The Estación Experimental de Aula Dei (EEAD) is a Research Institute of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) and is devoted to Agricultural Sciences. The CSIC is a public research institution of the Ministry of Science and Innovation. The EEAD is located in the Gallego river valley near the Aula Dei Carthusian Monastery on the Montañana Road 13 Kms from downtown Zaragoza.
The EEAD, together with other Centres, constitute the so-called Aula Dei Campus, whose goals are the study, teaching and dissemination of the Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. These Centres are: Zaragoza Mediterranean Agronomy Institute / Mediterranean Higher Education Centre (IAMZ/CIHEAM); Food and Agriculture Research Service (SIA), Agro-environmental Laboratory, and Seed and Tree Nursery Centre of the Aragon Government (DGA); and the Pyrenean Ecology Institute (IPE) of the CSIC. The CSIC Site Office in Aragon is also located on this Campus. The EEAD maintains a close relationship with all of these Centres.
In October 2006, a consortium agreement was signed between the CSIC and the Aragon Government to create on the campus the Scientific-Technological Park of Aula Dei (PCTAD). Within this project, the EEAD as a CSIC Institute will take an active role to undertake and support initiatives for technology transfer from research institutes to the agro-food and environment sectors in order to stimulate innovation leading to higher value added products and services.
The EEAD ultimate mission is to provide the agricultural sector with appropriate materials and technologies, to increase competitiveness and sustainability, through a deeper knowledge of basic processes of the plant-environment system. This mission leads to the production of results for the Agro-Food, Biotechnology, and Environment sectors, as we endeavour to: increase crop productivity in temperate, semi-arid zones; develop technologies for the sustainability of agricultural production, preserving the environment; and increase the quality and added value of agricultural products. This mission encompasses activities in high quality research, postgraduate education and technical training, technical consulting for public and private sectors, and dissemination of our results to the society.
The EEAD-CSIC should consolidate its role as one of the reference Agricultural Research Institutes in Spain focused on temperate, semiarid environments. It must keep its commitment to develop high quality research, increasing its international relevance, and participating more actively in European Agro-Food research platforms. To remain competitive, it must integrate at good pace high throughput cutting-edge technologies. It will have an increasing impact regarding number and quality of scientific publications, and high-level training and education; a growing influence in the creation of wealth, and will contribute to raise social awareness on the importance of scientific culture. The immediate research objectives should especially focus on areas of great social demand, such as the sustainability of agricultural systems, the management of water as a limited and strategic resource, and the quality and security of agricultural and agro-food products. The integration of efforts and objectives with those of other Institutes in the Aula Dei Campus will consolidate it as an obligatory reference within the Spanish and Mediterranean agro-food and environmental research sector.