In the current environment, more than ever, it is very important that both foundations and businesses clearly recall our mission to contribute to developing society. We must invest resources wisely, define and develop the best strategies, and accurately measure the impact of our action.
In today's Spain, this is more vital than ever. These challenging times require not only the utmost transparency in using resources, but also the utmost efficiency and efficacy in implementing social action.
In 2012, the Botín Foundation took another step in gauging the impact of its activity, with specific measurement procedures for each of its action programmes.
In Education, we have progressed from working with 15 schools in Cantabria to working with a total of 48 schools, 17 located in Madrid. And all of this has been achieved without compromising on quality and while managing to increase the level of satisfaction among teaching staff, which has risen from 2.6 out of 4 in 2011, to 2.9 in 2012.
In Science, the efficiency of the transfer process increased by 20% year-on-year in 2012. And companies incorporated under the Mind the Gap programme in 2012 generated 10 jobs and recorded turnover of €800,000.
In Rural Development, in Cantabria's Nansa Valley, the Foundation is implementing an innovative action plan to promote sustainable development in the area. Farmers in this programme have seen the profitability of their farms rise by 51%, homes continue to be refurbished and the decline in school pupil numbers has been stemmed. Furthermore, in the last 2 years, 25 business projects have been launched.
Lastly, in the three years since its launch, the Solidarity Talent programme has put 55 people into work, has helped 1.6 million beneficiaries and has made 93% of the projects sustainable.
In all cases, these results were achieved by exploring new ways to convert talent into wealth. In Education, by introducing the development of emotional and social intelligence in schools. In Science, by helping researchers to convert their discoveries into products and services. In the Nansa Valley, by enabling its inhabitants to generate development and unlock the value of their valley. And in Solidarity Talent, by enabling highly-skilled unemployed people to revitalise and professionalise the social sector.
The year 2012 was very important for our Foundation. Not only because of these achievements, but also because building work commenced at the Botín Centre in Santander, and because we opened new headquarters in Madrid.
Having offices in Madrid enables Fundación Botín to combine its profound Cantabrian roots with its national and international commitment. From the new headquarters, the science and education programmes, the Trend Observatory and the programmes to detect and develop talent are growing more and faster.
In Santander, building work began at the Botín Centre in the summer, and it is scheduled to be opened in June 2014. This will be the Fundación Botín's most emblematic project since its launch almost 50 years ago.
It will be a flagship private art centre in Spain, part of the top-notch international arts circuit, a new forum in the city which, through art and culture, will promote and revitalise Santander, and a benchmark worldwide for the development of creativity through art.
The Botín Centre will also implement an innovative training programme which the Foundation is already designing in partnership with the University of Yale, in order to develop methods for using art as a way to nurture personal development and creative capacity.
I would like to end by thanking all those people and institutions that have worked with the Foundation this year for their hard work and commitment.
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