Actor Antonio Banderas and biochemist Carlos López-Otín to open the FPdGi Awards

Managing young talent will be the central theme of the two conferences in the Auditorium

Actor Antonio Banderas and biochemist Carlos López-Otín will be hosting the opening of the 2017 Princess of Girona Foundation Awards ceremony, which, presided over by Their Majesties the King and Queen of Spain, will bring more than a thousand attendees – most of them young people – together on 29 and 30 June at the Girona Conference Centre. Banderas and López-Otín will inaugurate the event on Thursday evening which includes a panel discussion moderated by the journalist Julia Otero. Managing young people’s talent will be the central theme of the events organised to celebrate the end-of-year party of the Foundation’s three main programmes.

 Both Banderas and López-Otín have been invited to speak to the young audiences expected to fill the Auditorium to share their experience of channelling their life passions into their different professions. Antonio Banderas, after being involved in almost a hundred cinematographic projects, is now using his personal brand to support social projects. Carlos López-Otín has applied his imagination and creativity to scientific processes to decipher 60 new human genes involved in ageing and in cancer. Both speakers are, therefore, excellent examples of how to use creative talent to benefit society.

 Also participating in the 2017 Princess of Girona Foundation Awards ceremony with Banderas, López-Otín and Otero will be actor and director Àngel Llàcer (who presented the winner announcements in March and April this year), humourist Juan Carlos Ortega and award winners from previous years Luz Rello (2016 FPdGi Social Award), Héctor Colunga (2015 FPdGi Social Award), Guadalupe Sabio (2012 FPdGi Scientific Research Award) and Alberto Enciso (2014 FPdGi Scientific Research Award). The voice of the soprano from Córdoba Auxiliadora Toledano (2013 FPdGi Arts and Literature Award) will accompany the attendees during the ceremony.

 His Majesty the King will give his traditional address to close the Awards ceremony.

 The 2017 edition of the FPdGi Awards will give talented young people a leading role, not only in the audience but also on the stage. These include representatives of some outstanding participants in the Foundation’s programmes, such as Lucía González and Mercè Feliu, the members of an emerging jazz combo Sant Swing Bocombo and the young dance company from Colegio Santa María la Blanca (Montecarmelo, Madrid), which will be performing The journey of the butterflies.

The detailed programme for the event is available here.


The 2017 Awards

The Princess of Girona Foundation Awards, with a prize of €10,000 and a reproduction of a sculpture by artist Juan Muñoz, recognise the work of young people aged between 16 and 35 years, and that of an organisation working for young people, which this year, for the first time, has been awarded to an international organisation.

 The respective juries, formed of recognised experts in each of the categories, as well as previous award winners, meeting in different cities around Spain (Córdoba, Barcelona, Soria, Santander and Figueres), decided to honour in this eighth edition of the Awards the artist from Córdoba Juan Zamora (FPdGi Arts and Literature Award), the engineer from Galicia Héctor Gómez (FPdGi Scientific Research Award), the architect from Cadiz Miriam Reyes (FPdGi Social Award), the biologist from Valencia Damià Tormo (FPdGi Business Award) and the British organisation based in London Teach a Man to Fish (FPdGi International Organisation Award). Their Majesties the King and Queen of Spain will present the awards to the winners during the ceremony on Thursday 29 June.

 Developing mathematical models and algorithms to predict the growth of prostate cancer in a personalised manner; creating a polyphony of meanings in the artistic field that are not bound to just one culture; seeking solutions in such a complex area as autism; connecting the world of research with successful business initiatives, and promoting an educational project capable of breaking the cycle of poverty by fostering entrepreneurship are some of the contributions that the winning young people and organisation in 2017 are making in our society.

Further information about the award winners:

Héctor Gómez Díaz, 2017 FPdGi Scientific Research Award

Héctor has dedicated much of his career to computational engineering, particularly its use in the field of medicine. One example of his achievements is the MuSIC project, which uses very complex equations, a huge amount of data and large-scale computer simulations to generate a personalised prediction of prostate cancer growth. The project adopts the philosophy of a new trend known as predictive medicine. A fundamental innovation in MuSIC is that it develops and validates its methodology using specific anatomies and data for each patient, a previously unexplored idea in the field of prostate cancer.

Juan Zamora, 2017 FPdGi Arts and Literature Award

Juan’s career began with Animailiyos (2006), a series of cartoons about human beings and their nature. In New York, in 2011, he produced the piece A dead pigeon and its shadow singing based on animist concepts. In 2014, he began the project ORA (bajo el cielo de la boca) in Johannesburg, which is currently on display in the Museo de Altamira. In 2015, he collaborated with the pre-Hispanic indigenous Muisca people in the project Cuerpos de agua to revive their extinct language. During his time at La Real Academia de España in Rome he created the Montorio project, which portrays nature as divinity.

Miriam Reyes Oliva, 2017 FPdGi Social Award

Miriam studied architecture at the Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Sevilla and holds a master’s in communication from the Universidad Europea de Madrid. After working as an intern at the prestigious studio of Herzog & de Meuron in Basel (Switzerland), she returned to Spain to complete her degree final project, a school of music and dance in Burkina Faso. This project was built a year later in cooperation with a local association and involved developing specially adapted construction techniques. It was during this period that Miriam set up Aprendices Visuales, a small NGO with a big mission: to ensure that children with autism have the tools they need to develop their potential to the maximum.

Damià Tormo Carulla, 2017 FPdGi Business Award

Founder and managing partner of the fund Columbus Venture Partners and founder and CEO of different biotechnology companies specialised in developing drugs, software, biotechnology services and cosmetic. Damià is also the founder and CEO of Artax Biopharma, an American company that develops drugs to treat autoimmune diseases. Previously, he was the founder and CEO until 2013 (now he is the president) of BiOncoTech Therapeutics (Spain) which develops drugs to treat aggressive tumours.

Teach a Man to Fish, 2017 FPdGi International Organisation Award

Founded in London in 2006, this is an international charity organisation that fights poverty in the world. The ultimate aim of Teach a Man to Fish is to carry out actions that have a long-term impact against poverty by supporting educational projects in less developed countries. The organisation works with local partners and schools to provide tools that allow them to teach young people in these countries practical and business skills, and to generate income that will enable these and future projects to become established.

A programme dedicated to managing talent

The Awards ceremony will be followed the next day, 30 June, with the annual celebration of the FPdGi’s other flagship programmes: Educating entrepreneurial talent and Talent rescuers. Both events invite teachers from all over Spain who are promoting entrepreneurial education projects at their centres, as well as young people and mentors involved in professional development activities. The writer, public speaker, entrepreneur and expert in global innovation trends Mark Stevenson will warm up the audience with his inaugural speech on the second day. Stevenson, founder of the League of Pragmatic Optimists (LOPO), which promotes positive thinking, will talk about the transformation of society into a collective business that needs people who approach life with energy, responsibility, leadership and teamworking skills.