Spain: Prince and Princess of Asturias Present Iberdrola Energy and Environment Studies Scholarships
The Prince and Princess of Asturias have hosted in Madrid the award ceremony of the Fundacion IBERDROLA scholarships for students and young researchers, granted every year through different programmes.
The event was also attended by the Minister of Industry, Tourism and Trade, Jose Manuel Soria, the Chairman of IBERDROLA, Ignacio Galan, and the Chairman of the Fundacion IBERDROLA, Manuel Marin.
During his speech, Ignacio Galan, founding trustee of the Fundacion, emphasized the role played by large companies, such as IBERDROLA, in promoting labour market integration of future generations. As part of its commitment to society, the Group incorporated 1,900 young professionals to its workforce last year.
Moreover, a total of 800 trainees have had the opportunity to do an internship at the Company or have undertaken postgraduate or doctorate studies at international universities.
IBERDROLA Chairman stressed the importance of the Company’s employee development programme, as demonstrated by more than 1.2 million hours of training provided last year, representing more than 40 hours of training per employee. As a result, more than 1,500 employees have been promoted to positions of greater responsibility within the Group.
The Company´s commitment to knowledge also highlights its drive for innovation and technological development. In 2011, the Group allocated €140 million towards various R&D projects, thus placing IBERDROLA among the largest research investors in the European industry.
Energy sector reform
Ignacio Galan highlighted that the Company´s commitment towards knowledge, innovation and international training of future generations helps reinforce Spain´s image.
In this respect, Galan stated that “the efforts we are making in order to improve our country´s image in various areas, like sports with the recent victory of Spain’s National Football Team at the Euro 2012, should be matched by initiatives in other fields such as energy, where we need to ensure that Spain is perceived as a more stable and predictable country.”
Therefore, he urges to strengthen security and transparency and “energy market reform to ensure economic sustainability –as it is being done in other areas of the Spanish economy– targeting those factors which have led to the current situation, and not those which have not caused it, that nonetheless still have to bear the consequences of such planning errors.”
The number of scholarships grows by 23%
This year, Fundacion IBERDROLA has granted 59 scholarships for the 2012-2013 academic year, an increase of 23% over the previous edition. More than 1,000 candidates have entered the three different calls for grants carried out by the foundation.
The first call was for energy and environment postgraduate studies in leading universities in Spain, UK and US. Fundacion IBERDROLA covers enrollment fees and a monthly allowance of $2,100 or 1,200 euro/pounds depending on the chosen country.
The second call for scholarships, named “Energy for Research”, is for advancing research in the field of energy and climate change. On this occasion, 15 young researches will benefit of an aid package of €20,000 per project for one year.
Under the partnership agreement signed between Fundacion IBERDROLA and the Prado Museum, one art conservation graduate will complete training at the Prado restoration workshop for a year. Moreover, the foundation has extended the two scholarships granted last year with an allowance of €15,000 each.
Offshore WIND staff, July 3, 2012; Image: Iberdrola