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The Banco Sabadell Foundation recognises the work of two young researchers in the fields of fertility and sustainable agriculture

The Banco Sabadell Foundation decided to award the 19th Award for Biomedical Research to biologist and researcher Elvan Böke and the 8th Award for Sciences and Engineering to environmentalist and researcher Manuel Delgado Baquerizo. These awards are a seal of excellence that highlight and bring awareness to the research works of the award winners, while they promote their distinguished scientific careers.


The Chairman of Banco Sabadell and of the Banco Sabadell Foundation, Josep Oliu, announced the names of the young researchers that the panel of judges decided to select as the winners. These two initiatives, together with the Award for Economic Research and for Marine Sustainability, are part of the Foundation’s commitment to recognise the work of talented researchers and highlight the impact that their research areas have on people’s progress and wellbeing.

“Both awards recognise two outstanding track records in such important and topical areas such as fertility and climate change”, explained Josep Oliu, who pointed out “the originality of their contributions and their potential impact and applicability for society”

He also mentioned that these awards “acknowledge the magnificent work that our scientists carry out every day and give them the visibility they deserve. Without a doubt, the awards that the Banco Sabadell Foundation hands out every year are already a benchmark in the scientific world at both a national and international level”.


Recognising a line of research that could potentially impact fertility and reproduction


The 19th Banco Sabadell Foundation Award for Biomedical Research has been given to biologist and researcher from Barcelona’s Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) Elvan Böke for her findings on oocyte ageing and its potential impact in terms of fertility and reproduction. The panel of judges of this award, chaired by Dr Óscar Marín, recognised Dr Böke, team lead of Oocyte Biology and Cellular Dormition at the CRG “for her findings on key metabolic adaptations to keep oocytes’ homeostasis for years so that they are able to produce a viable embryo after fertilisation”.


“Global data shows that more than 25% of female fertility problems cannot be explained, which indicates a great gap in our understanding of female reproduction. Our group strives to help bridge this gap through our research”, explained Böke.


The Banco Sabadell Foundation Award for Biomedical Research marks its 19th edition since its inception in 2006 and aims to recognise young researchers with an outstanding track record in the fields of biomedicine and health sciences who stand out in their respective specialties for their ability to innovate.


The Award for Sciences and Engineering recognises a line of research that promotes sustainable agriculture


Meanwhile, the 8th Banco Sabadell Foundation Award for Sciences and Engineering went to environmentalist and researcher at the Institute of Natural Resources and Agrobiology of Seville (IRNAS-CSIC) Manuel Delgado Baquerizo for his contributions to soil biome amidst global climate change. The panel of judges of this award, chaired by Dr Lluís Torner, highlighted the work of the team lead of the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning Laboratory (BioFunLab) of IRNAS-CSIC for his “scientific contributions and his innovative knowledge on soil biome in general and farmlands in particular to promote sustainable agriculture”.


In addition, they highlighted his interdisciplinary approach encompassing the study of microbiomes, soil biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and historical records on ecosystems on a global scale.


“Soils are a non-renewable resource. 95% of our food depends directly and indirectly on soil, yet one in three soils is already degraded. My group’s research focuses on providing innovative knowledge on the soil biome amidst global change”, said Delgado Baquerizo.


The Banco Sabadell Foundation Award for Sciences and Engineering, created in 2017 and organised together with the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST), aims to highlight the work of young researchers who stand out in the fields of mathematics, chemistry, physics and engineering


A seal of excellence promoted by the Banco Sabadell Foundation in its commitment to advance research and education

Since its creation, both awards have recognised the track records of 27 researchers in total, who are now prominent figures within their respective fields. The Banco Sabadell Foundation Awards are awarded early in the researcher’s career and are a seal of research excellence because they positively impact the visibility of the award winners’ works and propel their scientific careers, in both academia and society in general.


The mission of the Banco Sabadell Foundation is to promote culture and the arts, research and education. It was created in 1994 as an embodiment of Banco Sabadell’s commitment to the progress and wellbeing of the population and with the aim of becoming a benchmark and an advocate for change and innovation, serving general interest and social cohesion by acting as a driver of excellence, creativity and innovation, focusing particularly on promoting young talent.


In fact, nearly 60% of the Foundation’s budget goes to projects of entities that are committed to young talent, promoting and offering opportunities for training, creation, research and employment in various disciplines (culture, performing arts, music, research, education, etc.).


In total, the Foundation collaborates every year with more than 160 projects from organisations from all over the country, mainly from Catalonia. In 2023, over 16,500 people benefitted from social impact projects promoted by the Foundation.


“We are highly committed to society, institutions, projects and people, and we do this through financial and non-financial support to social impact projects that fit with our strategic areas. We invest in innovative initiatives with potentially significant and scalable impact and which could possibly redefine cultural landscapes and foster social cohesion”, commented Sonia Mulero, Director at the Banco Sabadell Foundation.