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The chemist Rafael Foguet, newly invested as an honorary doctor of the UB

Rafael Foguet Ambrós, receipient of an honorary doctorate

Rafael Foguet Ambrós, receipient of an honorary doctorate

Foguet during his speech

Foguet during his speech

Foguet obtained his degree in chemical sciences from the UB in 1957, graduating with extraordinary honours

Foguet obtained his degree in chemical sciences from the UB in 1957, graduating with extraordinary honours

José Costa, emeritus professor of the UB, acted as master of ceremonies

José Costa, emeritus professor of the UB, acted as master of ceremonies

Foguet gave his acceptance speech on the intensive valuation of sources of research from an industrial perspective

Foguet gave his acceptance speech on the intensive valuation of sources of research from an industrial perspective

During the ceremony, the 13th UB Council of Doctors Prize was awarded to Vanessa Soto

During the ceremony, the 13th UB Council of Doctors Prize was awarded to Vanessa Soto

23/03/2010

On 19 March, the chemist Rafael Foguet Ambrós was invested as doctor honoris causa of the UB at a ceremony attended by Dídac Ramírez., rector of the University of Barcelona. José Costa, emeritus professor of the UB and dean of the Official College of Chemists of Catalonia, acted as master of ceremonies.

 To view the video,  click here

In the opening address, José Costa gave a presentation of Foquet's career, which has seen him hold many important management positions in companies and public institutions, and of the close personal relationship he has always maintained with the University of Barcelona, where Foguet is currently a member of the Board of Trustees and Patron of the Bosch i Gimpera Foundation.

During his acceptance speech, on "Intensive valuation of sources of research from an industrial perspective", Rafael Foguet explained that companies look to universities for quality teaching and the capacity to adapt to the needs of society, but also for research capabilities and effective knowledge and technology transfer. He highlighted the fact that the University of Barcelona is the highest-placed university in Spain in international research rankings and one of the select group of 22 institutions that make up the League of European Research Universities (LERU). Foguet also stressed that "industrial policy should be restated, and scientific policy should be reshaped", referring principally to research plans and specific programs.

Rafael Foguet Ambrós obtained his degree in chemical sciences from the University of Barcelona in 1957, graduating with extraordinary honours. In the same year, he set up a research group as part of the CROS business group, where he was appointed technical director in 1968. As head of the Organic Analysis and Control Laboratory he introduced a range of innovative analytical techniques including gas chromatography, spectrometry and nephelometry. In 1970, he was named general manager of Production and Sales at CROS, S.A., and took on various roles on governing boards until 1974.

In 1974, Foguet was made managing director of the Ferrer Group, where he was responsible for introducing the training program for an in-house process engineering team. In 1982 the Ferrer Group created a fine chemistry research team for the research and development of new products and processes, and Foguet set up a group of experts to research plant extracts, citrus residues, synthesis and fermentation, whose work was instrumental in the development of new products and applications that emerged in the 1990s. Foguet also set up a pharmaceutical research group and two chemical research centres in Germany. In 1991, a Food R&D Laboratory was opened to support the development of custom-designed products, and Foguet has been present in numerous collaborative projects between universities such as the UB and centres operated by the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), including the Fat Institute, Seville, and the CSIC's Department of Catalysis in Madrid. Foguet explained that, in his view, "In predominantly technology-based industrial sectors, companies should ideally develop their own research and take part in joint projects with universities, adopt modern production techniques and infrastructures, create modern products, and ensure a solid basis for internationalization and an adequate degree of diversification".

In addition to his business-related work, Foguet has been heavily involved in the promotion and diffusion of general scientific research and a number of specific projects in the fields of chemistry, pharmacy and biomedicine, through active associations with various institutions and centres. He is the author of a large number of articles and technical publications (152) and has made 120 successful patent applications for scientific and commercial application in the chemical sector.

Rafael Foguet is currently president of the Royal Academy of Sciences and Arts of Barcelona, founded in 1764, president of the Expoquimia International Chemical Exhibition (Fira de Barcelona), vice-president of the Spanish Society of industrial Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, and member of  many  entities as the Permanent Chemistry and Society Forum or the National Advisory Council on Singular Scientific-Technical Facilities. Among his many ahievements, Foguet has received the Creu de Sant Jordi (St George's Cross), the highest civil distinction awarded by the Catalan Government (2002), and the National Association of Chemists of Spain Gold Medal (2008).

During the ceremony, the 13th UB Council of Doctors Prize was awarded to Vanessa Soto for her doctoral thesis on the characterization of the anti-cancerous effect and identification of the molecular targets of bioactive molecules from the bacteria Serratia marcescens , directed by Ricardo Pérez from the Department of Pathology and Experimental Therapy of the UB Faculty of Medicine. Second prize was awarded jointly to Javier Pamparacuatro Martín, for his thesis on the theory of language in Port Royal, directed by Salvi Turró from the Department of History of Philosophy, Aesthetics and Cultural Philosophy, and to Pau Figueras Barnera, for his thesis on various aspects of higher dimension black holes, directed by Roberto Emparan from the Department of Fundamental Physics. Special commendations were also awarded to Ruth Serra Moreno, for her thesis on double lysogens of Stx phages, directed by Joan Jofre and Maite Muniesa from the Department of Microbiology of the Faculty of Biology, and to Daniel James Marcelino, for his thesis on interactions between membrane receptors in the central nervous system, directed by Rafael Franco and Enric Canela from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the Faculty of Biology. The ceremony also saw the award of the doctoral qualification to the successful class of 2008.

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