Project Description

Polibienestar Research Institute



Jorge Garcés: 

Polibienestar is a Public Research Institute belonging to the University of Valencia. It is specialized in research, innovation and social technology, technical advice and training in the field of public policies. Its final mission is the improvement of the Welfare and Quality of Life of society.

Polibienestar is composed by an interdisciplinary team with 34 senior and 24 junior researchers with national and European experience from the departments of Preventive Medicine and Public Health; Didactics and School Organisation; Educational Sciences; Personality, Assessment and Psychological Treatment; Applied Economics; Marketing; Labour and Social Security Law; Commercial Law; Social Work and Social Services; Sociology and Social Anthropology. These researchers come from 9 national universities (Universitat de València; Politécnico de Valencia; Universidad Jaume I de Castellón; Universidad de Burgos; Universidad de Murcia; Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha; Universidad de Extremadura; Politécnico de Madrid; y Universidad del País Vasco) and 2 International ones (Universidad de Concepción, Chile; and  Universidad Autónoma de Encarnación, Paraguay).

Polibienestar develops interdisciplinary research applied in social sciences. This interdisciplinary perspective is necessary to respond to the complexity of welfare systems and allows Polibienestar to develop, from innovative and classic research, effective analysis and solutions for new social challenges. In this line, Polibienestar advises the Administration and private entities in the design, planning and implementation of social welfare policies and services.

Polibienestar has a large experience in European funds with more than 30 projects under different programmes of the European Commission, such as: VI and VII Framework; Ambient Assisted Living (AAL); II and II Health from the DG Sanco; III Daphne and  DG Justice; Lifelong Learning; Erasmus +; COSME; Cross-Border Cooperation in the Mediterranean; Progress; or Competitiveness and Innovation Framework.

In the field of autism, Polibienestar is member of Fundación Miradas within the framework of the Chair “Miradas por el Autismo” (Sights for Autism) aimed to promote the rights of people with ASD and their families, and to reinforce skills and competences of professionals working with them.

Moreover, in their team they have staff with more than 20 years of experience working with people with disabilities both at educative and care services, as well as in research following an inclusiveness approach aimed to encourage and promote quality of life among them and their families.

Staff involved

Jorge Garcés Ferrer
Jorge Garcés FerrerIPA+ Coordinator. Professor and Director of Polibienestar

Full Professor at the University of Valencia and Director of Polibienestar Research Institute. Former Prince of Asturias Chair at Georgetown University (Washington) during the period 2014-2016.

He has also been visiting professor at the University of Innsbruck (Austria) and at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam (The Netherlands), as well as visiting researcher at the Universities of Washington, Oxford and Cambridge.

As a social scientist, he develops his work in Polibienestar. His research has been focused on Comparative Social Policy in Europe, especially on ageing and social innovation and on the increase of efficiency and effectiveness of long term care policies in Europe. He has been main researcher or member of research teams in nearly 100 projects and research contracts with European, Regional and Local Administrations. He has participated as an expert in the Commission of Social Policy of the Spanish Parliament and in different committees organized by the European Commission.

He is the author/ co-author of 25 books and more than 100 scientific papers and he has participated in almost 200 national and international conferences especially related to social policies. His work has appeared in publishers of international prestige such as Nova Publishers, Routledge, McGraw-Hill and Peter Lang.

He has also published essays and opinion articles by the specialized press, as well as some books on Valencian costumbrist literature and children’s literature.

In 2009 he awarded a Doctorate Honoris Causa by the University of San Pedro in the Republic of Peru, in 2013 by the Autonomous University of Encarnación (Paraguay) and in 2016 by the University Jaume I of Castellón. In 2015 the University of Burgos has awarded him with a medal for the services provided.

Ascensión Doñate-Martínez
Ascensión Doñate-MartínezIPA+ project manager and researcher

Psychologist, Master in Neurosciences and PhD candidate in the field of Social Sciences.

She is researcher at Polibienestar in topics such as autism, health promotion, ageing, risk stratification systems, management of chronic diseases, integrated care, public health policies, assisted living technologies, strengthening skills of health and social care staff, Welfare States or childhood protection. She has experience in European programmes, such as: Erasmus+, LifeLong Learning, VII Framework, II & III Health Programme, AAL, COST Actions or III Daphne.
The results of her research have been published in journals indexed at ISI-Journal Citation Reports, such as Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics and have been presented at a large number of national and international scientific and academic conferences.

Furthermore, she has been a visiting researcher in the Department of Public Health at the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam (2015) and in the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Iceland (2016).

José Luis Cuesta Gómez
José Luis Cuesta GómezExpert in autism and researcher

PhD in Education Sciences and Pedagogue. He is the Director of the Chair “Miradas por el Autismo” (Sights for Autism) and member of the management board of the Spanish Association of Professionals of Autism (AETAPI); of which he was the former President for six years.

He has more than 20 years of experience with people with disabilities both at educative and care services, as well as in research. He has been speaker of a wide number of national and international conferences about autism and disability and is author of several publications in these topics. His main research areas in the field of autism are focused on quality of life approach, quality of services, social and labour inclusion and development of specialized services.

Currently he is also the Director of the “Course on Expert about ICTs application in the intervention with people with ASD” offered by the Universidad de Burgos.