King Felipe VI calls to “attract and retain scientific and innovative talent” to have more “strategic autonomy”


King Felipe VI thanked the winners of the Rei Jaume I Awards for their effort and commitment to science and innovation, “following in the footsteps” of Professor Santiago Grisolía, and vindicated the need to “attract and retain scientific and innovative talent ” for Spain to be a country “more internationally competitive and with greater strategic autonomy”.

This was pronounced during his speech at the Rei Jaume I 2022 Awards ceremony, which was held this Friday at the Lonja de los Mercaderes de València. The act has also had the participation of the ‘president’ of the Generalitat, Ximo Puig; the mayor of Valencia, Joan Ribó, and the vice president of the awards foundation, Vicente Boluda, as well as the presence of the Kings and the Minister of Science, Diana Morant, among other authorities.

During the ceremony, the awards were presented to the winners in six categories: Rei Jaume I Basic Research Award to Jesús María Sanz Serna; Rei Jaume I Economy Award to Marta Reynal-Querol; Rei Jaume I Medical Research Award to Antonio M. de Lacy Fortuny; Rei Jaume I Environmental Protection Award to Emilio Chuvieco Salinero; Rei Jaume I Award for New Technologies to Montserrat Calleja Gómez, and Rei Jaume I Award for Entrepreneur to Ángela Pérez Pérez.

The King began his speech with an “emotional memory full of affection” towards the recently deceased “universal Valencian”, Professor Santiago Grisolía, and evoking his relationship with him and his career. He has pointed out that each scientific discovery “lays the foundations for the next discovery towards the noble goal of understanding the world around us, which is the premise to be able to change it and find solutions that improve people’s lives.”


To “complete this collective marathon”, Felipe VI pointed out that “the firm support of an entire country is needed, the trust of society and a close connection with companies and the most entrepreneurial minds”. In this sense, it has valued that during its 34 editions, the Rei Jaume I Awards have recognized nearly a hundred “exemplary and essential people for our society” to whom tribute is paid as “bearers of hope and future”. .

After listing some of the contributions of this year’s winners and congratulating them, he stressed that “everyone deserves the applause and support of our country.”


Felipe VI has also highlighted that a little over a century ago, exactly on November 25, Albert Einstein “revolutionized the compression of the universe, time and space” with the Theory of Relativity and “continued the path” of the Valencian scientist , Jerónimo Muñoz, “whose astronomical observations
questioned, for the first time, the immutable nature of heaven upheld by Aristotle”. Both “had one thing in common: their humanistic spirit”, stressed the monarch, who emphasized that “Einstein claimed the need for truth and Justice. Love and will were for him the great driving forces of the world. And, above his talent, he himself highlighted creative imagination as his main skill “. A quality that” also characterized the Nobel Prize winner Santiago Ramón y Cajal “.

“This creativity and critical thinking, so present in the Humanities and Social Sciences, are today essential skills to face this digital era in which accelerated scientific and technological progress is transforming our lives at dizzying speed. Today we need, not there is no doubt, that bridge between disciplines, that Renaissance spirit,” he said.

In this sense, the King has indicated that in this Santiago Ramón y Cajal Research Year 2022 not only his figure is vindicated but also the relevance of “Science to respond to the great contemporary challenges” In the context of this event, he has assured that “attracting and retaining scientific and innovative talent continues to be a priority, as it will be essential for our country to be more competitive internationally and with greater strategic autonomy”.

Finally, he has shown his gratitude to all the winners and to those people, institutions and companies that “following in the footsteps of our admired professor” Santiago Grisolía continue “fully committed to these awards and to science and innovation, here in Valencia and throughout Spain “.


For his part, the vice-president of the Awards Foundation, Vicente Boluda, has claimed in his speech the “need to reach a great pact for science” so that, “regardless of the times set by legislatures and processes elections, we all know that Spain is seriously and decisively committed to our scientists and to the interaction between science and business”. For this, he has asked, “in honor of the memory of Santiago Grisolía, that all political parties put aside their particular interests.”

Boluda has also claimed that “resources” for research “should be increased by seeking mechanisms that encourage the participation of the private sector, as the world’s leading countries and territories in research and innovation do.” Likewise, she has defended that, “when talking about science, research and entrepreneurship”, one must “eradicate short-term thinking and replace it with the design of strategies for the medium and long term”

Similarly, he has called for “public-private alignment” and “an exercise in reflection and deep action” because public administrations “should be there and work for those administered, and not the other way around”. “We must aspire for our public officials to trust their citizens, researchers, scientists and entrepreneurs more, and focus on laying the foundations so that their work can be carried out without obstacles”, he stated, before also asking that “more vocations be generated ” so that there is “a greater base of women and men of science” and “more and better companies”.

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King Felipe VI calls to “attract and retain scientific and innovative talent” to have more “strategic autonomy”