The Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (Spanish National Research Council) is the largest public institution dedicated to research in Spain and the third largest in Europe, founded in 1939. Belonging to the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness through the State Secretariat for Research, Development and Innovation, its main objective is to develop and promote research that will help bring about scientific and technological progress, and it is prepared to collaborate with Spanish and foreign entities in order to achieve this aim. With more than 15000 staff the CSIC is organised in 136 research institutes, covering 8 research areas: Humanity and Social Sciences; Biology and Biomedicine; Natural Resources; Agricultural Sciences; Physical Science and Technology; Chemical Science and Technology; Material Science and Technology; and Food Science and Technology.
Based in Murcia, the Centro de Edafología y Biología Aplicada del Segura (CEBAS) is one of the institutes belonging to the CSIC in the area of Agricultural Sciences, with 255 staff. The CEBAS-CSIC is a multidisciplinary centre with three distinct areas of investigation (Agricultural Sciences, Food Science and Technology, and Natural Resources), each of which operates separately but within a common context, structured in six departments.
Doing research work in the Region of Murcia, a geographical area with scant water resources and semi-arid climate, the aim of the CEBAS is to attain the necessary conditions for the sustainability of the existing resources in fragile zones, especially soil and water, proposing suitable agricultural practices to produce high-quality, safe and healthy plant foods.
The CEBAS-CSIC is located in the University of Murcia campus, with a frequent connection to Murcia city centre by bus and tram. It comprises 100 laboratories, a large library, a computing department, an Ionomic laboratory with a centralised analysis service and an experimental farm (with a total area of 32 ha) situated 18 km from Murcia. There are 8 automatised glasshouses with a cooling system (4830 m2), 2 experimental plots for erosion and hydrological studies, 5 laboratories, a meteorological station and different field sites with automatic irrigation system for field experiments.
There is a composting pilot plant (automatically controlled) which allows the simultaneous development of four independent composts (about 2.5 Tm each), by the static pile system with automatic air-blowing and temperature control through on-demand removal of heat by pressure-forced aeration (feedback).
The Research Group Phytorec, included in the Department of Soil and Water Conservation and Organic Waste Management which comprises 32 researchers, 18 PhD students and 7 technicians, focuses on research into Recycling of Organic Wastes and Soil Remediation. The objectives concern the recycling of agricultural and agro-industrial wastes in the soil-plant system, with the aim of reducing the environmental impact of the accumulation of wastes, including manures, by ensuring their proper use in agriculture.