Last 21 May 2012, the Consortium Campus Iberus was constituted with the University of Zaragoza, the University of Lleida and the Public University of Navarra as members. This is a very relevant milestone in itself since it means the launch of the activities of the management structure with its own legal capacity. It is most relevant, however, for what it means for the consolidation of a project, already a reality, which has become a fundamental instrument for the development of the university system in its area of operation, the Ebro Valley, and particularly of the science, technology and innovation system. Specialization, excellence and, above all, the aggregation of capabilities to improve international competitiveness are the pillars of this Campus, and are a fundamental part of our vision for the Campus and for the Spanish University System as a whole.
Universities have always been very mindful of their social responsibility in the answers they provide to their threefold mission: teaching, research and transfer and social commitment, but in these economically difficult times, they must be even more aware of their key role in improving the lives of our fellow citizens. They will better fulfill that role by improving their capacity to generate and disseminate knowledge and by developing University’s third mission: the transfer of results in a socially responsible way.
To achieve these goals, we need to reduce the dispersal of capabilities, which is often a problem in the Spanish University System. For this reason, it is necessary to promote specialization and the aggregation of capabilities in the campuses.
On the other hand, the promotion of these values of Campus Iberus, must be complemented by actions aimed at stimulating the active participation of other public and private elements of the University System in the development of research and implementation of innovation. The objective is twofold: first to encourage high quality research that generates knowledge and transfer; secondly to improve productivity and competitiveness, the knowledge society and social well-being based on the establishment of an innovation and entrepreneurial culture.
Excellence is not exclusive a priori. What excellence means, rather, is that only a few can achieve it, however, all have a legitimate aspiration to reach it and their success will depend in great measure on the decisions taken along the way.
These decisions have to do, in the case of Campus Iberus, with us really believing in the principles of aggregation of capabilities, internationalization and incentivization of the best, the latter combined with measures to give everyone the chance to aspire to be among the best. These decisions will undoubtedly help increase Campus Iberus’ universities cardinal contribution to research, their presence in outstanding international publications and the attraction of international talent, thus closing a virtuous circle that will take our system to a new period of development.
Campus Iberus is a new opportunity to advance towards the objectives set out in the strategy for the modernization of universities, the improvement of our scientific output, and, in the mid and long term, towards the increase of our universities’ ability to move forward, acting as a driving force that combines the power of the four universities individually considered, to overcome our current situation.
As President of the Consortium Campus Iberus, I would like to thank the four universities for the opportunity they have given me to contribute to the reflection, planning and decision making activities they carry out within the Campus of International Excellence Programme, all of which are done in a socially responsible way to give the best answer to society’s demands. I would like to give special thanks to the Rectors, Presidents of the Social Councils and the rest of the members of the Board of Trustees. My gratitude also goes to the governments of the autonomous communities where the universities are located. I would like to congratulate all of them on the achievements so far.
I would like to encourage the Campus Iberus university community to participate in the effective integration of the university space and activity into its surroundings, thus increasing its contribution to economic and social progress.
I would also like to urge businesses and institutions, other than universities, but who have expressed their will to aggregate their capacities to them, to help Campus Iberus in its bid to increase the well-being and progress for all.
I would like to finish by making an appeal to all to overcome the current economic limitations with great doses of enthusiasm and effort so that, together, we can make the four universities be better and gain society’s recognition for it.
Our motto is:
Felipe Pétriz Calvo
President of the Consortium