• The University and the Principality promote the transfer of research projects to the field of industry

    March 24, 2015

    The program ‘Proof of Concept' will show the innovative potential of the projects carried out by researchers in the main fields for the development of Asturias

    El rector y el consejero, tras la firma del convenio

    The University of Oviedo and the Regional Government have signed a collaboration agreement aimed at promoting the implementation of basic research projects in the industrial field. The agreement, signed by the rector Vicente Gotor, and the Councilor for Economy and Employment, Graciano Torre, means the first step towards a public-private funding pattern that aims to stimulate the scientific and technological transfer, involving leading companies.

    This initiative, called Proof of Concept, will show the innovative potential of projects developed by researchers who carry out their professional activities in the region in the main areas related to science and technology in the Strategies for Smart Specialization (RIS3).

    This program, which will be developed through the Institute for the Economic Development of the Principality (IDEPA), in collaboration with the academic institution, will require as a prior step, an agreement with a leading company willing to collaborate with the purpose of the agreement.

    The structure of the program will consist of encouraging researchers with projects completed to join the call with a proposal that highlights the excellence of the results obtained in accordance with scientific knowledge criteria and that contains a work plan that proves the usefulness of the topic developed, as the ultimate objective is to transfer the quality knowledge developed in the laboratory to the field of industry.

    The candidates selected will be awarded 30.000 euros which will allow researchers to carry out, for a period of 12 months, the study of technical validation or proof of concept for the applications planned in the research project. The company ArcelorMittal collaborates with the Regional Ministry of Economy and Employment in the development of the program, providing 50% of the economic allowance that will be given to the selected candidate. The University of Oviedo, in addition to inviting its own researchers to participate in the project, will also make sure all the requirements of the call are met and, once the economic aid provided by the Regional Ministry and the corresponding collaborating entity has been received, it will guarantee the development of the projects in the industrial area.

    Both the rector and the councilor believe the Program Proof of Concept will promote the industrial leadership through technology, encouraging specialization of R+D activities of the leading companies. Moreover, the rector emphasized that this agreement aims to strengthen relations between university research and Asturian companies, in order to solve the existing lack of knowledge transfer and to improve competitiveness.

    The main scientific-technical areas of the Strategies for Smart Specialization are described below:

    Nanomaterials: The industrial field identifies nanomaterials as a source of functionalization of traditional materials or a way for the products to evolve towards medium-high technology or markets with a higher added value. The results of these disciplines are actually very promising as they improve the properties of materials and open new areas of application like energy, health, renewable materials, construction…

    Graphene: The RIS3 of Asturias suggests establishing a new Asturian strategy taking graphene as a basis, oriented towards its different applications and the identification of noches of specialization in specific applications.

    Additive manufacturing: Additive manufacturing, in addition to being a challenge for the limits of the current manufacturing processes, is also considered an element that facilitates the industrialization of some of the new technologies (nanomaterials, graphene, sensors, etc.) identified as interesting for specialization in the region.

    Data analysis: The quick and strong digitalization process that is taking place in our society has created the need to collect and organize a huge amount of information. The field of work known as BigData offers the possibility of analyzing these data, translating the research into new business opportunities.

    Sensors: The demand of measure units for physical, chemical or biological magnitudes gathers the general interest of the economic activity from different perspectives, industrial production, logistics, environmental control, health, etc. Sensorics is a discipline that requires multidisciplinary knowledge, which goes from the creation and manufacture of the sensor to the systems for signal reception and treatment, amongst others.

    Biotechnology in the Dairy Industry: Keeping the idea of the field of dairy products as the benchmark in the region requires not only keeping up with the standards of quality of raw materials, but also adapting to current times including bioactive components for the functionalization of derivatives.

    Biomedicine: The RIS3 of Asturias provides recognition to the research excellence in Biomedicine of human resources focused in the Cluster of Biomedicine and Health of the Campus of International Excellence of the University of Oviedo, which groups international leading research groups and suggests the need to strengthen links between basic and clinical research, promoting the generation of new treatments.