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  • The Prince of Girona Foundation 2011 IMPULSA Awards granted to young people with entrepreneuring initiative

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The Prince of Girona Foundation 2011 IMPULSA Awards granted to young people with entrepreneuring initiative

The medical doctor Pere Barri (Social Area), the researcher Romain Quidant (Scientific and Academic Area), the writer Borja Bagunyà (Cultural and Sports Area), the businessman Marc Bonavia (Business Area) and the Balia Foundation (Organizations Area), have been granted the 2011 IMPULSA Awards


For the second consecutive year, the Prince of Girona Foundation acknowledges the talent of young entrepreneurs with the IMPULSA Awards. The aim of the awards is to foster entrepreneurial initiative among young people in all fields of knowledge. They are structured according to the four main spheres in which the Foundation unfolds its activity: society, science-academics, culture-sports and business.

The IMPULSA Awards aim to promote and encourage the initiative of restless, creative and courageous young people, who take risks and add value to their work, who understand failures as opportunities, and are concerned about the environmental impact of everything they do.

As in the previous edition, five awards have been granted. Four are for citizens or residents of the member countries of the European Union who are between the ages of 16 and 35 and who have demonstrated their excellence in one of the four areas on which the Prince of Girona Foundation focuses its activity. The fifth award has been granted to an organization which has achieved visible results in its endeavor to favor the development of youth. 

Members of the Foundation's Advisory Council, Board of Trustees and governing bodies form the juries in charge of appraising the entries that have been submitted.

The IMPULSA Awards will be presented on June 22 at the Girona Auditorium and Conference Center in the closing ceremony of the 2011 IMPULSA Forum, presided over by T.R.H. the Prince and the Princess of Asturias and Girona.


PERE BARRI, for his social commitment in a pioneering medical initiative in Spain

Born in Barcelona, 35 years old. He is the head of the Gynecology Service's Surgery Department at the Dexeus University Institute. In 2007, coordinating his hospital's Gynecology and Psychiatry services, Dr. Barri started up the "Post-Ablation genital reconstruction" program through the Dexeus Foundation - Women's Health. This is a project of exceptional social value that pursues a threefold objective: to favor the free-of-charge access to this type of surgery for patients who request it, to raise awareness of the expectations that these operations offer and train experts, as well as to disseminate the surgical technique that allows the physical and psychological recovery of the greatest possible number of victims.

He propels in this way a genital mutilation repair surgery program, which by the end of the year 2011 will have operated in Spain free of charge on  50 female victims of ablation.


ROMAIN QUIDANT, for his research career in the fight against cancer

Romain Quidant (35 years old, Dijon, France) is a Doctor of Physical Sciences. He is internationally acknowledged as a researcher, his main field of study being the application of light in medicine. Romain Quidant's project is a multidisciplinary study combining the latest advances in nanotechnology, photonics, biochemistry and oncology with the aim of developing new techniques for the early detection of diverse types of cancer and their treatment by minimally invasive procedures. In order to improve cancer diagnosis and make it more accessible, the project is developing a new miniaturized platform based on gold nanoparticles that is capable of detecting very low concentrations of cancer markers. Likewise, the project studies the use of gold nanoparticles designed to act as heat nanosources which, on being illuminated by laser light, destroy cancer cells in a highly selective way without affecting healthy tissues. Romain Quidant was the initiator of plasmonics research at the Barcelona Photonic Sciences Institute (ICFO). 


BORJA BAGUNYÀ, for his talent in creative literature

Borja Bagunyà (28 years old, Barcelona) is a young writer who is considered a great promise in  our country. He began studies in Medicine and Audiovisual Communication but finally came to graduate in Theory of Literature and Comparative Literature at the University of Barcelona (UB). An example of excellence and talent, he has been called the "spearhead of an emerging generation of Catalan literature" and his work has been warmly praised by critics. Despite his youth, he has obtained numerous literary acknowledgments. His book of short stories Defensa pròpia (Self-defense), published by Proa, won him the Mercè Rodoreda Prize and the Qwerty Prize for the Best New Author. In this month of June 2011, his new book Plantes d'interior (Houseplants) has been released by the publisher Empúries.


MARC BONAVIA, as an example of entrepreneurial initiative

He was born in Alella (Barcelona), 35 years ago. He has a degree in Pharmacy. When he was just 24 years old, he undertook his most ambitious business project. As an active communicator and a creative and innovative businessman, he is the co-founder of SITmobile, a company that is internationally acknowledged for its mobile services. A bold entrepreneur whose record includes some youthful business projects that did not come to prosper, Marc Bonavia has fearlessly faced up to the challenge of internationalizing his highly successful company, adapting quickly to changes in user habits and to advances in communication technology. SITmobile is a mobility solutions and access provider (SMS, mobile telephone applications, Mobile Internet and social networks), and a leader in corporate and marketing messages.


BALIA FOUNDATION, for its commitment to the social inclusion of children and youth at risk of social exclusion

The Balia Foundation is a non-profit and politically and religiously unaffiliated organization that has been devoted to the integral development of children and youth at risk since the time of its creation in 2001. Its mission is to favor the social inclusion of disadvantaged minors and it establishes itself in underprivileged communities in Spain that are marked by a high immigration rate. It also carries out activities in depressed communities in other countries through cooperation with local organizations.

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