A new institute in ICT innovation

The area of Information and Communication Technologies (TIC) is a bridge between the research environment and the industrial fabric to promote the creation and development of technologically-based companies and jobs. To this effect, it has 500 expert researchers in subjects such as ICTs, Computing and Computation, Structural Integrity and Components, or Chemical Technology.

The capacity of research and transfer in UC R+D+i groups will be consolidated with the setting up of the Institute for Development and Innovation in Information and Communication Technologies (IDITIC), the result of the collaboration between the University of Cantabria, the Regional Government, Santander Town Council and Caja Cantabria.

The action-line which has permitted the setting up of the Institute to come about is SmartSantander, a project in the European Framework Programme headed by the UC and Teléfonica, with the participation of 15 international institutions, which will make the city and its surroundings a research centre of smart cities which is unique in the world. An ICT cluster with companies within the sector will be formed regarding these initiatives.

On the other hand, throughout 2012 the first construction phase of the Santander Fire Research Centre Installations will be completed. This will transform the University of Cantabria into an international reference centre for research, development and technological innovation in fire safety.

Current situation of the Area of Technology

The great potential which has arisen in the region regarding “Smart Cities” has made it possible to build a centre which is specialized in the ICT area, fitting original objectives into the new economic framework, for research and development of projects in the area, Internet of Objects (IoT), optimization and improvement in the sustainability of urban services, the application of ICT to management of the environment and civic interaction denominated Research Centre for Smart Cities in Santander (CICIS). The Centre will have an initial budget of 600,000 Euros, contributed by Ferrovial, and will have the collaboration of the Technological Institute of Massachusetts (MIT). Evolution in this area has allowed Santander to occupy second place in the ranking of Spanish 'Smart Cities, thanks to the SmartSantander project which, along with the OUTSMART project, is allowing the deployment of a massive infrastructure of devices that enables the scientific community to access a platform of unique experimentation on which to design and validate technologies and services.

The start of CiCiS activity, together with the development of collaborations with partners such as IBM or INDRA, consolidated with the signing of both agreements and other projects in progress, such as Ciudad 2020 (INNPRONTA), will favor establishing a strategic partnership in this area. Other technology projects, such as the Santander Fire Research Center (SFRC), are showing a slower than expected development, due to the fact that the 5 Million Euros obtained in the official call for the Subprogramme for Excellence in 2011 has been stopped and frozen by the central Government. Thus, the SFRC is being redesigned in public-private collaboration to enable its implementation and ensure its sustainability, based on the transfer of the results of its activity.

Public-private collaboration has brought about the design of the Master’s Degree in Management of DataCenters, an example of education which is unprecedented in Spain with an international vocation, designed by the UC in collaboration with Santander Bank and Produban, together with the participation of four partners of reference; IBM, SIEMENS, FUJITSU and CISCO.