Cetaqua, Water Technology Centre, received the 2016 Public-private Partnership National Research and Innovation Award, which is given by the government of the Generalitat of Catalonia and the Catalan Foundation for Research and Innovation (FCRI). The awards ceremony took place yesterday in the Teatre Nacional de Catalunya, in the presence of the President of the Generalitat of Catalonia. Carles Puigdemont presented the award to the representatives of the centre's three trustees: Angel Simón, Executive Chairman of Agbar; José Ramón Urquijo, Vice-President for Organizations and Institutional Relations of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), and Enric Fossas, Rector of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC).
Cetaqua is the technology centre created in 2007 by Aigües de Barcelona, the CSIC and the UPC, with a pioneering public-private partnership model in the water sector. The aim was to bring the world of science closer to the business world, developing an innovation which would generate a positive impact on society and the environment in the sphere of the water cycle.
Angel Simón stresses that “Our commitment to innovation has been crucial, and after just 10 years Cetaqua is considered to be a European benchmark in the world of water thanks to the alliance with the UPC and the CSIC”. Cetaqua has moreover “contributed to the international influence of Barcelona and its metropolitan area, helping them to be seen as a technological benchmark (in water) in Europe”, he added.
Cetaqua's Director General, Carlos Montero, explained that “Cetaqua's characteristics make it a unique centre in the sphere of water in Spain, as it integrates the administration, universities and business: it is an organizational concept which seeks to promote the transfer of results from the scientific world to society in the shortest possible time in order to meet the need for optimal resource management”. The centre's research revolves around three main spheres: Water resource management and reuse, Sustainability and Water 4.0.
Cetaqua now has over 70 collaborators, of whom more than 20 have PhDs, and 7 scientific-technical advisers from prestigious universities. It has a global portfolio of over 300 projects, of which a large part are collaborative projects on which it has worked with national and European centres and universities.
The success of this collaborative model is also reflected in the creation of other independent foundations in Galicia, Andalusia and Chile, which have chosen to follow the same structure: a private company (from the Agbar group), the CSIC and the benchmark local technical university as trustees.