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The Catalan Regional Government awards Esther Koplowitz the 15th Blanquerna Prize 

09/10/2008

The Catalan Regional Government awards Esther Koplowitz the 15th Blanquerna Prize 

  • The award ceremony will be held on 5 November in Madrid's Royal Theatre

The panel of judges decided today to award Esther Koplowitz with the Catalan Government's 15th Blanquerna Prize. The award will be presented by the president of the Catalan Regional Government, José Montilla, on 5 November in a ceremony at Madrid's Royal Theatre.

The panel of judges recognised Esther Koplowitz for her business acumen and FCC's leading role in Catalonia's business sector and in Spain in general. The award also recognises Ms. Koplowitz's humanitarian actions; through the Esther Koplowitz Foundation, she has demonstrated a commitment to the disadvantaged and her support of medical research and the fight against disease. In Catalonia, the foundation has built homes for the elderly in need, and in the field of science, the foundation will finance and build the Esther Koplowitz Biomedical Research Centre. The centre will be run by Barcelona's Fundació Clínic, and it will be a leader in biomedical research in Spain.

Esther Koplowitz is the main shareholder, vice-chairwoman and a member of the Board of Directors of Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas S.A, a company based in Barcelona and with highly-diversified operations in 50 countries. The company was originally created in 1900 in Barcelona, and was called Fomento de Obras y Construcciones S.A. (FOCSA). Since its inception, it has played a decisive role in public projects and urban development in Catalonia. Esther Koplowitz's management skill and business foresight have made her famous in Spain and abroad.

The Blanquerna Award is presented each year by the Catalan Regional Government, through its branch in Madrid; the award recognises those people or companies that have stood out for their contribution, within their sector, to developing and promoting Catalonia and raising its profile.

The panel of judges at the fifteenth edition of the Blanquerna Award was headed by the Director of Culture and Media for the Regional Government, Joan Manuel Tresserras, and comprised by the Catalan Government's representative in Madrid, José Cuervo, as Vice-chairman; the Secretary of Institutional Relations and Participation, Josep Vendrell; the Head of Analysis and Planning for the Office of the President, Jaume Bahía; the Director of Ramon Llull Institute, Josep Bargalló; the Chairman of Madrid's Centre for Fine Arts, Juan Miguel Hernández; the Director of Madrid's Student Residence, Alicia Gómez-Navarro, and the winner of the 2007 Blanquerna Award, Professor of Constitutional Law, Javier Pérez Royo.

In 1993, the Blanquerna Award was presented to Fernando Lázaro Carreter. Since then, the winners have been Adolfo Suárez (1994), Federico Mayor Zaragoza (1995), Octavio Paz (1996), Joaquín Ruiz-Giménez (1997), Miguel Herrero and Rodríguez de Miñón (1998), the Madrid Student Residence (1999), José María Martín Patino (2000), Javier Tusell (2001), Jorge Semprún (2002), Pueblo de Madrid, in honour of victims of the March 11th terrorist attacks (2004), Baroness Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza (2005), Antonio Garrigues Walker (2006) and Professor of Constitutional Law, Javier Pérez Royo (2007).