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The University of Alicante presents UA:emprende, a core programme to encourage entrepreneurship

Alicante, 14 October 2014

 

The President of the University of Alicante, Manuel Palomar and the Director General for Technical and Scientific Research of the Office of Research, Development and Innovation from the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, Marina Villegas, have presented this morning ua: emprende, a core programme to encourage entrepreneurship in which, apart from gathering together all existing resources currently at the UA, new training and advisory actions can be developed in this field.  

The UA President, who has praised the entrepreneurial spirit of the institution since its inception, explained that this year, when the UA celebrates its 35th anniversary, the time has come to join all our resources to get better results and to give a better service, by bringing together all initiatives to support entrepreneurial university members (students, researchers and graduates) and define a core programme from which entrepreneurship is fostered throughout the university community. He also stated that this is the common framework provided by ua:emprende, whose ultimate aim is to increase the number of innovative, sustainable spin-offs of the University of Alicante and settled in our Alicante Science Park.  

Coordinated by the Vice President for Student and Research, through lecturers Josefa Parreño y María Jesús Pastor, the programme comes with a background of countless academic and scientific achievements and our commitment to the needs of the business world by transmitting and transferring our knowledge to this sector, as stated by Manuel Palomar.

In this regard, the Vice President for Research, Development and Innovation, Amparo Navarro, who has been commissioned to explain the project, said this arises from the awareness of our role in the promotion of innovative and sustainable businesses and therefore we have thrown ourselves in strengthening our services to support entrepreneurship, performing dynamic actions and awareness, as well as advising different types of entrepreneurs, thus assuming a new role as an entrepreneurial University.  

In this sense, this cross-curricular programme will bring together the already established services assumed by the Employment Initiatives Office (GIPE), the University Observatory for Labour Integration and the Innovation Unit, from the Technology-Based Firms Unit, with the common goal of promoting the entrepreneurial culture within the university community and implementing business projects emerged from students, graduates and researchers.

Moreover, Navarro said that the different university centres, chairs, departments and institutes, aware of the importance of promoting entrepreneurship, have also been involved in this programme with initiatives like Unimooc (platform for massive online courses for entrepreneurs), ActUA (an event that develops business ideas combining teams of entrepreneurs and mentors specialising in 72h; Proyéctate (conferences on entrepreneurship at the Polytechnic School or talks taught in Master’s and doctoral studies.  

On the other hand, the Director General for Technical and Scientific Research from the State Secretariat for Research, Marina Villegas, has described it as a very important initiative of great impact that is and will be supported by the Government, as they have been doing so far with about 30 million euros spent in in funding for 434 projects from 2008 to 2013. Villegas noted that Ua: emprende fits perfectly with our R&D+i vision, promoting free knowledge and innovation.  

The Director General also detailed the various policies that the Government is developing to keep and recruit talent, as increasing the staff turnover from 10% to 50% or commissioning of new scholarships and grants for researchers.

 

Project phases

Ua: emprende was born from the vocation of continuity and continuous enrichment. One of the first objectives is committed to raising awareness and promoting entrepreneurship among the various university groups. By doing so, Amparo Navarro announced the celebration of a conference to present successful case studies before Christmas. Also, other actions will be held to develop and mature the ideas arising from the university community through individual counseling, workshops and ad-hoc courses which, in the case of students, would be recognised through a certificate stating the students’ entrepreneur profile, as explained the UA President. 

A website , still under construction, will be also launched, to promote the new brand and add all the resources and activities in entrepreneurship that are being carried out at the University of Alicante, to provide them a unique identity. 

Also, a programme structured by phases will be organised to group together all actions taken by the various UA agents, allowing greater coordination, synergies and efficiencies in entrepreneurship. Among others, conducting training sessions from December to March on ideation and creativity on business, finance, business model (Canvas, Lean Startup), marketing, HR, social networks, economic-financial plan. 

One of the most significant changes is to create a new model aimed at students and graduates within the Impulso Awards, which this year celebrated its fourth edition. These awards has been traditionally aimed at EBTs.

Another challenge is "to include a gender perspective in the process of business creation and transfer of knowledge (Innovatia 8.3 procedures) and develop specific activities to promote entrepreneurial culture among our students, graduates and researchers,as assured by the Vice President for Research.

 

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