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g. Participation in the sustainable economic model

The Sustainable Economy Act (hereinafter referred to as the LES), which was approved on 4 March 2011, defines this as a growth pattern that reconciles economic, social and environmental development in a productive and competitive economy to promote quality employment, equal opportunities and social cohesion, while ensuring the environment is protected and natural resources are used rationally so as to meet the needs of present generations without compromising future generations’ being able to meet their own needs (article 2 of the LES)1.

economic sustainable modelSustainable Economy Strategy is an ambitious and demanding reform programme, which places even greater priority on increasing investment in research, development and innovation, or promoting activities related to clean forms of energy and energy saving. All of the legislative initiatives are intended to bring about a new kind of growth, which is balanced, lasting and sustainable. It requires promotion of companies’ innovating capacity, but also extends and improves the quality of education and promotes further education.

 

The LES assigns universities a crucial role in progress towards sustainability, specifically in the following fields involving sustainability: (article 3, Principles inspiring action in this field):

  1. Improving competition,
  2. Stable public finances,
  3. Promoting companies’ capacity for innovation,
  4. Energy saving and efficient use,
  5. Promoting clean energy, reducing emissions and effective waste treatment,
  6. Rationalisation of housing construction
  7. Extending and improving the quality of education and promoting further education.
  8. Strengthening and guaranteeing the welfare state

The university, as an autonomous, democratic, essential and creative institution, undertakes its social commitment and promotes the democratisation of learning, knowledge and culture, in constant dialogue with society. This means we can define and interpret action in the public interest; offering academic, scientific and technological development and interaction with the government and different social and socially-productive players. Therefore, the University can clearly contribute to this and the tool to achieve it is the CEI and, in our case, the e-MTA Campus.

Higher education institutions are renewing their institutional and academic efforts, based on that expressed at the Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean Conference (Cartagena of the West Indies, 2008) and at the World Conference on Higher Education (Paris, 2009): The university must effectively contribute to overcoming any kind of exclusion, marginalisation and poverty, with the firm conviction that it is only possible to achieve sustainable human development if an all-encompassing society is built with full social cohesion.

In addition to the principles that should inspire our universities to contribute to sustainable economy, just like any organisation and public authority (such as budgetary sustainability, efficient public contracting and environmental sustainability), the e-MTA Campus can reinforce and make these sustainable economic principles effective within the scope of its actions.

The LES sets out specific objectives and articles concerning universities:

  1. Objectives concerning universities (article 60),
  2. University training and sustainable economy (article 61),
  3. Research and transfer of technology (article 64),
  4. Science and innovation (arts. 53 to 56), and
  5. Campus of Excellence and associations (arts. 62 and 63).

Within the scope of the target set in articles 62 and 63 of the LES to promote the university’s competition by means of other private and public agents or players joining the Universities, the institutions that take part in this project have a long history of work inspired by the principles mentioned above, which cover the contents of the articles, as explained below in the section on the current situation.  The e-MTA Campus’ proposal is completely immersed in the sustainable economy strategy. The e-MTA Campus, and its specialised fields, are directly related to the Sustainable Economy Strategy Objectives, and the action proposed is directly related to many of the articles cited from the LES.

Furthermore, the e-MTA Campus project has two transversal focal points that are directly involved in these aspects:

e-Sustainability: this focal point concerns the creation and transfer of knowledge to respond to some of the main international challenges posed in terms of sustainable development in the fields of tourism and water by promoting the Lines of Specialisation on which the Innovation Ecosystems are based.

The improvement of knowledge about tourist systems is of vital importance to maintain and promote a key sector in the economy and to protect and conserve the environment where it is developed thereby maintaining its value and tourist appeal. Similarly, water, as the origin of the cycle, implies a natural asset, and therefore understanding how it functions is essential so that it can be protected and exploited responsibly

e- Employability: this focal point concerns boosting potential job creation in industries linked to services and new technologies for tourism and water.

In fact, both sectors have traditionally been fundamental pillars for the economic activity and GDP of the country and its future development, through innovation and application of new technologies and know-how, make them emerging sectors with huge potential for creating skilled jobs.

By generating and transferring new knowledge, the e-MTA Campus must lead to promotion of new activities being created and jobs in both strategic sectors.

 

1 The Sustainable Economy Act 2/2011 of 4 March

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

Universitat de les Illes Balears ⋅ Ctra. de Valldemossa, km 7.5 ⋅ Palma ⋅ 07122 Illes Balears ⋅ Tel: +34 971 173 000
Universitat de Girona - Campus e-MTA ⋅ Parc Científic i Tecnològic, Edifici Casademont ⋅ C. Pic de Peguera, 15, ⋅ 17003 Girona Tel. 972 419 678
CSIC. Serrano, 117 ⋅ 28006 Madrid ⋅ Tel: +34 914 113 077
Institut Català de Recerca de l’Aigua (ICRA)Edifici H2O - Parc Científic i Tecnològic de la Universitat de Girona. Emili Grahit 101- 17003 Girona

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