Spain: New research centre for subtropical crops in 2018

The new building of the Institute of Subtropical and Mediterranean Horticulture (IHSM), whose completion date is scheduled for next year, will house the basic research carried out in the experimental farm La Mayora, a mixed centre of the University of Málaga and the Superior Council of Scientific Investigations (CSIC).

According to Europa Press reports, this centre, located in Teatinos, will bring together the research groups of both institutions, maintaining the experimental station of the municipality of Algarrobo Malaga as a fundamental part of the IHSM, which was created in 2010.

The rector of the University of Málaga (UMA), José Ángel Narváez, accompanied by the vice-rectors of Research and Smart Campus, Teodomiro López and Raquel Barco, respectively; the Vice President of the CSIC, José Ramón Urquijo; the director of the IHSM, Enrique Moriones; and the Government subdelegate, Miguel Briones; visited the institute's future facilities on Tuesday accompanied by the architects and representatives of the construction companies.

Narváez recalled that the province of Malaga produces 60 percent of the subtropical crops nationwide and exports 90 percent; "therefore, it is a unique opportunity to put research at the service of the people."

He also pointed out that this project is "a unique opportunity to put research at the service of citizens, to create knowledge and take it to the productive tissue."

"This building represents the strengthening of biotechnology, the sum of entrepreneurship, innovation and transfer, which translates into enrichment and employment," said the rector.

Academic headquarters
For his part, the subdelegate said that this building "will be the area's academic and research headquarters, and will be directly connected with the University, giving a new dimension to the research currently underway, especially on the La Mayora farm, since it will be possible to "coordinate the work carried out in both places, boosting its projection and growth," he added.

He also explained that the building, whose construction has been funded by the UMA with about eight million Euro (while its scientific equipment and furniture has been paid for by the CSIC with four million), will be available for use from 2018, "although it won't be fully operational until 2019."

"With this, the subtropical sector is taking a major step forward, given the many benefits for the agricultural production entailed in the various lines of research, which will be run by the primary sector itself, the University and the State through the CSIC," said Briones.

La Mayora
Lastly, the vice president of the CSIC stated that the scientific facilities and laboratories of La Mayora "were outdated and it was necessary to carry out a renovation or reform, and the choice was this new project in which both institutions have been involved."

Urquijo recalled that it is an experimental farm that the CSIC received in the 50's, "very oriented to transferring the advances that were achieved there to the economy, but that over time it has expanded its role by carrying out laboratory work with variants of different species, eventually creating a bank of species which is highly connected with the local agricultural sector and the entire subtropical area of ​​Andalusia."

Thus, "the lab work is essential, but these experiments must also be brought to the open ground, as in La Mayora, so both facilities will complement each other's work," said the vice president of the CSIC, ensuring that the institute "will have all the guarantees to develop an adequate scientific work."


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