The Fundación Botín

The Fundación Marcelino Botín was created in 1964 by Marcelino Botín Sanz de Sautuola and his wife, Carmen Yllera, to promote social development in Cantabria. Fifty years later, having kept its primary focus on the region, the Fundación Botín now operates all over Spain and Latin America, contributing to the overall development of society by exploring new ways to uncover and support creative talent, in order to create cultural, social and economic wealth.

The Fundación organises programmes in the realms of the arts and culture, education, science and rural development, and supports social institutions in Cantabria so as to reach those who need it the most. It also offers a space for reflection and action to detect and develop new talent.

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Areas of activity

The Fundación Botín has been backing science as a driver of economic and social development for over a decade. The Fundación’s Science Area operates mainly in the biomedical field, aiming to convert scientific discoveries into products, services, and companies that generate wealth and quality employment.
To achieve this, the Fundación set up the Technology Transfer Programme in 2005, working side by side with some of Spain’s best biomedical research groups to help them transfer their results into society. Since 2010, the Fundación has also been running the Mind the Gap programme, investing human and financial resources to help biotech business projects at Spanish research institutions get off the ground. Four companies have already been created thanks to this programme, which raised €1.8 million in private capital in 2015.

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Support for education is one of the strategic commitments of the Fundación Botín to generate development. The aim is to introduce emotional and social intelligence and the development of creativity in classrooms to improve the quality of education and promote healthy growth for children and youth. It is also intended to help provide families and teachers with the knowledge and tools they need to help children develop capacities, attitudes and skills enabling them to be independent, competent, responsible and caring.

The Responsible Education programme was created to achieve this, and is taught in over 200 schools in seven of Spain’s autonomous communities.

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The Rural Development, Heritage and Territory Programme in the Nansa and Peñarrubia Valley (Cantabria), is a proposed transversal intervention to promote economic and social development based on the territory’s own intelligence, its potential and the initiative of its inhabitants. It is ultimately a way of taking full advantage of what is known as land-territory.

The aim is to define a transversal territorial management model, based on strengthening resources and harnessing the interaction of various public and private players so as to ensure, at the same time, the durability of the landscape, cultural and natural values. The model seeks to transcend the traditional proposals for rural development in order to gradually achieve a reversal in the trend of rural dynamics, allowing to fix the population, optimising the entrepreneurial capacity of the region’s inhabitants, and enabling them to live a dignified life in the rural environment. Initiatives like the livestock project and the ‘Nansaemprende’ Programme to Foster Business Initiatives in the Rural Environment, are all part of the programme.

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The Trend Observatory disseminates knowledge generated by Fundación Botín’s action programmes. At the same time, it attracts the knowledge to guide these programmes and conducts in depth research in order to pinpoint new opportunities to help promote economic and social growth.

The Observatory primarily works in the areas of education, science and technology transfer, water and energy. Moreover, in keeping with the essence of its mission, through the Observatory, the Fundación Botín runs two programmes for the detection and development of talent: Solidarity Talent, to rescue talented persons from the unemployment rolls and help revitalise and professionalise the social sector. The Programme to Strengthen the Civil Service in Latin America, aimed at reinforcing public institutions, so that the top students in those countries commit to developing their societies from within the public sector.

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Since its inception, and at the express wish of the founders, the Fundación Botín has conducted a Social Action programme in Cantabria, supporting institutions that have experience working directly with the groups that need it most. Among others, it promotes programmes for childhood development, immigration support, support for the elderly, drug addiction prevention, and social integration for persons with disabilities.

In addition to the programmes it directly manages, the Fundación also collaborates with other institutions and foundations to multiply the results of their initiatives and improve the efficiency of their resources, helping to strengthen Spain’s social fabric.

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