Pere Balsells, a Catalan entrepreneur living in California, contacted the Government of Catalonia in June 1995 when he came to our country to present his plan to set up an annual fellowship for young Catalan engineers offering them the opportunity to broaden their studies at the Henry Samueli School of Engineering (HSSoE) of the University of California, Irvine.
Pere Balsells had made a donation to the University of California, Irvine in order to create the Balsells Fellowship Fund. He asked for the collaboration of the Government of Catalonia to publicise this programme and in selecting the students who would be awarded a fellowship, as it would be very difficult for him to reach potential candidates from California.
During the course of his talks with the then Commissioner for Universities and Research, the decision was made to establish the Balsells-Generalitat de Catalunya Fellowship Programme for postgraduate studies at the HSSoE. These fellowships are co-financed by the two parties and, at present, there are several modalities available.
On 2009 Pere Balsells and the Government of Catalonia set up a new Programme at the University of Colorado Boulder, offering annually three new fellowships for master's or doctoral studies in the engineering field.
In July 2015, another agreement has been signed to establish the Balsells-Generalitat Programme to do master studies in the field of agricultural and food sciences at the University of California, Davis.
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