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IMPULSA - Fòrum Fundació Príncep de Girona
IMPULSA - Fòrum Fundació Príncep de Girona

IMPULSA 2012 Awards recognise young entrepreneurs and innovators

Javier Agüera (Business Award), Edgar Vinyals (Social Award), Guadalupe Sabio (Science and Academic Award), Leticia Moreno (Arts and Literature Award) and the Marianao Private Foundation (Organisation Award).

  • Mònica Margarit, Gonzalo Rodés and Francesc Faluja

The Prince of Girona Foundation (PGiF) has today announced the winners of the IMPULSA 2012 Awards, which recognise young entrepreneurs and innovators – aged between 16 and 35 years old – who have the ability to take risks and the motivation necessary to bring about changes in society.

The IMPULSA Awards are designed to promote and foster initiative and effort, research and creativity, solidarity and the development of talent in young people who are keen to build a fairer world in a globalised environment.

The main selection criteria for granting the Awards focus on exemplariness, distinction, visibility and impact, among other aspects.

With a prize consisting of €10,000 and a reproduction of a piece by the sculptor Juan Muñoz, the IMPULSA Awards will be presented on 29 June at the Girona Auditorium during the closing ceremony of the IMPULSA Forum 2012, which will be hosted by Their Royal Highnesses the Prince and Princess of Asturias and of Girona.

The juries, made up of members of the Foundation’s Advisory Council, external experts in each of the categories and award winners from previous editions, met yesterday at the Salvador Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres to select the winners of the IMPULSA 2012 Awards. The following winners were chosen (by categories):

IMPULSA Business Award

Javier Agüera (Madrid, 1992), principal promoter of the company GeeksPhone, for clearly representing the three values the Awards seek to recognise: youth, innovation and business leadership, as well as international reach.

A student of telecommunications engineering in Madrid, Javier Agüera is the principal promoter of the company GeeksPhone, which has already designed and produced three mobile telephones under the GeeksPhone brand. Set up when Agüera was only 16 years old, the company was the first European brand to create and sell a handset using the latest version of Google’s Android 4.0 operating system. The company’s latest model, the GP2, was launched at the last Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, held in February. Agüera is behind other prior initiatives that demonstrate his innovative spirit and entrepreneurial nature, such as the start-ups TopKami and Darkgate Softworks.

 The handsets were designed in a small office in a telephone shop in Madrid, while the manufacturing was done in China. GeeksPhone, which currently employs 15 people, has a clear international focus and currently 30% of its sales are made outside Spain.


IMPULSA Social Award

Edgar Vinyals Rojas (Barcelona, 1985), founder of the Inclusive Leisure Association Saräu, for his capacity for personal improvement and for promoting a responsible project for people suffering from mental illness.

A Social Education student, Edgar Vinyals founded the Inclusive Leisure Association Saräu in 2009 to defend the rights of people with disabilities and mental health problems, and in particular to fight prejudice and social stereotypes. Saräu offers activities throughout Catalonia with particular emphasis on the city of Barcelona. The association provides leisure services for more than 50 organisations in Catalonia, most of them members of DINCAT, ECOM and FECAFAMM, the three second-level reference organisations in the sectors of intellectual disability, physical disability and mental health, respectively. Edgar Vinyals has participated as a speaker in various conferences and congresses dedicated to mental health and social inclusion, including events organised by the ALLEM Federation, the Sant Joan de Déu Hospital, and the Barcelona Municipal Institute for Disability.


IMPULSA Science and Academic Award

Guadalupe Sabio (Badajoz, 1977), medical researcher, for her scientific excellence and international leadership, as well as for the social interest in her line of research and the interdisciplinary nature of her work.

A veterinary graduate from the University of Extremadura and PhD (extraordinary award) from the University of Dundee (United Kingdom) and the University of Extremadura, Guadalupe Sabio has been a researcher at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute of the University of Massachusetts (United States) and Ramón y Cajal researcher at the National Biotechnology Centre of CSIC. She is currently a professor at the National Centre for Cardiovascular Research at the Carlos III Institute in Madrid. Her principal line of research focuses on the mechanisms that lead obesity to cause concomitant illnesses (diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer).

Her study centres on molecular mechanisms that determine the appearance of these pathologies and, from a translational perspective, carries out her studies and research in both animals and humans with obesity.


IMPULSA Arts and Literature Award

Leticia Moreno (Madrid, 1985), violinist, was chosen by the Jury for her technical precision, her powerful performance and her future as an artist, and it has even decided to sponsor her career.

Internationally acclaimed by critics for her virtuosity and profound interpretive strength, since the age of twelve she has performed with important orchestras such as the Wiener Symphoniker, the Wiener KammerOrchester, the Mozarteumorchester Salzburg, the hr-Sinfonieorchester of Frankfurt, the Essener Philharmoniker, the National Philharmonic of Russia, and most of the main Spanish orchestras. Winner of prestigious international competitions, she studied with, among other maestros, Zakhar Bron at the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía and at the Musikhochschule in Cologne (Germany) and was the youngest ever scholarship student to attend the prestigious Alexander von Humboldt Foundation school in Berlin (Germany). She has recorded for labels such as Verso and radio stations such as RNE, ZDF, BBC and Chicago Classical Radio. Leticia Moreno, who plays a 1762 Nicola Gagliano violin, was privileged to be mentored by the great cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, who advised her during the last years of his life.


IMPULSA Organisation Award

Marianao Private Foundation, from Sant Boi de Llobregat, for its long history and close connection with its area of activity, for its comprehensive work with young people with special emphasis on disadvantaged groups and for strengthening social and occupational inclusion and carrying out its work with a clear community approach.

The Marianao Private Foundation is a community-based institution which, since 1985, has been running social and educational projects that benefit the whole community. Its work focuses particularly on people suffering social vulnerability using its comprehensive and socialising attention model. The Foundation’s general aims are to foster personal and community development and encourage processes of social inclusion. Its preferred area of action is the town of Sant Boi del Llobregat and the county of Baix Llobregat, where it runs nine programmes and 34 projects. In 2010, the Foundation worked with 6,287 beneficiaries, 163 volunteer and 64 members of staff.


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