Rafael Rodrigo, president of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) and of the Fundación General CSIC (FGCSIC), and Emilio Botín, president of Banco Santander, today awarded the first funding under the Proyectos Cero Threatened Species programme at a ceremony held in the CSIC’s main auditorium.
The event was opened with a speech by Javier Rey, Director of the Fundación General CSIC, who outlined the foundation’s goals and its strategic lines, one of which addresses the issue of threatened species. He highlighted the Foundation’s activities and in particular its Proyectos Cero call for project proposals on ageing, and presented the special issue of the Foundation’s journal Lychnos
on threatened species.
Next, Enrique Macpherson, coordinator of the evaluation panel for the call for proposals, gave a talk entitled "Entre el deseo de salvar al mundo y el deseo de saborear el mundo" (Between the desire to save the world and the desire to savour the world) in which he made a number of interesting points about the sea and marine biodiversity.
The final part of the session was devoted to a presentation on each of the projects receiving funding, and the principal investigators of each project were given their official award documentation by Emilio Botín and Rafael Rodrigo. The winners were Lluís Brotons (Centre Tecnològic Forestal de Catalunya), Pablo Vargas (Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid), José Templado (Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales), José Antonio Godoy (Estación Biológica de Doñana) and Jaime Bosch (Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales). A video was then shown giving information about each of the projects.
Emilio Botín highlighted the importance of the funded projects and announced that Banco Santander intended to continue backing the Proyectos Cero initiative beyond the end of the current round of projects.
The event was closed by Rafael Rodrigo, who said that "the Proyectos Cero initiative is a driver of knowledge transfer and a focal point for convergence between public research and the private sector."