Two strategic preferential lines are proposed, the generation of a great critical mass of researchers, and the integration of research infrastructures of high international singularity, as way of attracting talent, and as well as to generate the best knowledge and to suit both the technological and industrial sectors’ needs.
The University of Cantabria and the Regional Government are actively working to foster the human capital, the development of technological and scientific infrastructures, the links with the industry and the internationalization of the activities related to water and renewable energies. The great bet between the Regional Government and the UC in this area has been the creation in 2007 of the Institute of Environmental Hydraulics (IH Cantabria), a joint research institute devoted to approach the study of the integral water cycle, nucleus that is allowing to generate a critical mass of highly competitive research, with an active policy of attraction of talent (see Project of Scientific Improvement), integration of research platforms, international collaboration agreements and participation in programmes of excellence and of international cooperation.
IH Cantabria supports important links with the Institute of Physics of Cantabria (IFCA, CSIC-UC) in the analysis of geophysical relevant processes and of the wind resources and in the study of climate change. It collaborates actively in the marine area with the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO) and in the area of the marine renewable energies with the Laboratory of Material Science and Engineering (LADICIM) of the UC and with the Technological Centre of Components (CTC). The environmental and management issues and territorial planning concerned in the management of the water and energy resources are also tackled by IH Cantabria in collaboration with different research groups the UC.
The aggregation of university research groups, institutes, technological centres, OPIS (Public Research Institutions) and industry R&D centres, with complementary lines to cover the whole life cycle in the area of the marine renewable energies, allows to reach the aim to gather over 400 researchers, of high quality and specialization focused on water and energy, climate change and mitigation, resources and territorial planning.
Joint efforts by the Regional Government, the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation and UC rely on mutual trust and make it possible to develop a well-structured and planned set of scientific and technological research infrastructures in the field of marine renewable energy of international excellence and singularity. The sum of new infrastructures contributed by the different aggregated entities turns the CCI into the only campus in the world capable of carrying out experimental research practically covering the whole life cycle of marine renewable energy technologies, from small scale up to prototype scale. The set of experimental infrastructures includes:
- Supercomputing Node "Altamira", Large-Scale Infrastructure, Ministry of Science and Innovation, one of five nodes in the
- Spanish Supercomputing Network (RES)
- IH Cantabria computing network
- IFCA-CSIC distributed computing network
Experimental facilities, small-large scale:
- Cantabria Coastal and Ocean Wave Basin, Large-Scale Experimental Facility, Ministry of Science and Innovation
- Wave basins and flumes (including currents) (UC, IH Cantabria).
- Wave flume for waves and wind (offshore wind energy) (IDERMAR, S.L.)
- Material Science and Engineering Laboratory (UC, LADICIM)
- Service of Materials Characterization, UC.
Experimental facilities, prototype scale:
- Experimental Offshore Park for Wave Energy Prototypes (Santoña) (SODERCAN, IDAE (Spanish Ministry of Industry, SWEP).
- Experimental Offshore Park offshore for Offhsore Wind Techologies (IDERMAR, S.L. and IH Cantabria, operative 2012)
- Wind Turbine Testing Site, (VESTAS).
- Coastal Observing Network managed by IH Cantabria (Government of Cantabria).
- Oceanographic buoy "Augusto Linares" (IEO).
- Submarine Inspection Service, UC.
- Experimental floating platforms for offshore wind measurements (IDERMAR, S.L.), unique in the world.
- Research Vessels (IEO).
- Creation of a joint Data Centre
There will be actions directed to the education at the posgraduate level, including the creation of an international Masters Degree in renewable marine energies and offshore engineering, which will join, together with other existing programmes with quality award in the field, the Postgraduate Studies Centre UC/UIMP/CSIC.
There will be other actions directed to corporate training and capacity building with the development of the CITAP, a training centre for professionals (lifelong learning), with several international centres and headquarters in Santander, associated with the port sector (port infrastructures, maritime transport and logistics) together with State Ports of Spain, the main Spanish Administration of the sector, and the Santander Port Authority. Also, technical training will be provided by the planned Renewable Energies Training Centre, providing education for personnel qualified for a sector in great demand internationally in the near future.
In knowledge and technology transfer.
The main action is the integration of the previous project of scientific improvement with the industrial sector in a great Cluster of Marine Renewable Energies. The strategic integration of the CCI with the Plan of Renewable Energy of the Government of Cantabria groups in the referred cluster the sectors of R&D and education with international leading companies of the sector as VESTAS, which creates the Cantabria VESTAS Center, an R&D Centre with UC as principal partner; SIEMENS, which plans to open a SIEMENS Competence Center, EON or REPOWER; national companies such as ACCIONA and IBERDROLA and regional companies of the highest capacity of innovation like IDERMAR, S.L. a spin-off of the UC specialized in offshore wind energy by means of floating platforms.
Other partners of the CCI aggregation will join the Cluster, such as the Santander Port Authority that seeks to become an international logistics centre for both this sector and more than 100 regional companies led by SODERCAN. Collaboration with private companies is facilitated in addition by the construction of the Tower of Renewable Energies that will house companies in the PCTCAN. This cluster is of paramount importance and there is only one similar in Bremerhaven (Germany), CCI offering the high added value of the projects of educational and research improvement proposed.
The previous lines of improvement constitute, per se, sources of internationalization. The links of the CITAP with the Organization of American States; the agreements with centres like the Cornell-Center for a Sustainable Future or the presence in the CCI of international centres of investigation of multinationals like SIEMENS and VESTAS, tied to important international networks, will favour the mobility of students, faculty members, researchers and technical personnel and, in general, the enhancement of global project. The institutional coordination, the researchers' aggregation and the singular experimental infrastructures will favour the attraction of international talent and the participation in international research projects. In this labour of values and knowledge dissemination the UIMP plays a preponderant role.
In transformation of the campus for the development of a social integral model.
This CI, integrated with the Plan of Renewable Energy of the region, turns into key of the structural change, based on knowledge, of the economy of Cantabria, which means its reorganization towards an advanced and sustainable model of society.
In Interaction of the campus with its territorial environment.
This CI plays a central role in optimizing the aims of the Scientific and Technological Park of Cantabria, location of: the IH Cantabria, the Large-Scale Facility "Cantabria Coastal and Ocean Wave Basin", the Tower of Renewable Energies for industry, the Technological Centre of Components (CTC), the Renewable Energies Training Centre and the research centres of the most relevant multinational companies. Education, training, research and knowledge and technology transfer coexist in a space destined to develop the tree of the science.
To the CCI actions aiming at interacting with its environment contribute the Santander Port Authority as a logistic centre; the CITAP located in the campus of the Magdalena Peninsula, and the offshore experimental parks on the oriental and western coast of Cantabria integrating the sea as fundamental part of the territory.