An International Commission appointed by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports granted the maximum qualification, for the second consecutive year, to the progress developed by the joint initiative formed by the University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, DIPC and Tecnalia, in the development of the EUSKAMPUS International Campus of Excellence.
Thus, the EUSKAMPUS project faces its last stage with the goal of finishing the initiatives started in 2011. It is important to highlight that, less than half of the projects originally recognised as International Campus of Excellence have obtained an “A” qualification in the subsequent assessments that these projects must undergo.
UPV/EHU, DIPC and Tecnalia are undertaking the EUSKAMPUS project as an aggregation and collaborative work experience, focusing on making advancements in knowledge, which results in improvements in greater levels of social welfare. It is an ambitious smart specialisation programme, focused on the solution of social and global challenges, following the goals set out in the Europe 2020 Strategy, which raises the level of excellence of the institutions forming the aggregation, their international projection and the connection with the Basque social and economical network.
Report of the International Commission
The Independent International Commission has highlighted the following matters in the assessment report issued at the end of December 2013:
“EUSKAMPUS is an ambitious project that seeks to improve the performance of the UPV/EHU in its entire range of activities. If only part of the different actions of each area contribute to a permanent change in the university, then this project may become a model for other Spanish universities.”
“The EUSKAMPUS project has great potential to significantly contribute to the economical and social development of the Basque Country. The progress in the development of the Knowledge Poles (See below for more information on the Poles), with their emphasis on inter-institutional and multidisciplinary collaboration, is one of the greatest strengths of the project to position the UPV/EHU in the regional system of innovation”.
“The EUSKAMPUS project presents a balanced combination of activities and mobilisation of ideas and people with infrastructural projects that contribute to the Scientific Park”.
The main results and indicators registered throughout the Euskampus 2013 project are:
In the field of scientific improvement:
The creation of a Community of 11 Knowledge Poles in the areas of specialisation of the project. The Knowledge Poles are open spaces for collaboration with the aim of addressing social and global challenges, activating technological and scientific capacities of the aggregation through the design and implementation of collaborative initiatives in the areas of training, research and knowledge transfer to society. 13 institutions have participated and 20 initiatives have been implemented.
27% increase of scientific production in the entire aggregation and done collaboratively. In average, 61% of scientific production has been published in first quartile journals (top 25%), having increased scientific publications by over 50% in journals of this category since the beginning of the project. At least 80% of the published studies are produced in collaboration with other institutions, and over 50% are written in collaboration with international institutions.
Improvement of scientific and technological infrastructures in the Scientific Campus of the UPV/EHU.
In the field of valuation and transfer of knowledge:
Increase of the number of international patents requested since the beginning of the project, going from 44 in 2009 to 92 in 2013.
The number of new companies created by the aggregation has increased by 40% during the same period.
The annual income generated by technology transfer activities has increased by 56%, from 52.3 to 81.6 million Euros.
Launch of the Zabalduz doctorate degree programme, in collaboration with businesses and social institutions, having signed 35 agreements in its first calling.
In the field of internationalisation:
Implementation, together with the University Community of Bordeaux of the Euroregional Cross-border Campus. The EHUBAQ campus, formed by EUSKAMPUS and the Initiative d’Excellence Université de Bordeaux (IdEX is the equivalent programme to the International Campus of Excellence) is a key feature in the development of the project.
Increase of the number of active European projects, going from 63 to 205, and rising the annual project average of coordinated projects by over 150%.
Launch of the initiative for research and intervention in social innovation with international projection, Sinnergiak Social Innovation, and implementation of the Agirre Lehendakaria Center for Social and Political Studies, through a joint programme with the Columbia University, in New York and the University of George Mason, in Washington.
The EUSKAMPUS aggregation gathers approximately 70% of the research staff attracted by Ikerbasque. Over 90% of the Ikerbasque visiting professors were destined to institutions belonging to the Euskampus aggregation. The foreign researchers with long stays have increased by approximately 150%.
In the field of communication and dissemination:
Intense science dissemination activity that has transformed the Basque Country into a national and international reference in this area. Among others, the celebration of Passion for Knowledge – Quantum13 is remarkable, in which about 7,000 people have participated, as well as the launch of the international blog Mapping Ignorance.
Constitution of EUSKAMPUS Fundazioa, to strengthen the commitment to the public-private character of the project with the inclusion of agents in the productive, economic and innovative network of the Basque Country. The three founding members have been joined by other institutions: Ormazabal-Velatia Group, CAF and Kutxabank, as well as Ikerbasque. The University of Bordeaux is also represented in the Board of Trustees.
Remarkable future challenges
The most remarkable challenges for the future years, are the following:
Consolidation of the EUSKAMPUS International Campus of Excellence as a model for the collaboration of different private and public institutions to promote excellence and internationalisation.
Deployment of the 11 EUSKAMPUS Knowledge Poles in the aggregation institutions, extending the participation to companies, the Innobasque Basque Innovation Agency and society itself, promoting transfer and knowledge valuation activities.
Design and definition of programmes and institutions that guarantee the development of the EUSKAMPUS cooperative research model.
Global deployment of the Euroregional Cross-border Campus with the University of Bordeaux. In January 2014, the new University of Bordeaux was implemented, opening new collaboration possibilities and facilitating current processes.
Promotion of the integration of the EUSKAMPUS aggregation in projects, consortia and European cooperative initiatives within the framework of Horizon 2020 and programmes related to the different General Directorates of the European Commission.
Promotion of the University-Society Halls, to promote the integration of graduate and post-graduate students in joint initiatives of UPV/EHU, Tecnalia and DIPC, as well as other relevant institutions of the Euskampus project.
Organisation, sponsoring and promotion of events and communication channels related to scientific culture, creativity and innovation, in collaboration with local and international institutions of the culture and leisure world.
The Euskampus project has an initial funding of 16.9 million Euros, from different funds from the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness. Of these 16.9 million Euros, 12.5 have been destined to infrastructures and equipment of the Scientific Park and the rest has been allocated to the development of different programmes of the project, related to cooperative research, the promotion of entrepreneurship, the creation of a post-graduate degree, connection with alternating training, development of the euro-regional campus, international promotion, scientific dissemination, creativity projects, etc. The project has also received additional funding amounting to 5 million Euros from the Basque Government through the 2012 Innovation Fund, which has completed the funding of former programmes and has allowed to launch the first call for pre-doctoral contracts with companies and social institutions (Zabalduz programme).
EUSKAMPUS, International Campus of Excellence
The EUSKAMPUS International Campus of Excellence is a strategic project of the University of the Basque Country, promoted by Corporación Tecnológica Tecnalia and the Donostia International Physics Center (DIPC). It pursues the purpose of achieving excellence and international projection of the training portfolio, research and transfer of knowledge in different areas of specialisation: Sustainable Ecosystems and Environmental Technologies; Innovative Processes and New Materials; Healthy Ageing and Quality of Life; and a new area: Art, Culture and Society. EUSKAMPUS also includes vast social responsibility goals of university projection towards the entire territory, which have been joined by public administrations and the main institutions of the Innobasque Basque Innovation Agency.
EUSKAMPUS seeks to consolidate an international academic space that is a benchmark in the European Atlantic axis. It pursues to internationally project a public, modern and top quality higher education model, which is reinforced and related to a rich network of institutions and agents that promote the research and transfer of knowledge to respond to the social, cultural and environmental challenges, in harmony with the Europe 2020 Strategy. Thus contributing to the international promotion of the Basque Country as a pole for science, technology, innovation, creativity and talent, making the project’s motto a reality: “One University, one Country, one Campus”.
Smart specialisation through a Community of Knowledge Poles
In this context the Knowledge Poles were created as a formula to materialise the smart specialisation of the EUSKAMPUS project. The poles are open spaces for inter-institutional and interdisciplinary collaboration to address social and global challenges, activating the technological scientific capacities of the aggregation through the design and implementation of collaborative measures in the areas of training, research and knowledge transfer to society.
The deployment of the poles is materialised with the articulation of the existing research structures and the promotion of the cooperative spirit and open innovation. Intelligence lies precisely in the ability to connect the multidisciplinary capacities, focusing them on the solution of challenges.
These are the 11 Euskampus Knowledge Poles that are in different phases of development:
|Euskampus Knowledge Poles||Areas of Specialisation of CEI Euskampus|
|Health and sustainable recovery of oceans||Sustainable ecosystems and environmental technologies|
|Agroforestry ecosystems: sustainable innovation and management|
|Land, landscape and heritage|
|Food and healthy lifestyles (corpore sano)||Healthy ageing and quality of life|
|Neurosciences (mens sana)|
|Simulation, modelling, computation and optimisation||Innovative processes and new materials
|Language and speech technologies for global communication|
|Manufacturing (Smart, sustainable and flexible manufacturing)|
|Creative processes laboratory: AusArt||Art, Culture and Society|