Last Monday, I had the pleasure of participating in the IV White Paper Congress for the Development of Salamanca, organized by “La Gaceta” at the Palacio de Congresos. It is a flagship annual event aimed at assessing, in view of the new reforms, the position of Salamanca and its province in the agri-food sector; the labor market; the technology sector where Salamanca has a lot to say; and the tourism sector, in which Salamanca must reinvent itself in the face of strong competition.
“Projects to promote innovation and research” was the title of the roundtable in which I participated along with Jorge Llorente Cachorro, Deputy Councilor for Digital Transformation of the Regional Government of Castilla y León; Manuel Martín Portillo, Technology Director of Global Exchange; Cristina Muñoz Reja, R&D&I Director of Enusa; Víctor Monsalvo García, Head of Eco-Efficiency at Aqualia’s Innovation and Technology Department; José Portela Gutiérrez, Commercial Director of Companies in Castilla y León at CaixaBank; and Pedro García García, Manager of the Pulsed Lasers Center. Each one explained how their institution or company is integrating technology and we all agreed on the potential of Salamanca as a technological pole. I fully defend the idea expressed by the Vice Councilor: “Salamanca has a technological ecosystem that places it at the forefront of innovation”. This is the way it is, we have the right ingredients and we must work together to grow. We are grateful to the Junta for trusting in us. As Alfonso Fernández Mañueco, the President of the Junta, pointed out, the Junta promoted collaboration with the AIR Institute for the creation of a HUB for training in video game development, and it also promoted the center for entrepreneurship and innovation in Santa Marta de Tormes, together with the local government, the Santa Marta Town Council, and the University of Salamanca.
In addition, I am glad that the different roundtable participants, and not only the Deputy Councilor, defended the Salamanca Tech brand, which the AIR Institute has promoted together with the Salamanca Town Council. Salamanca Tech is a means of disseminating and promoting the image of Salamanca as a technology town. Precisely, next Friday we are holding a new event, this time in the field of quantum computing. “Salamanca Tech. Quantum Technology” is the title of the conference that will take place at the new headquarters of the AIR Institute on 27 October at 10:00 am. At this event, leading experts in this technology will discuss the revolution it is bringing about in areas such as finance. This was confirmed at the White Paper Congress by the representative of CaixaBank.
Generative and quantum artificial intelligence will transform the financial sector, as well as other areas, and Salamanca has to lead this process by providing educational opportunities. It provides such opportunities through the master’s degrees offered by the BISITE Research Group. However, we must also think about new degrees that cover the needs of the bio-health world; BISITE and the AIR Institute carry out research in bio-health and convert developments into reality by means of innovation. We also need to make Salamanca an attractive town for students in this sector. This is the right time, and we are going to make it happen.