study in 2009 can be highlighted: Analysis of cultural tourism definitions and the ways of calculating cultural tourism.

The essential role played by ICT in the transfer of technology to the tourism sector is also worth mentioning, as has been proven by the collaboration with the TurisTEC cluster and participation of companies such as Telefónica.

The Government of the Autonomous Community of the Balearic Islands is involved in this objective through its 2009-12 Science, Technology and Innovation Plan. The business sector also assists in launching innovative, competitive and differentiating projects through the BALEARS.T cluster, a cooperation platform between the private sector and the public authorities. The UIB is part of this platform, which also includes companies and institutions, such as Sol-Meliá, Barceló, Sigittur, TurisTEC, Hotetur, Sampol and TUI. The aim is to make the Balearic Islands a pioneer in the field of tourism technology and to convert them into an international reference point for tourism innovation through the TurisTEC cluster and the CIDTUR Foundation, with which UIB collaborates in most of its strategic objectives5. One of its ultimate goals consists of exporting its accumulated know-how in tourism sustainability. Similarly, the Autonomous Government of Catalonia has defined priority focal points for research in its Research and Innovation Plan 2010-13. Among these focal points, “Products and services related to tourism, leisure time and pleasure” can be highlighted.

As a consequence of all the foregoing and for the purpose of promoting and encouraging implementation of innovation in the tourism sector through progressive involvement in R&D&I work, based on obtaining a mid- and long-term competitive edge, and bearing in mind the transversal nature of tourism, which affects numerous research fields and various technological sectors, and the challenges faced by the tourism sector in this new century, its priority research is aimed towards the following:

Competition in tourism

Due to the fact that one of the aims of the e-MTA Campus is to maintain and increase competition in the tourism sector, based on innovation and sustainability, it endeavours to reinforce and promote research on the determining factors for changes in the sector. More specifically the following:

  1. Economic analysis of tourism
  2. New forms of business and tourism development
  3. The determining factors for  competition in tourism
  4. New trends in markets with outbound tourism
  5. New consumers. Innovation in tourism products
  6. New tourism policies
  7. Development and review of the techniques used to assess the economic impact of tourism.

Tourism and the Environment

Design of formulas that make tourism development compatible with environmental conservation, controlling and internalising the interaction established within the tourism system to ultimately guarantee the ability to meet the needs of the resident population and those of tourists without compromising the well-being of future generations, suggests that there is a need to promote research in the following fields:

  1. Development of models to assess a destination’s capacity
  2. Implementing environmental management systems in both private establishments and public facilities.
  3. Implementing systems for improving energy efficiency, especially their application to destinations or tourism products, in particular: more efficient transport systems and research into improvements in equipment and supplies for establishments.
  4. Implementing analysis and waste management devices, as well as systems for improving water economy, its regeneration and preventing anthropogenic pollution; therefore the development of the water research line is a basic aspect for sustainability.

Social research applied to tourism

Since innovation is considered a key goal in order to take advantage of potential tourism when developing new businesses and as a driving force for social change, it is important to obtain results from research in the following fields.

  1. Social, demographic and leisure trends
  2. Corporate Social Responsibility in the tourism sector
  3. Development and review of techniques for assessing the social impact of tourism
  4. Funding systems for performing environmental actions, especially financial mechanisms to provide greater benefits to the private sector: tax exemptions, ecological charges, etc.
  5. Management of historical heritage and cultural tourism

Planning and management of tourist destinations

An aim towards integral and holistic tourism planning that can ensure a competitive tourist market is compatible with the regulatory measures determining a reference framework for decision-making, requires the following:

  1. The use of geographical information systems for tourism planning
  2. The design and assessment of tourism planning models and integral management of tourism destinations, with a special emphasis on integral management of coastal areas
  3. The design of urban plans in tourist destination areas so that the resulting city planning implies lower environmental costs.
  4. The development and review of techniques for assessing the environmental impact of tourism

Adaptation to climate change

Implementing good practices for interaction that respects the environment means that measures must be adopted compatible with the Kyoto Protocol in order to prepare strategies for the future of the tourism sector. Within this context, the actions would be as follows:

  1. Assessment of the role of the current climate in Spanish tourist areas and the impact that would be caused by climate change in the most vulnerable destinations and tourist products, including different scales.
  2. Mapping with Geographical Information Systems and their application in detecting vulnerable areas.
  3. Development of indicator systems that show the climate change-tourism impact in order to measure and detect it.
  4. Development of a management model to optimise the main measures for adapting to climate change and the impact on tourism policies.
  5. Conducting analysis methods to forecast demand in the case of climate change, its impact and the sector’s adaptation measures.
  6. Updating analysis methods of the costs for adaptation methods and the impact on the public and private sectors and the prices of tourist products.
  7. Research on the relation between tourism planning and the resources subject to climate change (water, air and microclimate).
  8. Research on instruments to finance the measures to adapt to climate change.
  9. Research on the contribution of the tourism sector to greenhouse gas emission effect.

Management of tourism companies

Closely related to the previous line of action and for a better and greater comprehension of the technological development in management of tourism companies, basic knowledge is required that can be used to help design and determine policies for promoting innovation.

For such purpose, the project includes various actions in the following fields:

  1. Innovation in the design, management and marketing of tourism products.
  2. Technological environmental equipment in tourism companies and facilities.
  3. Research projects in energy facilities (solar energy, wind energy), equipment, transport, etc.
  4. Innovation in technologies to optimise the efficient use of basic resources (water, energy).
  5. Instruments to support the technological development of tourism companies and facilities.
  6. Bioclimatic architecture (indoor and outdoor, including gardens and the design of new materials).
  7. Virtual reality facilities applied to the tourism sector.
  8. Robotics and home automation applied to the tourism sector.
  9. Technological development and advanced solutions used by tourism companies and in facilities.

Management of tourism information

The use and development of new information technologies must be promoted to help in providing services and developing tourism activities, i.e.:

  1. Tourism information inter-operational systems. The transfer of competence for tourism issues and the importance of this sector in our country results in large volumes of information that must be standardised so that it can be exchanged and consolidated.
  2. Systems for syndication of tourism information between mobile devices. The increasing capacity for management and use of mobile devices (telephones, PDAs, portable video consoles, etc.) along with the promotion of wireless technology, opens up a whole new range of possibilities for the tourist sector.
  3. IPTV. The promotion of IPTV technology and Digital Terrestrial Television for broadcasting local and national tourism heritage.
  4. Including tourism content in the spatial information institutions.
  5. A portable group management system that allows information to be compiled and volumes of visitors to be managed.
  6. Research in social sciences applied to tourism.

LH2O: Water Line

The water line is supplemented by the tourism sustainability line, which means the e-MTA Campus group creates synergies in terms of R&D&I. On the one hand, any design for tourism sustainability in the Mediterranean must consider all levels of water problems, and, on the other hand, tourism sustainability is an ideal field for application of water-related research lines, which therefore has an immediate social, and often economic, advantage.

In addition to the Catalan Institute for Water Research (ICRA) located in Girona, the UdG has three strong research institutes in particular that focus on water-related subjects: the Institute of Aquatic Ecology (IEA), the Institute of Environment Research (IMA). Other research institutes (The IT and Applications Institute, with the Vision and Robotics Research Group, which is responsible for the Underwater Robotics Research Centre) have groups that conduct research work on water. The CSIC group includes the CEAB, the Blanes Advanced Studies Centre, which collaborates with the UdG. Other research groups with water-related lines are grouped together in the Department of Environmental Science, the Department of Chemistry or the Department of Chemical Engineering Food and Agriculture. In addition to the foregoing, it is worth to mentioning the equally relevant research developed by other research groups at the UdG, which belong to other structural units, such as the Public Economics Research Group and the Environmental Physics group, as well as tourism-related research groups.

In the case of the UIB, several IMEDEA research groups and the University’s competitive Groups mentioned in the Tourism and Environmental Sustainability sub-line, have important know-how in water-related subjects, in particular seawater. These groups’ activities have been described in the previous section, however, it is worth mentioning that some of the work described is carried out in collaboration with the Balearic Water and Environmental Quality Agency, which is run by the Regional Ministry of the Environment. The recently created INAGEA (Agro-Environmental and Water Economy Research Institute), a joint CAIB-INIA-UIB institute should also be highlighted.

The Catalan Institute for Water Research (ICRA) is a research centre that was set up in October 2006 by the Autonomous Government of Catalonia and its objectives are the following: conducting research projects, knowledge transfer and innovation in all aspects related to the integrated water cycle and its management, and training researchers and technical staff highly specialised in the field of water. It is a reference in water research and its geographical location in the city of Girona, near the Scientific and Technological Park and Montilivi Campus, lends it the specific weight that water science and technology performed in Girona has in the research network of the Autonomous Community of Catalonia. The University of Girona is on this institute’s board of trustees along with the Catalan Water Agency.

This institute, which currently houses about 60 researchers, has recently been awarded the Water Prize 2010 for the project Sewage: a new source of electricity, the main objective of which is to contribute to reducing environmental pollution and dependence on fossil fuels. In 2010, it published 65 articles in the first quartile of the SCI.

Moreover, ICRA researchers have just published the book Water Scarcity in the Mediterranean, and have begun the ambitious SCARCE project, the largest research project on the effects of climate change on Spanish rivers. It is a CONSOLIDER-INGENIO initiative in which the ICRA’s Director, Dr. Damià Barceló is coordinating 12 scientific teams. In all more than 100 scientists are taking part with a total budget of 4.5 million over five years. Dr. Barceló was awarded the Rei Jaume I prize in the field of natural resources and is one of most prolific and cited researchers in Spain.

The centre’s priority research fields are as follows:

  • Resources and ecosystems
  • Hydrological processes
  • Lake and reservoir systems
  • River systems
  • Ecosystems and river basin modelling
  • Water quality
  • Chemical pollution of water masses
  • Waste water pollutants
  • Microbiological quality and diversity
  • Eco-toxilogical reaction of biota (flora and fauna) on pollutants
  • Technologies and evaluation
  • Purification and distribution
  • Waste water treatment/recycling
  • Management systems and modelling
  • Unitary operations

The Blanes Advanced Studies Centre (CEAB), is a CSIC centre that was set up in 1985. Its research activity focuses on the fields of ecology and the biology of organisms in both marine systems and continental waters. The CEAB aspires to be a centre with an international reputation that is a national reference for marine biology, limnology and ecology.

Its main lines of research are as follows:

  1. Diversity and ecology of marine benthos: from molecules to ecosystems
  2. Limnological dynamics: interactions at different scales between biodiversity and geodynamics.

The CEAB collaborates with the Aquatic Ecology Institute and the Department of Environmental Science at the UdG through coordinated projects on marine benthic algae and studying lagoon archaea. It is responsible for more than 20 active projects in 2011 and published 49 articles in the ISI first quartile in 2010.

The Institute of Aquatic Ecology (IEA) is a university institute that carries out pioneering research. It was set up in 1987 and studies continental water ecosystems (lakes, rivers, reservoirs, wetlands, etc.). It has two sections: Limnology and Microbiology respectively represented by the following:

  1. The Research Group on Ecology of Inland Waters (GRECO) is an inter-disciplinary group with extensive experience in limnological research, in particular in three general lines (river ecology and eco-toxicology, continental fish ecology and preservation and Mediterranean lagoon and wetlands limnology). It publishes about 20-30 ISI articles every year and has supervised 16 PhD theses since 2006. Four members of the GRECO take part in the Consolider-Ingenio CSD2009-00065 project (“Assessing and predicting effects on water quantity and quality in Iberian rivers caused by global change (SCARCE)”. Further information about its members, publications and projects can be found at In the fish group, the IEA has already published two articles classified as an ISI HIGHLY CITED PAPER6.
  2. The Molecular Microbial Ecology group (gEMM) has a history of more than 20 years in microbial ecology studies. Its research lines are related to the commonly-studied axis i.e. study of microbial activity and diversity in aquatic ecosystems, with a special emphasis placed on the impact of this activity on biogeochemical cycles, both in natural systems (lakes, lagoons and wetlands) and artificial systems (water treatment systems and lixiviates, artificial treatment lagoons, etc.). The gEMM has extensive experience in collaborating and leading basic and applied research projects both on national and international levels.

The IEA has 40 tenured researchers, including trainee researchers, with 8 projects underway and it published more than 80 articles in the period 2008-10, with average funding of about €0.8 million per year of which more than a third was for transfer actions.

The Institute of Environmental Research (IMA) at the University of Girona (IMA-UdG) is a university research institute and its objective is basic and applied research in the scientific and technical fields of relevance for studying and managing the environment. It acts as a permanent observatory of the situation, dynamics and changes in environmental parameters in the Girona area. It is in constant contact with the non-university world and facilitates transfer of knowledge to the nearby community and promotes work aimed at giving solid scientific foundations to education, communication, awareness-raising and public information work concerning the environment.

The IMA has about 70 tenured researchers, including trainee researchers, and has a very significant participation in the Master’s in Science and Water Technology, and coordinates the Master’s in Environment. The research groups included in this institute are as follows:

  1. The chemical and environmental engineering laboratory
  2. The territorial and environmental analysis and planning
  3. The Landscape management and analysis laboratory
  4. The environment and geographical information technology

This institute is characterised by its transversal and multidisciplinary work. The IMA’s research accounts for almost 6% of the University of Girona’s total output.

The Laboratory of Chemical and Environmental Engineering (LEQUIA) stands out among the groups belonging to the IMA-UdG and its research is focussed on water), consisting of 7 permanent lecturers who coordinate a group of more than thirty collaborators, in particular PhD students and specialised support technicians. Its work in the field of sewage treatment has enabled it to become a reference for international research groups in this field, as proof of its participation in European projects one of which was recognised by the EU as one of the best projects on a worldwide level related to water within the framework of the LIFE programme, its involvement in various international networks, holding IWA congresses or coordinating a ITN Marie Curie network (Sanitas) with funding of almost €4 million, along with the participation of eight international centres of renown prestige, which is about to be launched.

This laboratory’s current research lines are as follows:

  1. Design, operation and control of advanced processes for biological urban and industrial waste water treatment,
  2. Development and application of assistance systems for decisions on environmental domains, and
  3. Study of absorption/oxidation processes for treating liquids and gaseous effluents.

The group receives funding from research projects, having led 6 MICINN projects over the last three years, and participating in strategic projects such as Consolider or PSE, and collaboration projects with the companies CDTI, CENIT, etc., which implies revenue for the University of an average of more than one million Euros a year. This research work has led to seven PhD theses being read over the last three years and annual publication of about 15 SCI articles in the first quartile.

Finally, its participation in special training should be mentioned, jointly supervising the Master’s in Water Science and Technology, participation in the PhD on Environmental Quality and holding summer schools or specialises courses with speakers of renown prestige. All this has led it to be considered a SGR group of the Autonomous Government of Catalonia and member of the ACC10 transfer network.

In addition to water-focussed research in the scientific field, we should point out the social side of the research conducted by the Environmental and Geographical Information Technology research group, mainly based on managing floods and droughts and planning river areas.

Several UdG groups in the sphere of these institutes, which have been granted the distinction of a SGR (consolidated groups) by the Catalan government, also work on water-related projects:

  1. Computer Vision and Robotics Groups(VICOROB)
  2. Paper Engineering and Polymeric Materials Laboratory (LEPAMAP)
  3. Agrarian  Engineering
  4. Fluids, Energy & Environment Engineering (GREFEMA)
  5. Soil Science Unit
  6. Analytical and Environmental Chemistry
  7. Geography and Environmental Mapping
  8. Animal Biology
  9. Environmental Physics
  10. Genetic Ichthyology Laboratory
  11. Marine Benthic Algae
  12. Flora and Vegetation
  13. History of Rural Societies
  14. Sea Fishing Social Studies Group
  15. Discourse, Gender, Culture and Science

Research competitiveness in the Water Line

The research effort by the e-MTA Campus and the associated bodies in the field of water can be clearly seen from the following data. Firstly, the funding awarded to the UdG’s research groups in public tenders or through contracts and agreements with companies and institutions related to the field of water. In the 2006-09 period this accounted for 24% of the R&D&I funding obtained by the University of Girona. Secondly, the scientific production in this field is worth noting, as reflected in the international publications by researchers from the institutes and consolidated groups. Training in water matters through PhD programmes has accounted for 25% of the PhD theses read at the UdG in the last five years.

We should also point out the contributions from various professorships and research promotion and transfer units, all of which are very well connected to the local area:

  1. Professorship in Engineering, Systems and Water Processes (UdG-Empresa Bombas ESPA)
  2. Professorship in Mediterranean Coastal Ecosystems (UdG-Torroella de Montgrí Council)
  3. Professorship in Marine) Studies (UdG-Palamós Council)
  4. Professorship in Geography and Territorial Thinking (UdG, located in the city of Olot)
  5. The M. Àngels Anglada Territorial Heritage Professorship
  6. Sports and Physical Education Professorship
  7. The Martí Casals Medicine and Health in Rural Areas Professorship
  8. Historical Research Institute

In addition there are other institutions in the strategic group of this line, such as the following: the Scientific and Technological Park of the University of Girona, the Costa Brava Consortium, the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, Agbar (ADN – Cetaqua), the Water Platform,, and the Spanish Water Treatment Board.


Water as a focus for research in Catalonia

The National Agreement on Research and Innovation states that Catalonia is facing very significant challenges within the context of complex accelerated changes of a political, social, economic and environmental nature with a local and global dimension. The agreement is based on a principle: the foundations of the new model of social and economic progress for Catalonia are education, research and innovation, which have become top structural priorities in the political agenda (sic). The vision of Catalonia as an international centre of reference for research and innovation stems from this principle, which creates settings of excellence that attract, train and retain the best scientific talent and promote top level research in universities, hospitals and research centres.

The Catalan agreement has led to the research plan for the coming years (2010- 2013), which introduces an important new goal mentioned in section 1.1: research focus areas (i.e. challenges and subjects in which we want to achieve a leading position and one of  excellence) set by the Catalan government. One of these focus areas is precisely Water management and planning for sustainable use. This challenge forms the structure for the water line of research and the work carried out within such framework should clearly contribute to achieving it.

LFCA: Physics, Computing and Applications Line

The Physics, Computing and Applications Line is based on the scientific skills of four research institutes: The University Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Physics and Complex Systems (IFISC), a joint UIB-CSIC institute, the Institute of Applied Computing with Community Code (IAC3), an institute run by the UIB, the Institute of Computational Chemistry (IQC), and the Institute of IT and Applications (IIA) of the UdG. These, together with other competitive groups in the fields of physics, chemistry, mathematics and computing, provide a solid basis of scientific skills that can be applied to many different fields in which they stand out internationally in terms of excellence.

The basic research line at the IFISC concerns complex systems: non-linear statistical physics with specific applications in the following fields:

  1. Quantum Physics: Photons, electrons and information
  2. Non-linear optics
  3. Fluid, biofluid and geophysical fluid dynamics
  4. Non-linear biological physics
  5. Group social phenomena and dynamics

The IFISC, supervised by Professor Maxi San Miguel, awarded the Spanish Royal Physics Society Medal and spokesperson for the Spanish consortium under the FuturICT flagship project7, is the only CSIC institute involved in developing complex systems and it is an international reference for multidisciplinary and strategic research in the non-linear physics and complex systems field. This means its researchers can work on emerging problems by transferring methods and knowledge from different fields. The inter-disciplinary approach to different problems is reinforced by its collaboration with the associated Human Evolution and Cognition unit.

The quality of the IFISC’s researchers is proven by the 343 articles published in JCR journals in the period between 2003 and 2009. Among these, 1 Nature, 9 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), 29 Physics and 1 Science Review Letters (PRL) should be highlighted. The aggregate h parameter of its staff is 51. The amount of research funding obtained during the same period was approximately €5 million, 30% of which came from the EU. Proof of its capacity to attract international talent is the fact that 53% of those taking PhD degrees and 70% of the post-PhD researchers are not Spanish and that, from 2003 to 2009, 41 scientists from other countries stayed at the centre for periods of longer than one month.

The IFISC also has important computing infrastructures. Its Nuredduna computer cluster will soon be enlarged by the CSIC, which means that the institute will become part of the GRID-CSIC, coordinated by the Physics Institute of Cantabria (IFCA), and through this the researchers will be able to use 8000 CPUs with a storage capacity of 1000 TB. In July 2009, the opening of the University Institutes Building, financed by funds from the ERDF and the UIB, meant its facilities could be enlarged. The UIB is involved in the IFISC’s strategic research lines: quantum physics; non-linear optics and optoelectronic device dynamics; fluid, bio-fluid and geophysical fluid dynamics; biological physics and non-linear phenomena in ecology and physiology; Group social phenomena and dynamics. The IFISC is involved in research lines, such as tumoral process modelling, brain activity and neuronal mechanisms, which provide connections with the research work of the LFCA and the LAS.

The common denominator of the IAC3 Institute is research of excellence that involves developing advanced numeric codes to simulate equation in partial derivatives. These codes are shared by the various groups and especially applied to the following fields:

  1. Health (physiological simulations)
  2. Virtual or geo-referenced 3D environments (with applications for tourism)
  3. Astrophysics
  4. Relativity
  5. Image Processing

The IAC3 Institute conducts research of excellence with the common denominator being development of advanced numeric codes for simulation of equation systems in partial derivatives, which has 16 tenured researchers and 4 contracted researchers, 3 post-PhDs researchers and 8 scholarship holders, and aims for excellence in research. It is the only Spanish participant in the LIGO project for detecting gravitational waves8, the results of which were published in Nature in 2009, a journal that has also published articles by the Astrophysics (Solar Physics) group, another member of the IAC3 Institute. It also takes part in the GEO600 project, which has created a solid relationship with the Max Planck Gravitational Physics Institute in Hanover, which will also allow the future development of the International PhD School. Some PhDs from this group have joined top international research groups. One of these (Carlos Palenzuela) has just published an article in Science that was covered by CBC News. As proof of the quality of the research conducted at the IAC3, in 2009 the institute was working on 15 projects and there were 6 agreements, among which we should highlight various European projects, 2 Consolider projects (CPAN and MULTIDARK) and 2 agreements linked to CENIT projects of the CDTI (Ministry of Industry) and 40 articles were published in prestigious internationally renown journals.

The extensive research capacity resulting from the combination of the two institutes is supplemented by the IAC3 institute’s capacity to transfer knowledge at an international level. This has resulted in two patents being granted and collaboration with large companies in the aerospace, information technology and image processing sectors, such as Telefonica R&D, Deimos Space, Atos-Origin, DxO10 (France) and Thales Alenia Space9 (France). The link should also be mentioned between LFCA and the Food and Health Line, which was created due to the research line related to applying simulation techniques to healthcare. The IAC3 participates in a CENIT cardiovascular remodelling project, in collaboration with clinical centres and research bodies, which combines leading research in physics, mathematics, cardiology and patient data acquisition. This line is structured in en emerging field of convergence between physics, mathematics and medicine and is strongly supported by the European Commission with the name Virtual Physiological Human11. The IAC3 is an associate member belonging to the VPH network of excellence (VPH NoE).

The LPCA also has links with research on tourism through the CENIT Virtual Spain project (IAC3), which combines simulation technologies, satellite data, urban planning models and augmented reality applications for tourism.

The Institute of Computational Chemistry (IQC) is a university research institute that was set up in accordance with the Catalan Act 26/1984. It started operating in 1993 and was run until 2004 by Professor Ramón Carbó-Dorca. The Institute of Computational Chemistry is now an interdisciplinary unit involved in scientific and technical research in the field of theoretical and computational chemistry and the point where chemistry, mathematics and IT overlap.

The IQC consists of the following two research groups:

  1. The Molecular Quantum Engineering Group
  2. The Molecular Modelling and Quantum Mechanics Methodology Group

Its most important lines of research include the following:

  1. Quantum mechanical characterisation of linear and non-linear optical properties
  2. The effects of electrical fields on molecule structure and reactivity
  3. Application of molecular similarity to chemistry, pharmacology and toxicology
  4. (Q)SAR methodology study and development
  5. The mathematical basis of quantum chemistry
  6. Chemical reactivity and catalysis
  7. Electron delocalisation and aromaticity studies.
  8. Weak molecular interactions
  9. Photochemistry and load transfer processes

The IQC is carrying out intensive work on non-linear optics, which will facilitate collaboration with groups from the UIB. Work is being carried out at both the UIB and the UdG on weak molecular interactions with different approaches that could easily be complementary. The UIB and the UdG also share an interest in molecular aromaticity.

Contact points between the IQC and the IAC3 include the IQC’s methodological developments in the solution to Schrödinger’s equation.

The UdG’s calculation capacity comes in the form of several clusters in the Scientific and Technological Park, access to the CESCA (Catalan Supercomputing Centre), the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre projects, etc.

The IQC is one of the UdG’s most active research units and is one of the most productive theoretical chemistry institutes in Spain with more than 150 publications over the last three years. It has 27 tenured researchers, 9 projects (including 2 EU projects) and received €0.6 million in funding for competitive projects in 2009. With 63 articles in 2009, 50 in 2010 and 38 so far in 2011, the aggregate h index of its 677 ISI articles is 45. It is part of the Catalan government’s Theoretical and Computational Chemistry Reference Network. The research conducted by members of the IQC has been recognised on many occasions. Some of its members have received major distinctions such as the Monturiol, a Catalan government award, and the Antoni de Martí i Franquès, Sant Albert and ICREA Academia prizes. At a social level, the IQC was awarded the Gironí de l’Any prize in 2004. Among the articles published by the IQC researchers, four have achieved more than 150 citations and one (published in 1999) has already obtained more than 600 citations.

Researchers at the institute are currently coordinating two European projects and taking part in 6 National Plan projects. A major project is also being carried out in collaboration with the company LUCTA S.A. and the Leitat Technological centre is being developed for in-silico studies of the toxicity of chemical substances as part of the European Community’s REACH regulations.

The institute is also carrying out part of its research work in collaboration with Dr. Serena at the Dr. Trueta University Hospital. As a result, it is starting to aim its research potential towards the field of health, therefore it is linking up with another of this Campus’s advanced research lines.

Although the IQC has traditionally carried out computational research in molecular structure and reactivity, developing quantum mechanical methodology and contributing algorithmic and computational improvements, it has recently been closely linked to the QBIS group (UdG) supervised by Dr. Miquel Costas. The aim is to operate more strongly in the field of biomimetic catalysis, green chemistry and nanoscience based on organometallic compounds. In 2009, Dr. Costas received a Starting Grant from the European Research Council, and was awarded an ICREA Academia distinction by the Catalan Institution ICREA, which Dr. Miquel Solà at the IQC has also been awarded. Furthermore, in 2011 another researcher from the same group, Dr. Xavier Ribas, was awarded the same recognition (ICREA Academia) and another ERC Starting Grant. Therefore, the QBIS groups is consolidated as a nucleus of great excellence and with significant growth potential (it also takes part in a CONSOLIDER project), and along with the IQC groups, it is certainly one of the main research strengths of the UdG. Therefore, since 2010 the strategic association of the IQC and QBIS12 group is continuing its shared strategy and commitment to strengthen its research, knowledge transfer and facilities at the UdG’s Scientific and Technological Park.

The IQC has also actively promoted communication and scientific education in recent years, in this respect it recently created the Scientific Culture and Digital Communication Professorship (C4D UdG13). The aim of this professorship is to work on digital scientific communication and recreational, demonstrative and spectacular science to contribute to the public perception of chemistry and science, and to promote and lead some aspects of the web 2.0 revolution in the field of science.

The Institute of IT and Applications (IIiA) is a research institute at the University of Girona created in 1996. The IIiA is very active in both basic and industry-related research, as well as technology transfer in the field of Communication and Information Technologies.

The IIiA consists of the following 6 research groups:

  • Agents Research Lab (ARLab)
  • Broadband Communications and Distributed Systems (BCDS)
  • Vision by Computer and Robotics (VICOROB)
  • Control Engineering and Smart Systems (eXiT)
  • Graphics and image laboratory (GILab)
  • Modal Intervals and Control Engineering (MICE)

We should point out that three of these groups are part of the TECNIO network, while the other three are strong candidates to join the network next year. The institute has 137 tenured researchers taking part in 6 European projects. In addition to the EU funded projects, this institute is carrying out 36 national projects, the participation standing out in the CENIT ENERGOS – Technologies project for automated and smart management of the energy supply network in the future. The IIiA researchers obtained €2 million in funding for competitive projects in 2009 and 147 ISI articles were published in the 2006-09 period.

The six groups in the IIiA have been recognised, either individually or jointly, as consolidated research groups by the Autonomous Government of Catalonia. Furthermore its R&D is conducted on an international level in collaboration with prestigious centres such as Oxford University, Berkeley University, the MIT, the Max Planck Institut für Biologische Kybernetik and the National Centre of Scientific Research.

A large part of the IIiA’s research work is focussed on biomedical engineering (medical imaging, visualising tools, diagnostic tools for various types of cancer, control systems for developing artificial pancreas, disease risk prediction programmes, remote medical environments, etc.), therefore it is connected to the other advanced research line of this Campus.

As far as transfer is concerned, its current work involves 7 projects to apply its research to the community or industry. The IIiA is currently working on 33 agreements with various companies and organisations. Once again this demonstrates the strong connection between the institute’s research and its social economic surroundings. Regarding companies, MEDIAPRO, Lavinia and ALSTOM can be mentioned and for  institutions, the main Catalan public hospitals use visualisers and diagnostic support tools developed by the IIiA. In addition, the IIiA actively takes part in the TIC – Media de Girona Cluster, an ambitious project with the aim of promoting the audiovisual and multimedia sector in the region.

Regarding entrepreneurship, the researchers of the IIiA have set up ten spin-off companies  to commercially exploit their R&D results.

Regarding the other activation and dissemination actions, it is worth pointing out that the Sparus robot built by UdG students with the support of researchers from the Institute of IT and Applications won the European underwater robotics competition SAUC-E 2010 held in July 2010 in La Spezia, Italy.

Similarly, the IIiA researchers organise the following 3 master’s:

  • Vibot: Erasmus Mundus Masters in Vision and Robotics
  • EPCE: Joint European Masters in Environmental Process Control Engineering
  • MIIACS: Master’s in Industrial, Automatic, Computing and Systems Computer

In addition to the aforementioned institutes, and among the rest of the groups that take part in this field, the Visualization, Virtual Reality and Graphic Interaction Centre can be highlighted, a UdG-UPC joint group that includes a set of researchers with wide international recognition. This centre mainly works on procedural geometric modelling, simulation light transport, sustainable lighting, CAD for urban and architectural design, preservation of natural and cultural heritage, synthesis of surface detail images, computational geometry, visualisation and virtual reality.

Finally, the research lines in this field can be competed with those of the following research groups of excellence and competitive groups:

  1. Architecture and Behaviour of Communication and IT Systems (UIB)
  2. Analysis and Advanced Materials for Structural Design (UdG)
  3. Atomic, Molecular and Nuclear Physics (UIB)
  4. Physics of Materials (UIB)
  5. Electronic Engineering Group (UIB)
  6. The Materials and Thermodynamics Research Group (UdG)
  7. Electronics Systems Group (UIB)
  8. Interdisciplinary Physics (UIB)
  9. Solar Physics (UIB)
  10. Complex Systems Group (UdG)
  11. Telematic Engineering (UIB)
  12. Fuzzy Logic and Information Fusion (UIB)
  13. Relativity and Cosmology (UIB)
  14. Systems, Robotics and Vision (UIB)

Regarding the UdG professorships, the Lluís Santaló Mathematical Applications Professorship should be mentioned within this field.

LAS: Food and Health Line

IUNICSThe food and health line is based on the scientific skills of several university institutes and research centres such as the University Health Science Research Institute (IUNICS), the International Advanced Respiratory Medical Centre (CIMERA), the Girona Biomedical Research Institute (IdiBGi), which is the research centre associated with the Josep Trueta University Hospital and the Food and Agriculture Technology Institute (INTEA) and the Agro-Environmental and Water Economy Research Institute (INAGEA), as well as several competitive groups at the UIB (community nutrition and oxidative stress and agriculture and food engineering) and at the UdG (especially related to biomedical science). Its strong point is translational research and innovation in the field of health and nutrition. We should point out the strong presence in this field of the powerful Food & Agriculture Research & Technology Institute (IRTA) in Girona. In addition to the strong relationship that already exists between the UdG and IRTA, through the CENTA technology centre, the UdG and the IRTA are currently holding talks to set up a Food Safety Institute to materialise the UdG’s commitment to research into diet and health, which will certainly be one of the most important fields in the future.

IUNICS is a university Institute of the UIB in collaboration with the Regional Ministry of Health and Consumers. Some of its 30 research groups are based in the Institute Building of the UIB Campus and the rest work out of the Son Espases and Son Llàtzer hospitals. Its main objective is to promote and help obtain biomedical knowledge in order to transfer it to standard clinical practice. According to the Spanish Bio-Company Association, ASEBIO, which publishes the Spanish Red Biotech Pipeline, 38.5% of Spanish pharmaceuticals in the pre-clinical stage are from the Balearic Islands and 18.2% of Spanish companies conduct pre-clinical studies.

The main research lines of the IUNICS are as follows

  1. Infectious and Immunological Diseases
  2. Renal and Cardiovascular Diseases
  3. Neurosciences
  4. Nutrition
  5. Oncohematology

In 2008, its project and contract budget was €3,000,000 and it has published 140 international articles (339 in the three-year period between 2007 and 2009). The translational research conducted since it was founded has led to 14 patents being registered, all of which have been transferred to the productive sector, 4 spin-off companies being set up that, although they are located in ParcBit, have signed collaboration agreements so that they can use some of the UIB’s facilities, and a portfolio of 8 pharmaceutical products currently being developed.

The CIMERA (The International Advanced Respiratory Medical Centre) (Caubet-CIMERA Illes Balears Foundation). CIMERA is a non-profit making research foundation with the long-term goal of becoming a European reference centre for translational research in respiratory medicine. CIMERA has a special commitment to international collaborations and intends to recruit scientists from abroad.

Its mission is research in common respiratory illnesses, to transfer as soon as possible the results obtained to clinical practice in an efficient and reliable way. The strategic objectives of CIMERA are as follows:

  1. Developing research of excellence for better knowledge of the most common respiratory illnesses.
  2. Offering patients access to the latest advances in the diagnosis and treatment of the most common respiratory diseases, including those in an experimental phase of development.
  3. The transfer of technological developments of CIMERA to innovating companies.
  4. The cooperation between basic, clinical and epidemiological research (translational research) is the foundational basis of CIMERA.

We should highlight the work conducted in this line by groups of excellence not included in these institutes, in particular those related to the field of nutrigenomics, such as Professor Andreu Palou’s group, which coordinates the European BIOCLAMS project, and is involved in 2 of the 8 platforms of the nutrigenomics network of excellence (NUGO), 3 ingenuity initiative 2010 contracts and 2 that are part of the CENIT programme with the companies PULEVA-BIOTECH and BIOIBERICA.

The recent opening of the Son Espases  hospital, with an investment of €35 M per year for the next 29 years and which will become the hospital of reference  in the Autonomous Community, together with the future implementation of the Medicine Degree and the planned setting up of a new health research institute demonstrates the strategic interest of the health and nutrition line for the Autonomous Community of the Balearic Islands. The collaboration between the various groups and centres mentioned above is an adequate basis for strengthening training and research in this line and recruiting foreign researchers to promote the internationalisation of existing biotech companies.

The Girona Biomedical Research Institute (IdIBGi) was set up in July 2004. It was preceded by the Dr. Josep Trueta Private Foundation in 1995 and the Research Agency in 2000. Setting up the IdIBGi is a major commitment to the future of biomedical research in the Girona region. It  is  currently  made  up  of  the  most  well-established  groups  within  the  field  of biomedicine at the University of Girona and the University Hospital of Girona (HJT), the Image Diagnostics Institute (IDI), the Catalan Oncology Institute (ICO) and the Primary Care Institute (AP).  One  of  its  fundamental  objectives  is  to  promote  translational  research  with  better transfer of the scientific progress achieved in the prevention and treatment of the most prevalent health problems. This institute has recently been reincorporated to join the research centre network of the Autonomous Government of Catalonia (CERCA), which will mean a final thrust towards biomedical research in the Girona region. We should highlight the research group of Dr. Brugada  at the IdIBGI (The cardiovascular genetic centre). He is also the dean of the faculty of medicine at the UdG, due to his huge research potential (one of his projects has passed the first evaluation stage for Starting Grants) and his translational approach.

The strategic lines of the IdIBGi are Cardiovascular (genetic and epidemiology), Oncohematology, Neurosciences and Inflammation and Metabolism Research. In all these there are consolidated groups and other groups belonging to the Hospital or the UdG that are managing its research in these fields. In 2009, more than €2.5 M was obtained in revenue from research, including clinical trial revenue. In the same year, 173 indexed articles were published with an average impact factor of 4.4.

The Food  and  Agriculture  Technology  Institute (INTEA) is  a  research institute of the University  of  Girona  (UdG). The INTEA was set up on 30 May 1996 and focuses on technologies for producing raw materials for the food industry and processing them into food for human or animal consumption.

INTEA currently consists of the following 3 groups:

  1. Porcine reproduction biotechnology: Technosperm (the TECNIO network)
  2. Plant pathology (CIDSAV, the TECNIO network)
  3. Food technology

Due to their vast potential and transfer work, two of these groups have become centres belonging to the Catalan government’s TECNIO network. TechnoSperm is a University of Girona research, innovation and transfer centre that studies animal reproduction biotechnology. It is based in the university’s Scientific and Technological Park. TechnoSperm also belongs to the TECNIO network of the Autonomous Government of Catalonia. Meanwhile, the  main  purpose  of  the  Plant  Health  Innovation  and  Development  Centre (CIDSAV)  is  research,  transfer,  training  and  spreading  knowledge  related  to  plant  health, mainly in the field of Plant Pathology. The  CIDSAV  is  also  a  member  of  the  Catalan Government’s Food Technology Reference Centre (CERTA).

INTEA has a total of about 30 tenure researchers, who have taken part in 15 competitive projects, one of which is European (in the period 2008-2011), it obtained more than €800,000 in funding through transfer contracts in the same period and published more than 60 ISI articles.

These groups formed the embryo of the Girona Agrofood Campus, which was created by the University of Girona, Girona Provincial Council, the Mas Badia Foundation, the Catalan Government Department of Agriculture, Cattle-Breeding and Fisheries (Empordá  Agrarian  Training  School) and the Food & Agriculture Technology & Research (IRTA), with the fundamental aim of collaborating in all matters of shared interest and coordinating teaching and research activities in agrarian and food matters at all these institutions. The IRTA is a Catalan research institute for agrarian food matters and has centres throughout the whole of Catalonia, including several in Girona.

Teaching is provided at the Girona Food and Agriculture Campus ranging from intermediate training courses at the Empordá Agrarian Training School, run by the Food and Rural Action Department of the Catalan Government (formerly the Department of Agriculture, Cattle-Breeding and Fisheries), to undergraduate and postgrad studies at the University of Girona.

The research conducted by the various groups of the institutions members of the Campus is structured around food and agriculture fields from the point of view of both basic research and technological development. On the one hand, this allows the transfer and application of the results obtained, providing technical assistance to companies in the industry, which may also have access to the technical services infrastructure on the Campus and, on the other hand, advice and specialist training can be provided to all professionals who work in food and agriculture.

Lastly, and still within the sphere of the UdG, the Centre of New Food Processes and Technology (CENTA) should be mentioned in this section, a technological centre in which IRTA, the UdG, the Catalan Agency Promoting Innovation (ACC1Ó) and various companies in the sector are patrons. In this way, CENTA completed the value chain, being positioned nearer to the market and facilitating the connection between the knowledge generated at the university and companies’ needs.

In addition to the work of the groups belonging to the aforementioned institutes, the research lines are completed by the following research groups of excellence and competitive groups:

  1. Molecular and Cellular Biomedicine (UIB)
  2. Cancer Biochemistry (UdG)
  3. Biochemistry, Molecular biology, Nutrition and Nutrigenomics-Biotechnology (UIB)
  4. Biological Foundations of Behaviour and Mental Disorders (UIB)
  5. Human Genetics (UIB)
  6. Infection and Immunity (UIB)
  7. Agrifood Engineering (UIB)
  8. Protein Engineering (UdG)
  9. Organic Synthesis Product and Process Innovation Laboratory (LIPPSO)
  10. Cork Laboratory (UdG)
  11. Renal Lithiasis and Biomineralisation (UIB)
  12. Energetic Metabolism and Nutrition (UIB)
  13. Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (UdG)
  14. Neurodynamics and Clinical Psychology (UIB)
  15. Clinical Neuropsychology (UIB)
  16. Community Nutrition and Oxidative Stress (UIB)
  17. Plant Pathology (UdG)
  18. Health Psychology (UdG)
  19. Analytical and Environmental Chemistry
  20. Bioinorganic chemistry and Bioorganics (UIB)
  21. Supramolecular Chemistry (UIB)
  22. Molecular Reactivity and Pharmaceutical Design (UIB)
  23. Health and Health Care (UdG)

There are the following professorships at the UdG for promoting and disseminating research work:

  1. The Health Promotion Professorship
  2. The Occupational Health and Safety Professorship
  3. The Sports and Physical Education Professorship
  4. The Martí Casals Medicine and Health in Rural Areas Professorship
  5. The Cardiovascular Diseases Professorship


1 El País, 2/11/2009
2 El Mundo, 2009
3 COTEC report 2006
4 Understanding the processes of global change, biodiversity and evolution; improvement of knowledge in aspects of insular biodiversity; direct and indirect impact caused by human activities, for the purpose of contributing to development of management systems designed for the ecosystem
5 Tourism courses, distribution platform, mobility services, excellence in service through training, reference models in the key processes of the value chain and route optimisation.

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