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BBVA Chairman Francisco González announces the BBVA Frontiers of Knowledge Awards

Francisco González, chairman of BBVA, today presented the “BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards”. The prize money in these new BBVA Foundation Awards (an annual 3.2 million euros) and the breadth of scientific and artistic disciplines addressed place them among the world’s major awards, second only to the Nobel Prize.

In his presentation speech, Francisco González affirmed that “these awards will honor excellence in research and artistic creation, with an accent on forward-looking projects that address the major challenges confronting the global society of the 21st century”.

“We also wish to activate society’s latent regard for the work of the scientific community”, the BBVA Chairman continued, “and believe the ‘BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards’ are an effective means to do so”.

“In sum”, he concluded, “the awards we are launching here will stand as a new international benchmark, as well as marking a qualitative leap in BBVA’s support for knowledge and innovation”.

The BBVA Chairman also remarked in this speech that “our engagement with society, our vision of corporate social responsibility have led us to devote growing resources – both human and financial – to the generation and spread of knowledge; this philosophy of the BBVA Group and its foundations, both in Spain and Latin America, is what lies behind initiatives like these Awards, which will stand as a benchmark for scientists and creative practitioners, while providing recognition and encouragement to the many people and teams all round the world who are working, like BBVA, to achieve a better future for humanity”.

The BBVA Foundation chairman was joined at the event by Carlos Martínez, president of Spain’s principal public research organization, the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, which will collaborate in the appointment of technical evaluation committees and propose the chairs of the prize juries.


The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards seek to recognize and encourage research and artistic creation, prizing contributions of lasting impact for their originality, theoretical and conceptual implications and, where appropriate, their translation to innovative practices of a salient nature.

The name of the scheme is intended to encapsulate both research work that successfully enlarges the scope of our current knowledge, continually pushing forward the frontiers of the known world, and the meeting of different disciplinary areas. Oriented to the branches of knowledge that most characterize the 21st century, the BBVA Foundation Awards wish to recognize the emergence of new knowledge areas, along with the interdisciplinary nature of scientific research and the fact that many seminal contributions to our current stock of knowledge are the result of collaborative working between large and frequently multinational research teams.


These awards will honor disciplinary or interdisciplinary advances in a series of basic, natural, social and technological sciences, along with creative activity of excellence in the arts. Categories are also reserved for two core concerns of early 21st century society, namely climate change and development cooperation, with awards going alternatively to outstanding research work or projects that mark a significant advance in addressing these global challenges.

The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards, to be given annually, take in the following categories:

- Basic Sciences (Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics)
- Biomedicine
- Ecology and Conservation Biology
- Information and Communication Technology
- Economics, Finance and Business Management
- Arts (Music, Painting, Sculpture, Architecture)
- Climate Change
- Development Cooperation
The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards come with a monetary award of 400,000 euros in each prize category. This is higher than both the global and individual amounts per category of such prestigious international schemes as the Kyoto, Wolf, Kavli or Japan prizes:
Nobel Prize (annual): 6 million euros with 1 million per category
BBVA Foundation Awards (annual): 3.2 million euros with 400,000 per category
Kavli Prize (biennial): 2.1 million euros with 700,000 per category
Kyoto Prize (annual): 900,000 euros with 300,000 per category
Japan Prize (annual): 600,000 euros with 300,000 per category
Wolf Prize (annual): 407,280 euros with 67,880 per category
The scientific community receives little in the way of explicit or symbolic recognition, despite the fact that scientists number among the professional groups most highly valued by society. The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards aim to activate this latent regard on the part of society for scientists and their work.

The Foundation’s desire to publicly recognize the efforts of researchers, organizations and professionals working to improve the societies where they operate has found previous expression in the BBVA Foundation Awards for Biodiversity Conservation, which will be incorporated within the Frontiers of Knowledge scheme following the conclusion of their third edition, the Giner de los Ríos Awards for the Improvement of Educational Quality – organized jointly with the Spanish Ministry for Education and Science since 1983 – and the Economics for Management Lecture Series award of the BBVA Foundation and IESE.

In this respect, the BBVA Foundation expresses the engagement of BBVA with the cause of social responsibility in the societies where it does business, placing knowledge and innovation at the service of a better quality of life for citizens.


Candidates for the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards may be one or more natural persons, without limit of number, of any nationality, i.e., recognition can go to achievements resulting from cooperation between different teams. In the categories of Climate Change and Development Cooperation, entries are also open to public or private not-for-profit organizations.

Nominations are invited from any of the following institutions: scientific or artistic societies and organizations; national or regional academies of the sciences or the arts; public or private R&D centers; university departments and university or research institutes; conservatories and schools of music; museums of the arts and sciences; and public agencies and other organizations substantially engaged in analysis and/or activities relating to climate change and development cooperation.

Entries can be submitted from January 2, 2008 to June 30, 2008 using the form provided on the dedicated website:

Candidate selection will be guided by the principles of objectivity and independence and will rely on the best standards and metrics of excellence in each prize area. The Foundation will be partnered in the selection process by the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Spain’s premier multidisciplinary research organization. As well as collaborating with the appointment of evaluation committees, the CSIC will propose the chair of each prize jury, to be made up eminent international specialists.

Javier Fernández | alfa
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