Spanish scientist, expert in ecology, Fernando Maestremade the decision to leave Spain to work in King Abdullah University of Science and TechnologyIn Thuwal (Saudi Arabia). As Meister himself confirmed to El Pais, because of his move to the Arab country, he will have to make a decision Suspension or rejection of a European grant worth 2.5 million euros. Moreover, it has become an international reference in the study of desertification He accused the Spanish scientific system of being the reason for his departure.
“I can no longer bear the bureaucracy, the daily difficulties, Lack of stable staff, the need to constantly ask for project funding and ridiculous paperwork“, he criticized. Before embarking on his journey to Arabia, Maestre requested a five-year leave of absence from the center where he worked, the University of Alicante.
In Saudi Arabia, Meister will have a team of scientists, four of whom were already part of his team in Alicante. In addition to the facilities located in the desert, it is an ideal space to develop your studies, You will receive a salary 15 times higher than what you had in Spain, plus a plane ticket per year and a free house on campus..
“I'm a desert ecologist. Going to study real desert, extremely dry areas, is a unique opportunity. I know a lot of people won't understand this, but, Deep down, it's like time travel. Using a fairly simple analogy, I will see what Spain could become in fifty years. “In Saudi Arabia, they are already facing very similar challenges to those that we will have to face,” Meister says.
Arab investment in Spain
For several years, the Saudi University has been recruiting many famous scholars from all over the world, especially in Spain. The most prominent Spanish contracts for Saudi Arabia, in addition to Maestre, are Alchemist Jorge Gascón, Director of the Foundation's Motivation Centre; Electronic engineer Mario Lanza, microchip expert; Industrial technical engineering Erica Alvarez, who works in a nanomaterials lab.
Mohammed bin SalmanThe Crown Prince and Chairman of the Board of Directors of King Abdullah University presented a new strategy for the university five months ago, where He prioritized “transforming research into innovations of economic benefit”. To convince experts from all over the world to move to the country, in addition to the salary, the campus has been adapted to their needs: Homes for teachers, shops, sports areas, English schools for children and even its own beach.
The prince's goal is based on… “Transforming the university into a beacon of knowledge and a source of inspiration and innovation […] To improve the Kingdom and the world.”
“Beeraholic. Friend of animals everywhere. Evil web scholar. Zombie maven.”