Castilla y León Action Plan, which is a direct consequence of the work developed within the INNOBRIDGE Project framework, is being implemented from 1st July, 2018 to 31st December 2020, although it can be extended before it comes to an end, as an essential part of the Regional University-Business Knowledge Transfer Plan (TCUE Plan) 2018-2020.

The addressed policy instrument is the ERDF Operational Programme of Castilla y León 2014-2020, priority Axis 1 “Fostering research, technology development and innovation”. Taking into account that the Smart Specialisation Strategy has been a condition ex-ante for the approval of the ERDF OP –as the European Commission has required all over Europe- the RIS3 is a key document as far as research, development and innovation is concerned.

With the new TCUE Plan 2018-2020 the aim is to progress towards a new integrated, stable and sustainable model that forms an essential part of the strategic planning for Castilla y León’s universities, and which generalizes transfer processes between university research personnel and facilitates the work of the Knowledge Transfer Offices (OTC for short, in Spanish) in the region’s universities.

The aim is to increase critical mass and generalize transfer processes between university research personnel in Castilla y León.

Castilla y León has a consolidated university system, with critical mass and experience in key areas for economic and social development. The universities of Castilla y León together have 60% of all personnel devoted to R&D in the region; accounting for almost a third of R&D spending, which represents a higher proportion than the Spanish national average.

Over recent years, the universities have known how to modernize and have faced up to many challenges, particularly preparing Castilla y León for what the Lisbon Strategy called the construction of “the Europe of Knowledge”. This approach requires the implementation of policies for competitiveness based on the capacity of regions to generate and mobilize knowledge, and it therefore places universities at the centre of social and economic development.

Following the path of the TCUE Plan 2018-2020 in which it is framed, the INNOBRIDGE Action Plan’s main aim is to improve the links between universities and businesses within Castilla y León’s framework for smart specialization, identifying niches for scientific and economic specialization, establishing strategic public-private collaboration, stimulating the application of knowledge as an asset in the regional economy, and promoting entrepreneurial spirit and the culture of innovation in universities.

The Action Plan presents four major actions:

– Action 1: INNOBRIDGE. FOSTERING UNIVERSITY SYSTEM FOR KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER: This section brings together the activities aimed at promoting the activity of the university support structures for knowledge transfer, encouraging the development, protection and exploitation of regionally produced technologies and also fostering collaboration and networking among the region’s universities in matters of knowledge transfer,

– Action 2: INNOBRIDGE. FOSTERING INNOVATION THROUGH PhD WORKS: Including actions aimed at guiding some of the university doctorate works towards the socioeconomic needs and towards the collaboration with their environment,

– Action 3: INNOBRIDGE. FOSTERING UNIVERSITY ENTREPRENEURSHIP: bringing together the support activities for university enterprise and the creation of spin-offs and technology-based businesses (EBT for short, in Spanish).

– Action 4: INNOBRIDGE. SIMPLIFICATION OF PROCEDURES: Cross action in order to simplify all management and administrative procedures on the experience of previous years and the analysis done in phase 1 of INNOBRIDGE project.

These actions are being implemented by the 4 public universities of Castilla y León and coordinated by FUESCYL on the basis a successful model. And following the path of the Study visits, Peer Reviews, and personnel and best practice exchanges that have taken place during Phase 1 of InnoBridge, which has given a view of the real regional system for university-business knowledge transfer in the European context.