The Catalan Minister of Research and Universities, Gemma Geis, met with members of the Government and the UIB to strengthen ties and set common objectives.
The Catalan Minister of Research and Universities, Gemma Geis, met this Thursday with members of the Government of the Balearic Islands to explore avenues of collaboration in the areas of research, health and university policy.
Geis first held a meeting with Agustina Vilaret, regional secretary for University, Research and Language Policy, and Josep Lluís Pons, director-general of University Policy and Research. Xavier Quinquillà, Director General of Territorial and Social Impact of Knowledge of the Generalitat de Catalunya, also attended the meeting.
At the meeting, they discussed ways of collaboration that can be established between the Balearic Islands and Catalonia in the field of university and research. Some of the initiatives proposed include establishing a joint framework in the field of marine sciences and technologies; strengthening the Xarxa Vives and the links between Catalan-speaking universities with a new student exchange programme; and reinforcing alliances between the UIB and the Principality’s university system in terms of teaching, research and transfer.
The Balearic Islands, Catalonia and the Valencian Country are currently participating in the Complementary Astrophysics Plan, a project of advanced technologies for the exploration of the universe and its components.
Afterwards, the four travelled to the Balearic Islands Health Research Institute (IdiSBa) where they were accompanied by the Regional Minister for Health and Consumer Affairs, Patricia Gómez; the Director-General for Health Research, Training and Accreditation, Asunción Sánchez; and the scientific director of IdISBa, Miquel Fiol. Geis was able to see first-hand the scientific activity carried out by several research groups.
During the tour they were able to meet Diego Marzese, researcher of the Cancer Cell Biology group; Emilia Amengual, researcher of the Health Genomics group; Antònia Obrador, a researcher in charge of the Advanced Therapies and Biomarkers in Clinical Oncology group, and Victoria Cano, head of the Biobank Platform.
Right after, Geis, Vilaret, Quinquilla and Pons visited the UIB where they were received by the rector, Jaume Carot, and the vice-rector for Science Policy and Research, Víctor Homar. The meeting served to strengthen ties and project a region of knowledge, as well as to strengthen relations in the field of research. The aim is also to work to promote an exchange programme to encourage maximum interaction between students and teaching staff, through a facilitating framework with funding. Likewise, the aim is to strengthen the Xarxa Vives, currently chaired by the Rector of the UIB.
The regional secretary, Agustina Vilaret, assessed the conference, stating that “we have a long way to go together with Catalonia; beyond sharing language and culture, we have interests and potential in the field of university and research and, especially, in the study of the Mediterranean”. Vilaret stated that “the Generalitat has, in the Balearic Islands, an ally to move forward together towards a more knowledge-based social and economic model”.
For her part, the Minister of the Generalitat, Gemma Geis, expressed the “desire to establish a stable framework of collaboration between the Catalan and Balearic governments with the intention of establishing bilateral agreements between the respective knowledge systems”. Geis highlighted the “deep linguistic and cultural ties that we share with the Balearic Islands and which are also the foundations of the Xarxa Vives, which brings together all the Catalan-speaking universities”.
In the afternoon, the representatives of the two governments will visit the Mediterranean Institute of Advanced Studies (IMEDEA), where they will be received by its director, Gotzon Basterretxea, to learn about its activities and study possible avenues of collaboration.