The UPM has taken advantage of the recognition by the Ministry of Education of its Montegancedo Campus as a Campus of International Excellence in 2010 to support the creation of the Centre for Support for Technological Innovation (CAIT – its initials in Spanish) with the fundamental objective of promoting the exploitation of the results of the R&D activity as well as serving as a stimulus to the innovation process in the business ecosystem close to the UPM.
The justification for the creation of the CAIT arises from the analysis of the general situation and that of the UPM in particular as set out in the previous sections and the institutional will consolidate the already initiated process. Specifically, starting from recognising the success of the process of technological innovation and the transfer of knowledge from the universities to the productive sectors requires the design and use of new institutional initiatives that strengthen the showcasing of the R&D effort in a differentiated way from the strategies of an R&D&I centre or the activities within the scope of the research groups.
This generic mission continues to be valid today. With it, it is expected that the CAIT will consolidate the already proposed objectives in the whole of the University by strengthening the entrepreneurial and innovative spirit of the UPM, the exploitation of the results of technological research and the valuing of the results of R&D in close connection with the private sector.
What has been around up until now is an institutional structure to support the innovation that cover some wider-ranging and ambitious objectives which exceed the scope of the UPM itself but this to be taken advantage of and accelerate its own development. It is a question, definitively, of putting into effect the creation of an "open technological ecosystem" promoted from a public technological university. Emphasis is made with this name to the "technological" character of the ecosystem, linked to the development of products or processes based on technologies, but this does not mean that the other element necessary to increase the confidence between the participating actors are discounted.
The Montegancedo CIE means a specific nucleus of action in which the aforementioned concept of an ecosystem can be developed quicker and with better perspectives of success: it comes together in the same central office of the Science and Technology Park itself (enjoying, among other elements, a business incubator) with research or technology centres, or joint laboratories, our own or created with other entities, and with a close relationship with schools and facilities, R&D research centres or institutes, located in other campuses of the UPM.
With the development of the open technological ecosystem of the UPM it is aimed to create a really positive process that cover the following specific objectives:
1. To attract new innovative businesses that are in a favourable environment to establish strategic alliances with the UPM and that combine its own activity with the carrying out of joint R&D activities with the UPM and with other entities of the ecosystem . Some of these entities may not come from the EU but from other places (for example the USA or the EU) in such a way that they favour their interaction with the UPM and the commercialization of its results.
2. Accelerate the development of technology through activities that facilitate the integration of technologies, their process of maturity into commercialized products and services, their active interaction with users throughout the life cycle of the products, and underpinned by commercial promotion in the international market.
3. Develop the spin-offs generated by the UPM or by other entities in partnership with the Montegancedo CIE more quickly (for example, from those entities with which research or mixed technology centres have been created) accelerating their process of growth and internationalization through agreements with investors and access to other technologies available in the ecosystem.
4. To bring a series of service platforms into service to the partner entities that make their location in the Campus attractive together with the collaboration between them for the integration of technologies and bringing to market.
5. Support the search for external financial resources for R&D activities, for the process of commercialization of technologies, and for the growth of spin-offs making the foreign investment in technology in Spain more attractive.
6. To know market needs and trends better with the aim of concentrating on acting in those areas of technology in which business investment is currently made and with it influence the activities of the UPM and those of the entities associated with it in the innovative technological ecosystem.
Figure 1 describes schematically the characteristics of the open technological ecosystem which has been made reference to. From this point of view, the CAIT must not be considered as an isolated incident but as an integral part of the innovative ecosystem associated with the UPM as the structural commitment that acts as a catalyst in its development (see this role in figure 1). The need to cover this catalyst and intermediary function in the innovation process has started to be identified as an essential element. Thus the need to have “specialised actors in the articulation and selection of new technological options is recognised in the search for and location of sources of knowledge, in the building of connections between external providers of knowledge and in the implementation of business and innovation strategies".
A bimestrial newsletter has been publishing since April of 2013. It is focused on the commercialization of UPM results. It is a bilingual publication and provides interesting information addressed to the enterprise environment and the university community: