Obra Social «la Caixa», which is one of trustees of the Fundación General CSIC, has contributed a million euros to the 2011 Proyectos Cero call for proposals on ageing. What makes the FGCSIC’s Proyectos Cero programme attractive to an institution like Obra Social «la Caixa»? Do you consider it [[destacasos]]an appropriate means of promoting and sponsoring R&D?
There is a natural convergence between the concerns of Obra Social «la Caixa» and the FGCSIC’s Proyectos Cero programme. Advancing knowledge to benefit people’s quality of life is one of our priorities. And, of the potential target groups, our focus on the well-being of elderly people is undoubtedly one of our hallmarks. What is more, we have a track record of working with the Fundación General CSIC and the experience has always been positive. Thus, the convergence of objectives means that joining forces produces synergies that enable us to multiply the outcomes.
Jaume Lanaspa. Executive Director of Obra Social «la Caixa» and Director of Fundación «la Caixa» / Photo: Obra Social «la Caixa».
The 2011 Proyectos Cero call for proposals was oriented towards studies on psychosocial and technological aspects of ageing. What prompted Obra Social «la Caixa» to give priority to this kind of topic?
Coming back to my answer to your previous question, for «la Caixa» elderly people have been a core group for the institution’s focus since its creation in 1904 as the Caja de Pensiones para la Vejez y de Ahorros —pension fund for old age and savings—. We promote active and healthy ageing based on elderly people’s full integration and participation in society. This being the case, In this interview Jaume Lanaspa describes how advancing knowledge to benefit people’s quality of life is one of the priorities of the institution he leads.their psychosocial well-being and adaptation to new social situations and realities are two fundamental goals for us. We like to say that we want old people to add years to their life by adding life to their years.
Can you give us your impressions on the five projects awarded funding: three of which involve technologies and two psychosocial studies? What are your expectations regarding the social benefits to be obtained from conducting this research?
I must admit that the expectations are very high and that all the projects strike me as very thought-provoking. For me the project led by Professor Joan Subirats, at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, stands out in particular, on account of its strong parallels with many of our projects. The title, “Active ageing, citizenship and participation: valuing aspirations, needs and strategies associated with independence and empowerment of older and new generations of elderly people in Spain,” highlights its solidity, transversality, quest for adaptation to today’s realities, and will for elderly people to form an active part of the construction of our society.
The make-up of each of the teams taking part in the projects is diverse in terms of both where the researchers are based and their areas of specialisation. Can you explain what underlies this apparent heterogeneity?
Indeed, apart from the points I have already mentioned, the selected projects address a diverse range of topics such as pensions, visual impairment, the application of home automation to cognitive training and using video games as tools for positive ageing. Properly managed, diversity is a virtue and has the potential to enrich any project. With this premise, Obra Social «la Caixa» is committed to multi-disciplinarity in many of its programmes. I think that heterogeneity will allow some projects to complement others, thereby enhancing their usefulness.
Are there any features of the call for proposals that you think could be improved upon for future editions? For example, in the philosophy, the topics chosen, the structure, the process of selection or evaluation of project proposals?
At Obra Social «la Caixa» we are very interested in channelling old people’s strength and desire for integration. Fortunately, people are reaching retirement age in ever better physical shape, and in a situation like today’s, the time, experience and willingness of elderly people to help meet social needs seems crucial. Knowing how to achieve this is one of our goals.
Apart from its activities in conjunction with Fundación General CSIC, Obra Social «la Caixa» has a significant number of programmes on ageing and on care for the elderly underway. Can you tell us a bit about the values and goals of these activities?
As I said, our initiatives basically aim to promote elderly people’s health and quality of life, contribute to maintaining their physical and mental capabilities, enabling them to participate in society and fostering their personal independence. Properly managed, diversity is a virtue and has the potential enrich any projectThese are the fundamental goals we pursue in active and healthy ageing and dependence-prevention programmes.
One of Obra Social «la Caixa»’s goals is to encourage a change in how society perceives older people. What are the main mechanisms you use to achieve this?
At “Obra Social «la Caixa» we aim to promote interaction between old people and citizens on all levels. Inter-generational activities are a good example of this, as they foster respect and coexistence. We also support the involvement of older people in training workshops aimed at groups with difficulties or at risk of exclusion, such as prison inmates, the disabled, or newcomers to Spain. These activities aim to highlight their strengths.
What aspects of the cooperation between Obra Social «la Caixa» and Fundación General CSIC would you highlight in the R&D field?
Rigour. Obra Social «la Caixa» is committed to complementarity as one of its basic principles of action. We believe that joining forces, allying ourselves with renowned associations and entities in various different areas of activity, is the best route to fruitful results. Our collaboration with Fundación General CSIC is an example of this.
Profile: Jaume Lanaspa
Jaume Lanaspa has an honours degree in Economics from the University of Barcelona and a PDE (executive development programme) from the IESE Business School in Barcelona. He has been a lecturer at the Barcelona Autonomous University and ESADE He began his career in 1967 at Banco Atlántico. In 1988 he was appointed CEO of Caixabank France, a subsidiary bank of «la Caixa». In 1995, he became CEO of Autopistas de Catalunya, S.A. (AUCAT) and in 2002, he took over the same position at Autopistas Concesionaria Española S.A (ACESA). In 2003 he joined «la Caixa» as Director of Human Resources, where he went on to become Executive Director for Human Resources and Internal Communications, and then Executive Director for Personnel and Corporate Reputation.
In January 2008 he was appointed Executive Director of Obra Social «la Caixa» and Director of Fundación
There are no comments
select * from comentarios where txtTabla='entrevistas' and numId='23' and cmsEstado='1' order by fehFecha desc limit 0,5