Mr Richard Elelman

Richard Elelman's picture

I am the Head of Public Administrations of the Fundació CTM Centre Tecnologic and Director of NETWERC H2O.

Born in London in 1961, and having completed my studies in Government and Public Administration in the United Kingdom (University of Northumbria, Newcastle-upon-Tyne), I began working in a number of countries which can be listed as follows:

My first practical experience was in Sudan between 1984 and 1986 whilst gathering information for a thesis concerned with the transition from political dictatorship to democracy, based on events in Turkey in 1984. During a period of great upheaval, civil war and dramatic social and economic hardship I was one of a number of people employed by the Government of the Democratic Republic of Sudan to coordinate activities with various NGOs in the towns of Berber, Atbara, Port Sudan and Kasala.
As a journalist, teacher and political analyst I have gained a lot of experience in the investigation and observation of environmental subjects from a political perspective in Europe, the Middle East and India. I have published many articles in English, Spanish and Catalan.
In 2007 I became the first foreign city councillor in Figueres and the first foreign deputy mayor in Catalunya. My principal responsibility was the creation of a long-term environmental policy for the city of Figueres and the county of the Alt Empordà, concentrating especially on three areas; water, (I was the Secretary of the Board of Directors of FISERSA, the municipal company providing water and public transport to 80,000 inhabitants divided into 13 municipalities) renewable energies and sustainable public transport. The most important aspects of my work from 2007 to 2011 were as follows:
I: The creation of the municipal by-law on water (approved in 2012) and the municipal by-law on renewable energies (approved in 2010).
II: The creation of La Comunidad de Desarrollo e Investigación Medioambiental CODIM, a technology park project for which I was awarded in June, 2011, the Premi John Shields of the 22@Network of Barcelona.
III: I founded a faculty of Sustainable Development in 2009 in collaboration with De Montfort University, (Leicester, UK) situated in the fortress of Sant Ferran in Figueres.
IV: I founded and was the first president (2008-2011) of the Environmental Network of the Urban Area of Figueres, an inter-municipal administration, designed to integrate the environmental policies of 16 different municipal governments.
V: I created the FIGUERES INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE which this year celebrated its 4th edition. For this project I was awarded the Medal for Excellence by the City of Saint Petersburg, Florida in January, 2011.
VI: As Vice-President of Consell d’Iniciatives Locals de Medi Ambient en la provincial de Girona CILMA, I represented the province on matters of water and public transport at the Federació Espanola de Municipios y Provincias FEMP. I was also a permanent member of the National Commission for the Application of European Policy in Spain from 2009 until 2011.
VII: I founded the Local Energy Agency, ALEF.
VIII: I created the first public electric bus service in Spain with funding from the Generalitat de Catalunya, the Diputacio de Girona and the City Council of Figueres. The new service was inaugurated in 2010. I was also actively involved with CIVITAS and was one of the founding members of its representative in Spain and Portugal, CIVINET. For the introduction of the first electric bus in Spain, I received the PREMIO CILMA for the best environmental policy of 2010.
IX: As a member of the Board of Directors of ENERGY CITIES, I was a founder and political leader of the European INTERREG project IMAGINE, the objective of which was to create an active and effective channel of communication on energy between the European Commission and the citizens of European cities. Other participants included PHILIPS, GENERAL ELECTRIC and VEOLIA.
X: I founded the Escuela Municipal de Teatre Eduard Bartoli, EMTEB.
XI: I was president of the Comisión para la memoria democratic. Working closely with Jorge Semprún, the writer and ex-Minister of Culture of Spain, I produced two film documentaries; ‘Figueres, 1939’ and ‘Cien dias’ about the last meeting of the Spanish Republican government in Figueres, the February of 1939.
Having established the priorities of the unit and worked on a number of European Funding Calls I have, since joining CTM in September, 2011 completed 4 principal actions:
I: I am the founder of the Network of Water in European Regions and Cities, NETWERC H2O. This is a European organization to promote, support and guarantee the implementation of good practices in the management of water in European municipalities. The initiative has the collaboration of the European Commission’s EIP on water, and as founding members now includes the Government of Catalunya, WSSTP, ERRIN, several universities and research centers from Europe, Israel and the United States as well as entities such as ENERGY CITIES, ICRA and EPEA.
II: I have created the CTM INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE with the objective of creating channels of communication between centers of R+D and public administrations. The first edition eas held in March, 2012 and included speakers from MIT, European universities, representatives of the private sector and national politicians. Since the first edition, it has been agreed in collaboration with the University of South Florida to develop the project into an annual transatlantic conference. The next edition will be in the June of 2013.
III: CTM has become involved in the European project IMAGINE as its principal technical coordinator.
IV: I have created an educational program in coordination with the Cousteau Foundation, NINEM foundation and other European and American agencies whereby teenagers are introduced to the work of research centers across Europe.