Please introduce yourself first and tell us about your background, areas of expertise, and your position in your institution.

I work at Zabala Innovation as R&D&I Consultant in the European Projects business unit, where he has participated in the preparation and management of collaborative projects for universities and technology centers, small, medium, and large companies, and public administrations, within the strategic sectors of energy, environment, mobility, industry, and social challenges. I am also the leader of Zabala Innovation’s Science & Education Knowledge Area.

I hold a degree in Chemistry and a PhD in Organic Chemistry from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, as well as a master’s degree in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. I also worked as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Manchester. My main research areas during his more than 10 years of scientific research include the design and development of materials with applications in photovoltaics, new advanced materials, and nanorobots, as well as several collaborations with European and global universities and research centers.

What is your role in Rotate as an organization and as an individual?

ZABALA is a Spanish SME with 450+ employees and large experience in social innovation, social awareness, stakeholder engagement, and management of RTD and Innovation activities.

In the ROTATE project, ZABALA leads the Social acceptance and citizen engagement floor and the associated WP8, including the development and implementation of a social license to operate, an effective engagement and co-creation strategy, and guidelines to incorporate SDGs in the management strategy of mining and quarrying. In addition, I belong to the ZABALA team which is part of the Project Office for management tasks and support of coordination actions.

Why do you think that projects like Rotate are so important?

ROTATE’s ambition to tap the full potential of minerals extraction and processing sustainably and ecologically is key in the pathway towards achieving zero emissions and pollution for essential and critical raw materials obtention and circularity.

The mining industry needs solutions that allow it to improve the cut-off grade while reducing the environmental footprint of the whole process and at the same time address the complex societal challenge of achieving social acceptance and citizen engagement.

The specific methods and/or technologies that ROTATE will deliver aim to overcome the reluctance of social agents to the exploitation of Critical Raw Materials deposits thanks to the environmental impact reduction achieved and the integration of social perspectives in the process. This will increase the CRM sites that could be exploited in the future, boosting the access of the EU to strategic CRM and enabling the development of the Renewables, e-mobility, and defense and space sectors.

Let us know you a little bit better. Would you tell us something you like to do when you are out of the office?

In my spare time, I enjoy playing padel, basketball and running. I also like traveling the world every time I have a few days off and cooking for my family and friends.