Promotion of small joint (university-business) research projects aimed at solving technological needs or challenges previously identified by the business side.
The objective is to promote small joint (university-business) projects in RTD aimed at solving technological needs or challenges previously identified from the business side.

These challenges are identified through an open call for proposals launched by FUESCYL and addressed to enterprises. These technological needs are disseminated among researchers by the different universities.
In addition to this, each university can launch their own calls for projects with specific prizes.

This “University-Business Challenge Contest” is developed in the framework of TCUE Plan -which stands for “University-Business Knowledge Transfer Plan of Castilla y León-. Thus this contest is not an isolated action but is part of a bigger Plan of the Regional Government which assures its sustainability in the time. At the same time, TCUE Plan develops the objectives and the action of the Research and Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialization of Castilla y León 2014-2020 (RIS3), especially enhancement of knowledge generated at university. Therefore projects developed under this contest are focused on the thematic priorities identified in Castilla y León RIS3.

Main objectives:
- Matching companies technological demands with university scientific and technological solutions,
- Promoting university-business knowledge transfer,
- Facilitating future cooperation.

Target groups:
- Private companies (regardless their origin),
- Universities.

- Financial support.

Resources needed

Annual budget in Euro: 75.000€ plus FUESCYL staff costs (company structure and staff are not quantified).

Funding sources: private sponsor – Bank of Santander. No ERDF.

Evidence of success

- During the 4 editions, developed between 2013 and 2016, 204 demands were received from different businesses and regional universities proposed 213 solutions for these demands,
- R&D awarded and executed projects: 13 plus 5 ongoing projects,
- In addition to the award winners, the Plan has identified a number of additional R&D projects in collaboration university-company, and supported by TCUE Plan (at least 44 specific projects -developed or under development-).

Difficulties encountered

Most of the university-business projects participating in the contest are high quality projects. Unfortunately there are not prizes for all of them, what can cause some kind of frustration.

Potential for learning or transfer

- Simple scheme:
• Call for proposals for companies
• Dissemination to researchers (universities, research or technology centres)
• Requires previous knowledge of researchers’ areas of knowledge and interest.
- Not expensive in financial terms:
• Only universities’ additional costs (up to 12.000€),
• Companies pay for their part.
- Previous conditions needed:
• Possibility for researchers to participate, and incentives.
Main institution
Universities and Higher Education Foundation of Castilla y León (FUESCYL)
Castilla y León, Spain (España)
Start Date
January 2013
End Date


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