Given the emergency situation in Spain, Banco Santander is working closely with Crue Spanish Universities and the CSIC (the Spanish National Research Council) to find solutions to the health and educational challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The funding, delivered through Santander Universities, will support initiatives that the universities are developing to fight the pandemic, such as the manufacture of medical supplies or the provision of equipment and software to reinforce online teaching.

In addition, Banco Santander will allocate, through its international subsidiaries, an additional 10 million euros to promote social, medical and educational projects in the countries in which it operates, in collaboration with its global network of universities.

Madrid, 15 April 2020-. Banco Santander has mobilised almost 20 million euros through Santander Universities to support collaboration projects, led by Crue Spanish Universities and the CSIC, that will help to find solutions to the health and educational challenges arising from the covid-19 crisis.

The initiative aims to support collaborative research projects in the development of vaccines, drugs or new diagnostic techniques, to name a few examples; supporting the most disadvantaged students so that they can continue the academic year; or studies of exit scenarios for this crisis.

In addition, Banco Santander will allocate, through its international subsidiaries, an additional 10 million euros to promote social, medical and educational projects in collaboration with its global network of universities in the countries where Santander is present.

Today, 1.5 million university students in Spain cannot attend face-to-face classes and, in most cases, they are continuing their classes through online platforms and virtual campuses.

The Crue Spanish Universities have continued to collaborate closely with all institutions throughout the crisis. Their commitment is reflected in the lending of equipment and materials for the use of local and regional governments, in the adaptation of university residences and spaces for the care of patients affected by covid-19 or in the provision of research units and laboratories to increase capabilities for diagnosing the coronavirus.

More than 1,800 researchers and 300 university laboratories with experience in performing the PCR, through which covid-19 is detected, have already been made available to health authorities, as well as 1.7 million gloves, 73,000 masks, 24.000 gowns and 6,000 additional pieces of personal protective equipment. They have also launched Conectad@s: The University at Home, a support portal for online teaching, created together with the Ministry of Universities.

Banco Santander, has supported universities and education in all of the countries in which it operates for the past 23 years. Through this new funding they will increase the response capacity of Spanish universities and the CSIC in the fight against coronavirus and its consequences, financing activity in these institutions in the fields of research into vaccines, drugs and diagnosis, coordination of the response with administrations and strengthening of the university system in its digital transition.

This initiative goes alongside the "Together Solidarity Fund" of at least 25 million euros, which the bank is allocating to cover immediate medical needs generated by the pandemic, such as the purchase of medical supplies and medical equipment.

For Ana Botín, Executive Chairman of Banco Santander, “Santander's purpose is to contribute to the prosperity of people and businesses. At the moment, this means addressing the health, social and economic crisis caused by coronavirus and our focus is on protecting our communities and continuing to provide the best possible service to customers. In this context, we are proud of our 20-year relationship with Crue Spanish Universities and we want to contribute so that they can continue offering their best scientific capabilities, infrastructure and support services for the wellbeing of society.”

José Carlos Gómez Villamandos, President of Crue Spanish Universities, stresses that "when we say that one of the fundamental missions of the University is to contribute to the wellbeing of all citizens, we are referring exactly to the fact that we must help society to overcome the terrible situation that we have seen in recent months. Science will not take long to find the solution to the covid-19 pandemic and, then, we will analyze the facts and we will extract the lessons that follow to prevent something similar from occurring again. Until that time comes, our terrific capacity for cooperation and collaboration will continue to be our best shot.

Banco Santander’s contribution will be complemented by a program of more than 20,000 scholarships and grants called #StayAtHome. The focus of this scholarship program will be to contribute to the future employability of university graduates and youth, as well as to support university professors in their accelerated transition to digital learning environments.

About Banco Santander and its commitment to education

Banco Santander maintains a firm commitment to inclusive and sustainable progress and growth with a consolidated commitment to Higher Education that distinguishes it from the rest of the world's financial institutions. With more than 1,880 million euros earmarked for academic initiatives since 2002 through Santander Universities and more than 440,000 scholarships and university grants awarded since 2005, it was recognised as the company that invests the most in education in the world (Varkey / UNESCO / Fortune Report 500), with 1,000 agreements with universities and institutions in 22 countries.

Crue Spanish Universities

Crue Spanish Universities, established in 1994, is a non-profit association made up of a total of 76 Spanish universities: 50 public and 26 private. It is the main bridge between the universities and the central government and plays a key role in all the regulatory developments that affect higher education in Spain. Likewise, it promotes different initiatives to foster relations with society, institutional relations, both national and international, and works to enhance the value of the Spanish University system.