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 de Mayo de 1971, Salamanca, España) Catedrático en la Universidad de Salamanca. Ha sido Vicerrector de Investigación desde el 2013 hasta el 2017 y Director del Parque Científico de la Universidad de Salamanca. Elegido dos veces como Decano de la Facultad de Ciencias, es Doctor en Ciencias de la Computación por la Universidad de Salamanca y, además, es Doctor en Inteligencia Artificial por la University of the West of Scotland. Dirige el Grupo de Investigación Reconocido BISITE (Bioinformática, Sistemas Inteligentes y Tecnología Educativa), creado en el año 2000. Director del IOT Digital Innovation Hub y presidente del AIR Institute, J. M. Corchado también es Profesor Visitante en el Instituto Tecnológico de Osaka desde enero de 2015, Profesor visitante en la Universiti Malaysia Kelantan y Miembro del Advisory Group on Online Terrorist Propaganda of the European Counter Terrorism Centre (EUROPOL). J. M. Corchado ha sido presidente de la asociación IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics, y coordinador académico del Instituto Universitario de Investigación en Arte y Tecnología de la Animación de la Unviersidad de Salamanca e investigador en las Universidades de Paisley (UK), Vigo (Spain) y en el Plymouth Marine Laboratory (UK). En la actualidad compagina toda su actividad con la dirección de los programas de Máster en Seguridad, Animación Digital, Telefonía Movil, Dirección de Sistemas de Información, Internet de las Cosas, Social Media, Diseño e Impresión 3D, Blockchain, Z System, Industria 4.0, Gestión de Proyectos Ágiles y Smart Cities & Intelligent Buildings​, en la Universidad de Salamanca y su trabajo como editor jefe de las revistas ADCAIJ (Advances in Distributed Computing and Artificial Intelligence Journal), OJCST (Oriental Journal of Computer Science and Technology) o Electronics MDPI (Computer Science & Engineering section). J. M. Corchado desarrolla principalmente trabajos en proyectos relacionados con Inteligencia Artificial, Machine Learning, Blockchain, IoT, Fog Computing, Edge Computing, Smart Cities, Smart Grids y Análisis de sentimiento.

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