Description of the scientific environment and resources

The Institute of Environmental Science and Technology, ICTA ( is part of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) which is a public university located close to Barcelona city with about 50000 students (among whom more than 11000 are graduate students) and about 3000 professors and researchers. The UAB coordinates the Esfera UAB a potent scientific and technological centre.

Created in 2003 and inheriting the expertise of a previous Environmental Studies Centre, ICTA aims to promote interdisciplinary research and training in the area of environmental sciences and technology. ICTA has a strong expertise in multidisciplinary research between the natural and the social sciences and collaborative work. At present, it has a team of 110 specialists in natural and social sciences (44 academic staff and 66 research students) working together as members only of ICTA, or belonging to 20 different Departments of UAB. Its researchers are involved currently in 19 EU funded projects and have an active publication role with an average of 60 SCI articles per year.

ICTA is located in a 1150m2 building in the Sciences Faculty at the UAB and provides office space for all its full-time researchers, for the students of its PhD programme in Environmental Sciences and visiting professors. ICTA has its own resources such as fully equipped classrooms for seminars and courses, workrooms fully equipped with up-to-date computer and telecommunication facilities and an extensive documentation centre. ICTA has laboratories for Modelling and Geographic Information System, Environmental Soil Science, Pilot Plants for Wastewater Treatment, Environmental Chemistry and since 2006, ICTA hosts an EU financed Ethnoecology Laboratory. Each laboratory has software applications available and specialized technical help. Students in the PhD programme in Environmental Sciences also have access to several other laboratories at UAB (33 in total).

Moreover, ICTA enjoys the services and general infrastructures of the UAB, such as the libraries (9), lectures and seminar rooms, the Vila Universitaria and the Hotel Campus (that provides short and long term lodging to visitors and the organisation of scientific meetings as well) and the Office for Innovation and Business Creation (that offers its services to researchers looking at setting up a new business in order that large part of the knowledge developed to be transferred to society at large).

As far as European research contracts are concerned, ICTA counts on the expertise and management of the UAB Office of Research and Development that depends on the Vice-rectorate for Research. This Office has a large experience in managing research projects –about 12.000 research contracts since its creation, in 1986, and 85 contracts (15 as coordinators) in the VI Framework Program. Moreover, ICTA counts on four secretaries and two full-time technicians (one belonging to the Office of Research but assigned to ICTA and one of its own) to assist in the preparation of research projects and management of EU contracts.

Mario Giampietro is ICREA Research Professor at ICTA-UAB. Education: Chemical Engineer with a “laurea” in Biological Sciences, Master in Food System Economics, PhD in Social Sciences from Wageningen University. Research as Visiting Scientist: Cornell University (1987–89 and 1993-95); Wageningen University (1997); European Commission Joint Research Center, Ispra, (1998); Universitat Autonoma Barcelona (1999–2000); Wisconsin University Madison, (2002); Penn State University (2005-2006); Arizona State University (2006-2007). Research interests: Multi-Criteria Analysis of Sustainability; Integrated Assessment of Scenarios and Technological changes; Sustainability indicators; Multi-Scale Integrated Analysis of Societal and Ecological Metabolism; Science for Governance. He has published over 100 papers on refereed Journals and chapters of books. In 2003 he wrote a book published by CRC Press entitled "Multi-Scale Integrated Analysis of Agro-ecosystems".

Gonzalo Gamboa Jiménez, MSc. Environmental Sciences (Ecological Economics) by Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), currently finishing his PhD in Environmental Sciences. Previous work experiences include: Coordinator of the research project Experiences of local water management, Latinamerican Faculty of Social Sciences, Guatemala (2006); associated researcher at the UAB in the European projects MESSINA (coastal management) and MCDA-RES (renewable energy implementation).

During the last years he has worked in the field of public policy and environmental management. Specifically, applying a combination of public participation and multi-criteria evaluation for public decision-making.