The TECHNOLOGY AREA has established the international reputation of the UC, and the Autonomous Community as a whole, as an area of innovation with ground breaking initiatives such as Smart Cities, Internet of Things or FIRE (Future Internet Research and Experimentation).
This Strategic CIC Area represents the most paradigmatic example of the "knowledge ecosystem", through which a city like Santander has taken a decisive step towards innovation. The city is becoming an urban laboratory of international importance for experimentation based on IoT, enhancing services through citizen participation. This has been made possible through the impulse given by the UC, within the FP7 framework and in collaboration with private entities such as Banco Santander, Telefónica, NEC Corporation, Indra, IBM or Ferrovial Servicios.
Thus, within the context of the Smart Cities project, the UC has raised 5.3M€ during 2009-2014, 3M€ of which through European funding, for 11 projects of the ICT programme of the FP7. This represents 21% of the total international funding raised by the UC during this period. Four projects have already been presented within this new framework programme, in partnership with other cities in Europe and Asia. The area has also produced the spin-off: TST Sistemas.
The flagship project of these 11 initiatives is Smart Santander (video) which, after 36 months, has installed over 20,000 sensors. A highly favourable report by the European Commission indicated that the project had exceeded all expectations. This has been taken as a model for subsequent calls for FIRE projects. The international impact of the project, both through the participation of its directors in forums (Smart City Event, Amsterdam 2014), and the media interest from around the world, has fostered the participation of UC researchers in international projects, not only within a European context (agreements with universities such as Aarus and Lübeck) but also in North America (invitation to participate in projects of the US National Science Foundation) and Asia (IIR Singapore), HIT and the University of Keio (Japan).
The transfer capacity of the area led to the creation, foreseen in the CIC Strategic Plan, of the Santander Smart City Research Centre (CiCis), located at the UC Centre for Technological Development (CDTUC). It is the result of cooperation between the university, the City of Santander and the company Ferrovial Servicios. After the designation of a director, the centre is currently working on its two initial projects.
The model of public-private partnership has an extensive track record in the UC, with the creation of the first Observatory of University Smart Card (OTTIUC), in collaboration with Banco Santander. It was responsible of the development of the Student Smart Card (TUI), with adaptations to mobile technologies, established now in 262 universities in 11 countries.
Thus, ICT has consolidated its role as a key sector for growth and innovation in Cantabria, gateway to the interconnection of regions throughout the world and the centrepiece for the innovation strategies of both the capital of Cantabria (Director Plan for Innovation) and the Autonomous Community as a whole. Additionally, and in the context of the CIC, an ICT Cluster is being constituted, with important advances made through agreements with IBM, INDRA, NEC and others.
In the field of chemical technologies, the UC is participating in the Indo-European project Greentech, in partnership with the Institute of Chemical Technology (India) and the University de Oulu (Finland), as well as the BRIGIT and TIGI projects. Work is also continuing on the creation of the future "Centro de I+D Solvay" as well as the Santander Fire Research Center (SFRC), which has a strong support from the City Hall.
The UC has extensive expertise in the field of process innovation and in the classification and development of new multi-functional materials, leading to close collaboration with the private sector. This has also led to the participation in a number of clusters (Rehabilitation Technology Cluster) and the raising of research funds through competitive calls (in the microelectronics sector alone 6 European projects were awarded during the period 2009-2014).
In terms of teaching, the experience gained in Information Technologies is applied in the Interuniversity Doctorate in Information and Communication Technologies in Mobile Networks, with Mention of Excellence. Meanwhile, the connection with other technological research group of the UC and private companies has led to the development of a series of professional Masters, such as the Master's in Datacentre Management (through the connection with the CPD of Banco Santander, installed in 2011 in Cantabria); the Expert in "Software Siemens Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)" or the Master's in Construction Sciences (with FCC); as well as the International Master's in Technology, Rehabilitation and Edification Management, the first joint degree of UC-UIMP.