The activities carried out by Fundación Alfonso Martín Escudero since 1958 in fulfilment of the foundation’s purpose cover various fields, but are basically related to Research, Professional Training, and Watchdog Services for Institutions and Institutional Publications.
Fundación Alfonso Martín Escudero began its research activities in 1958, promoting projects in the field of natural science as part of the objectives that were set when the foundation was created. The aim is for the knowledge obtained to enable the practical application of results that contribute to the progress and well-being of Spanish society.
The early projects were fundamentally related to agriculture and cattle farming and focused on increasing the productivity of the pastures and forage of Galicia and improving foodstuffs for beef cattle. Accordingly, finance was provided for a project that began in 1958 under the title of “Improvement to the Productivity of the Pastures of Galicia”. It involved a team of researchers from the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (Higher Board of Scientific Research) of Santiago de Compostela and went on for 5 years.
Furthermore, in order to help professionals in the cattle farming sector, various dissemination programmes were implemented through the publication of cards that were distributed free of charge and explained the causes of certain common diseases that were very damaging for cows, oxen, sheep and goats in a language that was easily understood by the professionals in the sector. The cards also included recommendations for avoiding said pathologies and rules for improving cattle shed hygiene.
All these studies were developed in accordance with scientific progress and the projects were adapted to requirements as they appeared. This made it possible for the foundation to help projects that were in line with the research criteria set down by the scientific community. New action areas were assumed and the objectives included new approaches. Accordingly, agriculture and cattle farming were extended to aquaculture, the environment, foodstuff technology, energy resources, health-related sciences and also new technologies and innovations.
Attention was also given to researchers’ training requirements through the publication of scientific projects and the award of grants or finance for courses and conferences. This line of promoting research has provided finance for chairs and awarded research prizes.
The specific actions in research fall under the following areas:
Between 1993 and 2011, Fundación Alfonso Martín Escudero worked on research projects and provided all the financial aid for studies that contributed to the progress and development of our society. The areas of research in which work has been carried out are related to the following:
1. AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES: The projects in this area began in 1993.
2. MARINE SCIENCES: The foundation has made contributions to marine research since 1994.
3. ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES: Environmental research projects have been carried out since 1998.
4. HEALTH SCIENCES: Research projects in this area began in the year 2000.
5. TECHNOLOGY PROJECTS: Research currently focuses on the development of new technologies, which is why a new field has been set up for innovative projects.
In 1999, Fundación Alfonso Martín Escudero decided to provide aid for researcher training, enabling stays at foreign research or study centres. Accordingly, it launched the first edition of a grant scheme that was to mark the beginning of today’s research grants at universities or centres abroad, albeit true that it has varied slightly from one edition to the next.
The foundation has contributed to the creation of two university chairs between 2001 and 2004.
Between 1998 and 2006, the foundation awarded research prizes under the name of the Alfonso Martín Escudero Prize, of which there have been three editions, together with other prizes for training and the publication of research work. The prizes were biannual and were given for original, unpublished projects.
Fundación Alfonso Martín Escudero promotes courses and congresses in collaboration with universities and other institutions on the various subjects that are covered by the foundation’s purposes.
This area was started up in collaboration with the Complutense University as part of its summer university activities in El Escorial. Since it began, other courses have been held with the Colegio Libre de Eméritos. In 1998, Fundación Alfonso Martín Escudero and Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo started working together to hold courses and seminars with said university and contribute to knowledge and the development of scientific and socio-political studies, in which the foundation has showed particular interest.
Since 1998, in parallel with the Universal Expo in Lisbon, a debate forum was set up on marine issues and the decision was taken to participate in certain forums/congresses related to marine issues, especially in the area of fish farming.
PROFESSIONAL TRAINING GANTS
Fundación Alfonso Martín Escudero develops projects designed to help with professional specialisation and training to help individuals find employment and, where applicable, consolidate and improve their professional position.
Since the foundation was created, these grants have been provided in the following areas:
TRAINING IN NEW TECHNOLOGIES
TRAINING IN COORDINATION WITH THE BUSINESS SECTOR
Further progress was made through the inclusion of activities in the foundation’s purpose that bring more detailed knowledge about institutions. The activities took the form of an institutional watchdog service to promote projects by expert authors in current social, political, legal and institutional affairs.
Said projects have been published as books by the author since 2004 under the section of