The schools comprise one of the projects approved in the first meeting of the members of the Southern Catalonia Knowledge Hub Association held this Thursday, in which the projects to be developed in 2011 were discussed. These will be benchmark schools in the fields of chemistry, prehistory and archaeology and will be promoted in conjunction with national and international universities and research centres. The members of the association also agreed to the new organizational structure: URV lecturer Francesc Díaz as deputy chairperson and Doctor Jordi Cartanyà as the executive director will be responsible for leading this CEICS project.
The members of the Southern Catalonia Knowledge Hub Association approved the programming of projects that will get underway within the framework of the Campus of International Excellence Southern Catalonia. One of the priority actions agreed upon is the creation of the three field-specific doctoral schools, which will begin operations as of the 2012-13 academic year. One of the goals of the CEICS is to drive the generation of knowledge associated with master’s and doctorate degrees. To this end, doctoral schools will be set up in the fields of chemistry, prehistory and archaeology in which the members of the CEICS will participate in conjunction with other national and international universities and public research centres with which strategic agreements will be established. Next month the first international agreement will be signed with the benchmark Cluster of Excellence Unifying Concepts in Catalysis (UniCat) whose headquarters are in Berlin and with whom exchange programs, academic programs and joint research projects will be developed.
The doctoral schools are instruments that respond to one of the priorities of CEICS: to attract scientific, innovative and enterprising talent. It has been proved that regions with a lot of postgraduate and doctoral talent are the most advanced. One of the challenges of the project is the incorporation of doctors into the labour force, not only at the university level, but also in businesses and the public sector.
The creation of the doctoral schools is one of over 40 projects that will begin getting underway this year and which have been approved today in the first meeting of the Southern Catalonia Knowledge Hub Association. Other initiatives that were agreed upon at the meeting include the design of the –Omic Science Centre, orientated towards research in health and science and funded by the Innocampus program of the Ministry of Science and Innovation in which the forecasted investment is four million euros. This centre will offer R&D+i services to hospitals, universities and companies that require this technology and will allow the CEICS to generate more research results in the field of nutrition and health. -Omic sciences constitute the overall study of the thousands of genes, proteins and metabolites that make up an organism as well as the network of interactions inside cells during their lifecycles and between different types of cells.
Furthermore, the members of the association approved the organization of the First CEICS International Forum to be held next November and once a year thereafter. It will serve as a meeting point for all the stakeholders and members involved in the project in which internationally orientated activities will be held that are open to everyone. These activities might include meetings with Nobel prize-winners as well as the participation of company directors, researchers, political figures and students and will serve to bring the potential of this Knowledge Hub to the forefront. This first forum is to be held in November, exactly one year after the CEICS project was designated a European Regional Campus of International Excellence by the Spanish government.
In a context of economic crisis, these projects being promoted with the involvement of the core members of the CEICS set a course towards progress based on talent, knowledge and innovation and contribute to building an economic model for the region. The objectives and targets that were agreed upon today are possible because they primarily require a concerted effort and willingness combined with local-international cooperation.
In addition to the work plan, the organizational structure that will lead the project was also established. The association, presided over by the rector of the URV Francesc Xavier Grau, officially named the deputy chairperson, Francesc Díaz, and the executive director, Jordi Cartanyà, as the operational leaders of the project.
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