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De esquerra a dreta: Lluís Ferrer, Carlos Martínez, Jordi Marquet i Josep Tarragó.

On 19 October, the UAB Rectorate Building held the inauguration of UAB's science and technology park, PRAUB. The ceremony was attended by José Montilla, President of the Catalan Government, and main representatives of the participating organisations: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC), and Institute for Agro-Food Research and Technology (IRTA). The UAB Research Park Foundation will be in charge of managing the Park. Jordi Marquet, UAB Vice Rector for Strategic Projects, will be the Foundation's director.

PRUAB was created specially as a basic tool for three organisations, leaders in research: the UAB, the CSIC and the Institute for Agro-Food Research and Technology (IRTA). The main objective of the science and technology park is to boost the transfer of research to businesses and strengthen the science and technology services found within the Park. The name itself is a reflection of the close ties between the Park and the UAB and its university campus.

In addition to UAB departments and research groups, the Park includes research institutes and centres, business incubators and R&D departments, and science and technology services located on the university campus and at the Torre Marimon Farms of Caldes de Montbui. Some of the most emblematic centres are the Catalan Institute of Nanotechnology (GdC-CSIC-UAB), the Agricultural Genomics Research Centre-CRAG (IRTA-CSIC-UAB) and the Eureka building, a joint collaboration of the UAB and the Zona Franca Consortium. All three centres are now in the process of being built.

The management and development of the Park will be in the hands of the UAB Research Park Foundation. The President of the Foundation is UAB Rector Lluís Ferrer,with Carlos Martínez, CSIC President, and Josep Tarragó, IRTA Director, as joint Vice Presidents. The Foundation will be directed by Jordi Marquet, UAB Vice Rector for Strategic Projects.

The official launch of the Park and the PRUAB Foundation provides a visible structure to an already existent reality formed by the university and the research centres it collaborates with. In fact, PRUAB came into being in the 1980s, when the first research centres belonging to the UAB and other collaborating organisations began to be built on the Bellaterra campus.

Since then, the UAB has become the backbone that connects and provides a synergy for institutions and businesses located on the UAB campus and the Torre Marimon Farms in Caldes de Montbui, or others found throughout the province of Barcelona, all of which make up the Esfera UAB.

The UAB Research Park includes thirty research centres and institutes and over 4,000 researchers. Sixty patents were registered in 2006. The resources generated by the Park in that same year amounted to a value of 68 million euros (45 million from institutional research projects and 23 million from research contracts with businesses.)

Institutional Event

The institutional event was held at the conference hall of the Rectorate Building, with speeches delivered by  Jordi Marquet, Director of PRUAB; Carlos Martínez, President of the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC); Miguel Angel Quintanilla, Secretary of Universities for the Ministry of Education and Science; and Lluís Ferrer, Rector of the UAB and President of the PRUAB Foundation. The closing speech was given by José Montilla, President of the Generalitat.

Also present at the inauguration were Josep Huguet, Minister of Innovation, Universities and Enterprise of the Generalitat; Joaquim Llena, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Action of the Generalitat; and Antoni Morral, Mayor of Cerdanyola del Vallès.

The second part of the ceremony was held in the area located next to the UAB Columns, where the Agricultural Genomics Research Centre (CRAG) will be built. Representatives, politicians and others linked to UAB's science and technology park took part in planting a tree to symbolise the origin and future of both CRAG and PRUAB.

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