Support to students for realization of market-oriented prototypes previous to potential commercialization of a new product, process or service.
Consists on regular and periodic competitive open calls realized by the universities of the region. The calls are addressed mainly to students and tutors of the prototypes (researchers or teachers). Proposals can be presented individually or in a team in order to develop a prototype in the framework of their university studies.
This Programme is compatible with the realization of Degree, Master and PhD, and are aimed at solving specific needs of enterprises, market or society. Special interest is focused on projects supported by companies.
These calls are managed directly by universities through their Offices for Knowledge Transfer (OTC). There is a Selection Committee in each university, formed by academic authorities, representatives of OTC and sometimes representatives of companies.
The ultimate goal is to obtain products or processes with the potential to be launched to the market by encouraging the creation of companies and the registration of patents in universities.
These Programmes are supported by TCUE Plan -“University-Business Knowledge Transfer regional Plan. Thus they are not isolated actions but they are part of a bigger Plan of the Regional Government which assures the sustainability in the time. TCUE Plan develops the objectives and actions of the RIS3 of Castilla y León 2014-2020.
- Financial support to develop prototypes,
- IIPR protection of the prototypes,
- Support to elaborate a business plan or a commercialization plan.
Annual budget in Euro: estimated 200.000€ approximately (prototyping and human resources included), depending on the year.
Funding sources: ERDF.
Evidence of success
Since 2010: 347 market-oriented prototypes have been developed in the regional universities:
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2010-2016
TOTAL 30 52 43 43 50 64 65 347
However, not thorough record of the number of them that have been licensed or new companies generated out of them.
Potential for learning or transfer
Some reasons why we consider this practice as being potentially interesting for other regions to learn from:
- It consists on a simple scheme: a call for proposals for students carried out in the different universities of the region. Usually one or two by year,
- Not expensive: approx. 1.000€ for prototype and some specialized training on IPR and creation of new companies as well as mentoring to students,
- According to Higher Education European Area (Bologna): possibility to link it to end-of Degree, Master, PhD theses, etc.
- Based on the initial idea of the “University Club on Innovation” of the Pontifical University of Salamanca and developed as a good practice transferred to the rest of the regional universities.