A few days ago I participated in the presentation of the new edition of the Market-Oriented Prototypes Program at the University of Salamanca. The initiative is framed within the TCUE (University-Business Knowledge Transfer), a plan that drives the Board of Castile and León.

The idea is to encourage last year students to create models which can serve as a base for creative products or services, which would have the possibility of reaching the market.

For undergraduate or master students who are about to finish their training, this call is a big challenge to their ability. They will have to search for new answers to problems or needs that are expected to be solved. The idea of young people, who have a lot of preparation and creativity, faces real challenges that come from the work environment in which they will land in a few years, from saving energy in production systems to improving the potency or effectiveness of certain Machines or industrial processes.

This call is a big challenge to the ability of undergraduate and master students who are about to finish their studies. They will have to search for new answers to problems and needs which are waiting to be solved. These people have a lot of preparation and creativity but little experience. For the first time they will face real challenges which are normally encountered in a working environment and will deal with a large variety of topics; from energy efficiency in production systems to improving the power or effectiveness of certain machines or industrial processes.

Among the dozens of projects that the University of Salamanca presents each year there are always some that surprise us, and not only the teachers and managers of the Board. Entrepreneurs, heads of staff, head-hunters and business angels are interested in the initiatives of boys and girls, usually under the age of 25, who spend an extra part of their time in the university to tell outsiders: “Here we are and this is what we know how to do. “

I have followed the trajectory of several of them these years. Some did not go ahead with their project. Others have submitted them to third parties for further development. And the most intrepid ones embarked on the adventure of creating a spin off, a product research company. The latter are not only working, but employing other people and entering the labor and business market in grand style.

In the era of image and synthetic messages, where dozens of television shows are looking for unknown stars through castings, coaching and online voting, it is a good idea to take a look at young people who do not want to be models, but who work to create them; prototypes of goods and services, are in many cases designed to make life easier for people.

For these boys and girls, what they say, how they say it, or the image they transmit in a video is not the most important thing.  What really matters to them is what they do in their faculties, schools and universities like Salamanca. And the difference between stars and scientists is that their contribution and memory will remain beyond the next block of ads.

This article has been published in the supplement Innovadores of El Mundo de Castile and León.

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Posted by Juan M. Corchado

Juan Manuel Corchado (15 May 1971, Salamanca, Spain) is Professor at the University of Salamanca. He has been Vice-Rector for Research from 2013 to 2017 and Director of the Science Park of the University of Salamanca. Elected as Dean of the Faculty of Science twice, he holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Salamanca and a PhD in Artificial Intelligence from the University of the West of Scotland. He leads the renowned BISITE (Bioinformatics, Intelligent Systems and Educational Technology) Research Group, created in 2000. Director of the IoT Digital Innovation Hub and President of the AIR Institute, J. M. Corchado is also Visiting Professor at the Osaka Institute of Technology since January 2015, Visiting Professor at the Universiti Malaysia Kelantan and Member of the Advisory Group on Online Terrorist Propaganda of the European Counter Terrorism Centre (EUROPOL). J. M. Corchado has been president of the IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics Society, and academic coordinator of the University Institute for Research in Art and Animation Technology at the University of Salamanca, as well as researcher at the Universities of Paisley (UK), Vigo (Spain) and the Plymouth Marine Laboratory (UK). He currently combines all his activity with the direction of Master programmes in Security, Digital Animation, Mobile Telephony, Information Systems Management, Internet of Things, Social Media, 3D Design and Printing, Blockchain, Z System, Industry 4.0, Agile Project Management, and Smart Cities & Intelligent Buildings, at the University of Salamanca and his work as editor-in-chief of the journals ADCAIJ (Advances in Distributed Computing and Artificial Intelligence Journal), OJCST (Oriental Journal of Computer Science and Technology) or Electronics MDPI (Computer Science & Engineering section). J. M. Corchado mainly works on projects related to Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Blockchain, IoT, Fog Computing, Edge Computing, Smart Cities, Smart Grids and Sentiment Analysis. He has recently been included in the board of trustees of the AstraZeneca Foundation, along with other health professionals and researchers recognised for bringing scientific knowledge closer to society.

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