VALUES OF THE FOUNDATION
The presiding values of the BBVA Foundation are scientific objectivity and independence in decision making, innovation, the pursuit of excellence and an accent on the horizontal and global issues of the day.
- Promote knowledge as the most effective means to address the challenges facing contemporary society (environmental protection, sustainable development, healthcare, demographic change, globalization, social integration and innovation at the service of expanding opportunities for all members of society). The BBVA Foundation sees knowledge as the cornerstone of all its activities, aware that the main obstacle to solving today's problems is a failure to detect and understand their causes.
- Open new spaces for encounter between the worlds of research and decision making, in both the public and the private domain.
- Foster interdisciplinary research on the emerging issues of the 21st century, which express the concerns and aspirations of our society and may determine its future course.
- Ensure that the results of the research work and innovative projects supported by the BBVA Foundation are relayed directly to society, in a proactive manner, and to this end enlarge the channels and media through which its activities are publicized (in print publications or the electronic space). The fruits of research can thus be placed at the disposal of the wider public.
- Address the global issues - transcending national boundaries - which confront the globalized society of our times.
- Develop a model of activity which is sensitive to the opportunities yielded by new information and communication technologies.
BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards
The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards recognize world-class research and cultural creation, prizing contributions of broad impact for their originality and theoretical significance. The name of the scheme is intended to encapsulate both research work that successfully enlarges the scope of our current knowledge – pushing forward the frontiers of the known world – and the meeting and overlap of disciplines. These international awards take in eight categories: Basic Sciences (Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics); Biology and Biomedicine; Climate Change; Ecology and Conservation Biology; Information and Communication Technologies; Economics, Finance and Management; Humanities and Social Sciences; Music and Opera. Established in 2008, the awards are decided annually by fully independent juries, and have secured a place among the world’s foremost award families.
Leonardo Grants for Researchers and Cultural Creators
The Leonardo scheme supports individuals with compelling and transformative ideas in a spectrum of areas ranging from physics and mathematics to literary creation by way of biomedicine, information and communication technologies, economics or legal and social sciences. Grants are aimed at researchers and creative practitioners in the 30-45 age range driven by radical curiosity and with the ability to integrate the language and tools of other disciplinary fields to develop innovative approaches to complex questions. The grants draw their name and inspiration from Leonardo da Vinci, the Florentine genius whose legacy reflects both his passion for science and engineering and his immense artistic talent. Grant holders enjoy ample discretion in their use of funds, to be devoted to projects of between 6 and 18 months’ duration.
The BBVA Foundation honors outstanding contributions of world rank through the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Basic Sciences. It also promotes investigation through its Leonardo Grants, supporting research projects in the three areas of Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. The best knowledge in basic sciences is relayed to the public through annual lecture series such as “Science of the Cosmos. Science in the Cosmos,” on investigative frontiers in astrophysics, or the Particle Physics Series co-organized with CERN, exploring the latest advances in this domain.
In parallel, the Foundation supports scientific encounters of excellence in basic research fields, like the International Summer School of the Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales Nicolás Cabrera (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid), which facilitate knowledge sharing between researchers and postdocs from all around the world.
Public recognition of research in Spain is conferred through two families of awards: in physics, the Premios Real Sociedad Española de Física-Fundación BBVA and, in mathematics, the Premios de Investigación Matemática Vicent Caselles Real Sociedad Matemática Española-Fundación BBVA.
The focus in this area is Ecology and Conservation Biology, the aim being to place scientific knowledge at the service of conserving biodiversity in all its forms (species, habitats and ecosystems), with particular attention to Spain and Latin America.
The BBVA Foundation Awards for Biodiversity Conservation recognize salient actions furthering environmental protection and awareness. The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Ecology and Conservation Biology distinguishes researchers who have moved beyond the established paradigms in this area, on more than one occasion opening up entirely new fields; and the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Climate Change honors fundamental contributions in understanding and confronting this global challenge of the 21st century.
The Leonardo Grants allow researchers at the intermediate career stage to execute highly innovative projects in Environmental and Earth Sciences, while the BBVA Foundation Grants for Research Teams in Ecology and Conservation Ecology support projects to develop ecological strategies of excellence. Finally, the BBVA Foundation Grants for Latin America enable graduates from the region to complete the master’s program in Natural Spaces co-organized by the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and Universidad de Alcalá in collaboration with the Fundación Fernando González Bernáldez.
The BBVA Foundation supports one-off research initiatives of a long-term nature, like the tumor biomarkers project it is currently funding at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (New York) under the leadership of José Baselga and with the collaboration of the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology. This stands alongside the BBVA Foundation-IRB Oncology Research Program with IRB Barcelona, centered on metastasis and conducted in partnership with Joan Massagué’s team at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards in Biology and Biomedicine distinguish fundamental contributions to our understanding of the processes governing health and disease. The Leonardo Grants in Biomedicine provide support to a network of researchers working on high-impact projects. Further, the BBVA Foundation Grants for Scientific Research Teams in Biomedicine fund clinical and translational projects in oncology, cardiology and neurodegenerative diseases.
Finally, the BBVA Foundation makes the best health knowledge publicly available through a publishing line that includes El libro de la salud (developed with Hospital Clínic de Barcelona) and El libro de las enfermedades alérgicas, among other open-access publications available free of charge from this website.
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)
Information and communication technologies and massive data processing are transforming such diverse realms as biomedical research, particle physics, production processes, interpersonal relations and the interaction of individuals with their physical and digital environment.
The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Information and Communication Technologies recognizes seminal contributions in this area, as evaluated by a jury of distinguished experts.
In the funding area, the BBVA Foundation fosters new knowledge generation through the Leonardo Grants in Information and Communication Technologies, while the BBVA Foundation Grants for Scientific Research Teams in Big Data go to novel projects of one to three years’ duration in this emerging domain.
Finally, the Premios de Investigación Sociedad Científica Informática-Fundación BBVA (with the Information Science Society of Spain, SCIE) are designed to showcase young Spanish talent at the postdoctoral level and reward the creativity, originality and excellence of their projects.
Economy and Society
Through the Fundación BBVA-Instituto Valenciano de Actividades Económicas (Ivie) Economic Research Program, the Foundation has generated a pool of knowledge on the key socioeconomic issues of the 21st century: the education system, the knowledge economy as a vector for growth, R&D and innovation-led productivity or the equitable distribution of income.
The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Economics, Finance and Management distinguishes the authors of key contributions in a broad spectrum of areas from game theory to growth economics by way of taxation, contracts and incentives or the measurement of economic wellbeing.
The Foundation supports the work of researchers in Economics, Finance and Management, Legal and Social Sciences (Law, Political Science, Sociology, Anthropology, Demography, Human Geography, Psychology and Education Science), through its Leonardo Grants. Finally, lecture series like the BBVA Foundation-JEEA Lecture, an annual event co-organized with the European Economic Association, provide a forum for expert speakers to address the interested public on questions of topical interest.
The BBVA Foundation promotes new knowledge in the humanities through its Leonardo Grants, funding innovative studies in Philosophy, Philology, Literature, Linguistics, History, Aesthetics, Musicology, Journalism and Communication.
The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards include from their 11th Edition a category in Humanities and Social Sciences which recognize excellence in these fields of research at a global scale
In parallel, the BBVA Foundation Grants for Scientific Research Teams reserve an area for the Digital Humanities. Projects funded to date evidence the scope and variety of this discipline: video games to improve the communicative skills of people with Down syndrome, use of social networks to characterize the linguistic variations of Spanish worldwide, or the application of 3D technology to preserve cultural heritage items.
The BBVA Foundation also organizes lecture series in the humanities sphere, like the recent Historia de las ideas series in collaboration with the Royal Spanish Academy of History.
Music and Opera
The BBVA Foundation maintains a focus on classical music, particularly its contemporary forms of expression, intervening across the whole creative cycle from composition to performance by way of musician training, the recording of works and the recognition of musical excellence.
Besides expanding the contemporary repertoire by commissioning new compositions, the Foundation was behind the creation of contemporary music collections with NEOS and Verso, as well as one-off CD and DVD releases with a series of prestigious labels including Deutsche Grammophon and IBS Classical.
Annual concert series in the Foundation’s Madrid and Bilbao centers and in the Auditorio Nacional de Música offer the public live experience of the music of our time. This same goal is addressed by lecture series in the charge of musical figures like Tomás Marco and Pedro Halffter. In parallel, recurrent collaborations with institutions and associations throughout Spain, among them the Teatro Real in Madrid, the Gran Teatro del Liceo in Barcelona, and the Bilbao Friends of the Opera Association (ABAO), and with orchestras like the Orquesta y Coro de la Comunidad de Madrid, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Madrid or the Orquesta Sinfónica de Euskadi have allowed a wider audience to enjoy top-quality symphonic and opera programs.
The BBVA Foundation also looks to the future with its suite of training opportunities for new performers seeking international experience, including the programs run with the Spanish National Youth Orchestra (JONDE) and the Escuela de Música Reina Sofía. The Leonardo Grants in Music and Opera support the composition of musical and operatic works. Finally, the Foundation operates two schemes honoring excellence in music: the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Contemporary Music and, for Spanish composers, the Premio de Composición Asociación Española de Orquestas Sinfónicas-Fundación BBVA in conjunction with the Spanish Association of Symphony Orchestras (AEOS).
The BBVA Foundation organizes annual exhibitions with the Museo del Prado, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and Fundació Joan Miró whose scale and conception make them key events on the international cultural calendar. These exhibitions attract large numbers of visitors and are supplemented by research and educational activities on the corresponding artists or themes. Recent shows include Bosch. The 5th Centenary Exhibition (Museo del Prado), Abstract Expressionism (Guggenheim Museum) or Miró and the Object (Fundació Miró). Additionally, the Leonardo Grants have a dedicated area for Plastic Arts.
Video and Digital Art
The BBVA Foundation’s annual MULTIVERSO Grants for Video Art Creation seek to further the development of one of the creative languages most distinctly of our time and most forcefully expressive of today’s culture. The scheme allows artists with an established body of work to undertake more ambitious projects, giving them the resources, choice of locations and planning capacity they might otherwise lack.
The Foundation also assures them a platform for their work. To this end, it has opened a permanent exhibition space in the Marqués de Salamanca Palace devoted exclusively to video art – the Sala MULTIVERSO – where visitors can enjoy screenings of works funded under the MULTIVERSO scheme or specially commissioned. Finally, the BBVA Foundation and Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao have launched a Video Art and Digital Creation Program to foster the creation and diffusion of this means of artistic expression.
Literature and Theater
The Leonardo Grants in Literary Creation and Theater are the chance for young authors to devote the time necessary to realizing long-cherished literary projects, with products to date warmly received by readers and theater-goers alike. The BBVA Foundation also funds the magazine Sibila, a singular compendium of literature, plastic arts and music now into its third decade, as well as supporting the Spanish poetry collection Biblioteca Sibila-Fundación BBVA de Poesía en Español and Clásicos do Pensamento Universal, with the University of Santiago de Compostela, among other publishing lines.
Trustees and Management
Carlos Torres Vila
Members of the Board of Trustees
Tomás Alfaro Drake
José Miguel Andrés Torrecillas
Jaime Félix Caruana Lacorte
Belén Garijo López
José Manuel González-Páramo Martínez-Murillo
Sunir Kumar Kapoor
Carlos Loring Martínez de Irujo
Lourdes Máiz Carro
José Maldonado Ramos
Enrique Medina Fernández
Ana Peralta Moreno
Juan Pi Llorens
Susana Rodríguez Vidarte
Domingo Armengol Calvo
Rafael Pardo Avellaneda
Director: Carolina García-Arévalo
Associate Director: Alejandra Álvarez
Assistant Director: Rocío Naranjo
Adjunct Director: Juan Pujol
Head of Office: Anabel Gorroño
Communications and Institutional Relations Department
Director: Silvia Churruca
Head of Science and Environment Area: Pablo Jáuregui
Head of Economic, Social and Cultural Area: Juan Pujol
Digital Media Department
Department of Finance and Administration
Director: Mikel Alonso
Department of Projects, Grants and Awards
Director: Sara Bertrand
Head of Research Projects and Analysis: María Álvarez-Miranda
Head of Awards, Grants and Special Projects: Rubén Pérez
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