This is one of the best-financed agronomic research prizes in Europe, with a total amount of 30,000 Euros.
- Raquel Yotti, Secretary General for Research at the Ministry of Science and Innovation, presided over the award ceremony at the Grupo Fertiberia headquarters.
The Secretary General for Research, Raquel Yotti, presided over the Fertiberia Award ceremony for the Best Doctoral Thesis on Agricultural Subjects which was awarded to Raquel Pastor de los Bueis for her research on biofertilisation for obtaining high added value crops. The award, organised by the Fertiberia Group in collaboration with the Official Association of Agricultural Engineers of the Centre and Canary Islands (COIACC), aims to promote and recognise research in the field of agronomy and agricultural activity.
Raquel Pastor de los Bueis, who holds a PhD in Biosystems Engineering from the University of Leon, was the winner of this 24th edition for her thesis entitled "Development of formulations for the application of microbial plant biostimulants based on native microorganisms for agri-food products with high added value."
A runner-up prize was also awarded to Verónica Costa Oliveira, with a PhD in Environmental Science and Engineering from the University of Aveiro, for her thesis "Recovery of phosphorus from solid urban waste with a view to its valorisation as a fertiliser" and Alejandra Cristina Rodríguez Chaves, for her thesis “Agronomic tools to optimise N management in greenhouse horticultural crops with fertigation", defended at the University of Almería.
In addition to its academic prestige, the Fertiberia Award is one of the best-financed awards for agronomic research in Europe, with a total amount of 30,000 Euros. The award also recognises the thesis directors who, in this edition, have been professors Fernando González Andrés, for the winning thesis, and Célia Ferreira, Carmo Horta, João Labrincha and Rodney B. Thompson, directors of the works distinguished with the runner-up award.
- Specifically, in this edition, the author of the winning thesis received 14,000 Euros, while her thesis supervisor received 8,000 Euros. In turn, the authors of the works awarded the runners-up prizes received 2,500 Euros and their thesis supervisors 1,500 Euros.
At the ceremony, held at the company's corporate headquarters in Madrid, Javier Goñi, president of Grupo Fertiberia, acknowledged his admiration for the winners and highlighted the importance of an award like this, as "at Fertiberia we are leading the hydrogen and green ammonia revolution in Europe, which will lead us to become the first carbon neutral company in the sector worldwide by 2035, and this path requires so much intelligence and so much talent that it is necessary to support and stimulate the people and institutions that are dedicated to expanding the frontiers of knowledge with top-level basic research, which is essential for companies like ours to be able to develop applied research capable of transforming their business."
The jury for this edition, chaired by the dean of the Official Association of Agricultural Engineers of the Centre and the Canary Islands (COIACC), Francisco González Torres, was made up of the president of Grupo Fertiberia, Javier Goñi; the head of the Seed and Nursery Plant Testing Station of the National Institute for Agricultural Research and Technology (INIA), Ana Patricia Fernández-Getino; the professor of Animal Production at the University of Valladolid, Jesús Ciria; the director of Market Studies and Research of Grupo Fertiberia, Pilar García-Serrano; and the director of R&D&I of Grupo Fertiberia, Javier Brañas.
In his speech, the president of the jury highlighted the quality of the winning work, which was unanimously appreciated by the jury.
During the closing ceremony, Raquel Yotti underlined the importance of supporting the careers of young researchers in Spain, explained the advances made by the new Law on Science, Technology and Innovation for young researchers, and thanked Grupo Fertiberia and the Official Association of Agricultural Engineers of the Centre and the Canary Islands for their continued and consolidated commitment.
More than half a million Euros
Since the award was created in 1996, almost 400 doctoral theses from 50 universities and research centres in Spain and Portugal have been submitted and prizes worth more than half a million Euros have been awarded.
The official announcement establishes the requirement that the theses submitted have obtained the maximum qualification "cum laude" and that they are directly related to fertilisation, soils and their amendment, although works related to agricultural activity in general are also valued.