In 2012, the BANKING, FINANCE AND BUSINESS ACTIVITY STRATEGIC AREA, in collaboration with Banco Santander, established two strategic centres: the Santander Financial Institute (SANFI), for banking and finance matters and the Santander International Centre for Entrepreneurship (CISE), for business activities.
SANFI was established as a centre for training, research and transfer concerning banking and finance with the vocation to become a Joint Institute. In terms of teaching, the centre organises and manages the Master's in Banking and Financial Markets, leading a prestigious and well-known international collaboration with Banco Santander and relevant educational institutions. To date, the Master's is imparted in 3 continents, 4 countries and in 3 languages; demand for the course is strong and consolidated, training a total of over 1,100 participants in all its editions. The significantly high rate of employability is particularly interesting (students in the Master's achieve a rate of employability in the financial sector in Spain of 98%) as are the in-company training activities completed as custom-tailored programmes for Banco Santander.
Research is focused on "Global Markets", "Banking Processes" and "History of Banking and Finance", strengthened by the application of the call to attract international talent as part of the CIC AGL Programme, which was expanded in 2014 to offer prestigious professors a brief stay at UC. Thanks to this initiative, 8 foreign professors visit and collaborate with the university. In addition, details were recently closed for a Call for Research Projects to be developed by groups headed by an internationally prestigious foreign researcher along with a coordinator from UC.
SANFI also promotes, coordinates and manages actions with national and international impact to favour the transfer of financial and economic knowledge: the Banco Santander Historic Archive and the Financial Education Project "Finances for Mortals (FxM)". Thus, a first-rate digital archive has been compiled including banking history from the XIX century thanks to the collection provided by Banco Santander . It currently includes 25,000 documents dating as far back as 1565. Furthermore, "FxM" is a university project focused on improving the financial orientation and education of society in general through the www.finanzasparamortales.es portal.
CISE was established within the UCEIF Foundation promoted by UC and Banco Santander, along with the Government of Cantabria, to become an international reference centre in research, knowledge transfer and training in entrepreneurship and business development. In less than two years, it has promoted research and dissemination projects about the value of the entrepreneurial culture, new entrepreneurship methodologies and high-quality training programmes for all educational levels, including educators, researchers, entrepreneurs and companies.
In 2012, the 1st annual edition of the CISE-Babson Symposium for Entrepreneurship Educators was imparted along with Babson College to train educators in entrepreneurship, exclusively for international students in 2014. In 2013, a Transversal master's in Entrepreneurship was offered in a unique format that allows Graduate and Postgraduate studies to be combined (in collaboration with the School of Industrial Organisation-EOI). The centre designed and developed the e2 programme "Student x Entrepreneur" that trains university students in entrepreneurial skills, including a student "tutor" and a mentor. The programme has brought together over 150 UC students and 30 entrepreneurs, constituting 3 companies and has been exported to various FP centres and other autonomous regions, and has begun an edition for doctorate students: DOC-e. CISE heads and coordinates the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) project in Spain, the most important network of entrepreneurship researchers in the world with presence in 90 countries; and has developed the Advance Programme in Business Management .
The I and II editions of the International Encounter of Entrepreneurship Experts (2011 and 2013) were organised as aggregation and internationalisation initiatives supported by Banco Santander, along with other regional agents. These meetings constituted the seed for CISE and promoted the compilation and presentation before the Government of Cantabria of the report "Proposals for Strategic Actions for Entrepreneurship in Cantabria". The report laid down the foundations for the implementation of a new and ambitious regional system of entrepreneurship.
CISE has been configured as a formula for success, exporting its proven and consolidated programmes to other institutions and universities linked to entrepreneurship. Thus, in 2014, an agreement was signed to create a "Regional CISE Antenna" in the Region of Valencia, developed as an intercampus collaborative effort between Cantabria International Campus (CIC) and the Valencian campus (Campus Hábitat 5U).
The intense research work developed by UC's Pyme, Family Enterprise and Regional Image and Projection chairs, supported by Banco Santander and the Government of Cantabria is especially important. Also of particular relevance is the Doctorate in Business and Management of Entrepreneurial Activities applied to SMEs, Entrepreneurship and Family Business, organised by UC since 2010 and focused on training researchers and doctors among professors and directors of TEC in Monterrey (Mexico) and whose success led to the organisation of the 2nd edition in 2013. In addition, an international network of research teams concerning Pymes was consolidated with the constitution of the Foundation for Strategic Analysis and Development of SMEs (FAEDPYME) in 2011. This was promoted by UC and the Universities of Murcia and Polytechnic of Cartagena, with support from their respective regional governments and Banco Santander, with the objective of strengthening training, research and transfer concerning Pymes, taking on the responsibility of the Observatory on Pymes mentioned above .