July 24, 2021

An expert in irrigation will lead the main funding agency of state science | Science

An expert in irrigation will lead the main funding agency of state science | Science



Enrique Playán, expert in water saving and invasive species such as the zebra mussel in the Ebro, will be the new director of the State Research Agency, as reported today by the Ministry of Science.

Playán (Monzón, Huesca, 1964) is a senior scientist at the CSIC and researcher at the Aula Dei Experimental Station, in Zaragoza. Fifteen years ago, this agronomist began to combine his research career with management positions. He was scientific officer of the European Union in international cooperation projects in water management in Mediterranean countries between 2003 and 2005 and then, between 2010 and 2014, coordinator of the program "Water challenges in a changing world" which aims to achieve the maximum return of the 500 million euros that are invested in this area in the EU. Playán has also been responsible for the National R + D + i Plan of Spain in the area of ​​agriculture and forests between 2006 and 2010. In the field of research it has focused in water management, contamination and invasive species, an area in which he has made more than 80 publications.

The scientist of the CSIC has been selected among 66 aspirants, 24 women and 42 men, as he explained to Matter the Ministry. Of these, 14 were foreigners. A committee of 11 Spanish experts from the world of research and industry selected five finalists. The final selection was taken unanimously by the 11 members of the Governing Council of the AEI, chaired by Ángeles Heras, Secretary of State for Universities, Research, Development and Innovation.

The AEI is the main financing agency of the state R & D & i together with the CDTI. The AEI manages most of the calls for grants of the State Plan for R & D & I and is the entity responsible for promoting excellence in Spanish research. The organization started in 2016 four years behind the provisions of the Law of Science of 2011 and only had its own budget in 2017 (610 million euros). Among its imminent challenges is the uncertainty about what the final endowment for science will be in 2019 if the budgets are extended, the difficulty to start operating with a multi-year endowment so that it can act with greater stability, and its disappearance as an agency in the middle of next year. year to comply with the public sector reorganization law of 2015.

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