We frequently relate the creation of successful companies and the kick-starting of innovative projects with far-away places, like Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv, Berlin, Boston or Vancouver. The cinema and TV contribute to feeding the image of successful young people who make their business ideas reality in garages and warehouses, from where you can only climb upwards, propelled by the strength of genius concepts and a lot of work.

The reality shows that this is not the case, not always. The process of globalization causes innovative initiatives to emerge in spaces and place where, less than a decade ago it seemed impossible.

This is coming true in the whole University district of the University of Salamanca. For example, in Zamora, where initiatives are being taken for the kick-starting of entrepreneurship projects.

Also in Béjar, whose Engineering School has been set up one year ago in a Hub space in order to accommodate students and graduates who want to start their own business adventure.

This also happened in Ávila where those that are the most enterprising have a space of this type at their disposal, and as in the case of Béjar, they usually remain for a few months.

What about Salamanca?

In our city we are witnessing a structural evolution of companies which introduces changes to the productive model, accentuating knowledge and its use. This process accelerates with time and feeds itself. In the University of Slamanca we can verify this, because in the Villamayor Scientific Park more companies are getting installed every month. Mainly, they are newly created companies and those that have been born out of the initiative of USAL’s graduates.

Behind this phenomenon there are complex, but easy to understand, processes. Knowledge has become the main value of markets, above primary materials, warehouses and offices, distribution channels and marketing.  It doesn’t substitute any of them but it nourishes them and allows many new businesses which are being created to not mortgage their future on costly facilities, on importing sophisticated equipment items or forming part of exclusive trade networks. For this reason, a high entrepreneurial percentage is concentrated on ICT, or rightly, makes communications the key of their business model.

However, the good ideas emerge come in a spontaneous way through inspiration. We lack a basis over which to create a company structure. Even before investment, work and a business plan is the training.

This is where universities come into play as shapers of qualified professionals in all areas of knowledge, not forgetting the role we play in basic and applied research.

We are on the right way. A few weeks ago, an initiative of Salamanca’s Council was made known, their plan is to kick-start a program that attracts talent, with the aim of financing the work of five young researchers who are in conditions of leading work groups and developing I+D projects in periods of three years. This initiative, which is backed by Fecyt and a group of evaluators led by Mariano Barbacid, it is a clear and brave commitment to making Salamanca the head of the cities in which research is fostered.

It is clear that the creation of businesses and entrepreneurship does not exclusively happen in big cities. And that Salamanca, Zamora, Ávila and Béjar create interesting conditions for those who graduate in our University and have the possibility to launch the development of entrepreneurial projects, although this does not mean that we have to put aside proposals from big, multinational and national companies that are also interested in settling here.

This is why it is good to pay attention to what is happening and what is to come and not letting any opportunity pass by. By the way, the deadline for eligibility for the aids is the 30th of September.



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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