The University of Salamanca successful in the call for RETOS COLABORACION 2016

The University of Salamanca was awarded 7 University-Business collaborative projects in the Collaboration Challenge sponsored by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness.

The objective of the Collaboration Challenge call is to support cooperative projects carried out between companies and research organisms, which promote the development of new technologies and the business application of new ideas and techniques, and contribute to the creation of new products and services.

The accepted projects fall within the framework of the social challenges identified by the State Plan for RD&I, in which prevailing themes include Health, Demographic Changes and Wellbeing, and Digital Economy and Society. The experimental development projects combine knowledge and both scientific and business techniques oriented to various sectors including health and technology, among others, which allows for the development of new technology and facilitates getting the results to the market.

USAL will participate in projects that deal with a variety of themes such as social networks and marketing, predictive innovation, stimulating employability, ecological homes, massive analysis of clinical data to diagnose diseases, improved processing of clinical samples, or the development of processing algorithms.

 Results obtained

The seven projects accepted represent a donation of more than 5 million euros, which represents a direct return to the University of Salamanca of nearly €1.5M and an induced private investment as a result of the project of nearly €3M, for the RETOS 2016 call alone.

It is worth noting the significant public investment that will be made in hiring personnel, exceeding 1.000,000 euros earmarked for this purpose, which represents a very important financial injection to formalize employment contracts under these R&D projects, and the creation of qualified employment.

Likewise, these projects will open the way to future marketable products, promoting the development of new technologies, the business application of new ideas and techniques, and the contribution toward the creation of new products and services.

The results of the University of Salamanca in the RETOS 2016 call implies a success ratio greater than the national average among projects presented and those awarded. Overall 757 projects were presented for this call, of which 293 projects were approved, representing a national average of 39% acceptance compared with USAL, which had a success ration of 47%.

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This call represents an interesting opportunity for R&D companies and agents to execute innovative, collaborative projects with market-ready results. USAL’s interest in this call has been translated into the presentation of multiple proposals over the years, with the very strong support of the office of the Vice President of Research and Technology Transfer at USAL in the dissemination and promotion of its participation, the Office for Research and Technology Transfer (OTRI) which manages the entire call, and the efforts of the researchers at USAL.

Previous results positively validate this call, since the current year has seen approximately 15 projects related to the previous three calls. This represents a public investment of approximately €3M directed to USAL, and private investments of approximately 12 million euros which, as previously noted, includes nearly 2 million euros earmarked for the hiring of new staff.

For these reasons, the projects awarded to the University of Salamanca seek to contribute toward improving the technological balance of the country, developing high technology products and creating an international repercussion by reinforcing the international leadership ability of Spain’s system for Science, Technology and Innovation.

Juan Manuel Corchado

Full Professor in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence, Department of Computer Science and Automation, University of Salamanca, Spain.


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