The Institut de Recerca i Tecnologies Agroalimentaries (IRTA), at the Department d’ Agricultura of the Generalitat of Catalonia, in Barcelona (Spain), has enjoyed the hospitality of the University of California since 2002. The University of California’s Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources has been hosting Dr.Luis Perez-Grau, IRTA’s senior scientist and IRTA-Cal Director, in the Laboratory of Prof. George Bruening to facilitate research, scientific and technical collaborations, and information exchages in agriculture and biotechnology in areas of common interest to Catalonia and California researchers, farmers, food producers, marketers and consumers.

Dr. Lluis Perez-Grau presence at UC Davis, acting as an Ag Research and Biotech Antenna, is just one of the many colaborations that the Catalan Governement and the California Government have jointly undertaken since the stablishment of the Gaspar de Portola Catalonian studies program and the sister State relationship of California and Catalonia that the Senate of the State of California and the Parliament of the Region of Catalunya established in 1987.

This activity was started with funding from ICREA (Institucio Catalana de Re├žerca i Estudis Avan├žats), DURSI (Departament de Universitats, Recerca i Societat de l’ Informacio) and IRTA and facilitated by Prof. George Bruening in the Plant Pathology Department at UC Davis. Instrumental to the inception of this collaboration framework were also Prof. Lowell Lewis, coordinator of the University of California/Catalunya Programs, and Dr. Josep Tarrago, founder and General Director of IRTA.