Scientific improvement and transference of knowledge


CEI CamBio aims at developing a model of PPP (Public-Private-Partnership) capable of reinforcing the relationship between the project’s partners, as key institutions for the generation of knowledge; the private sector, as a key factor in the implementation of research results; and the public administrations, responsible for the definition of the strategic lines of scientific policies and mediators between research centres and society.

In order to create the most efficient transference mechanisms possible, CEI bases its work on the model ProTon Europe, adopted in 2003 by the European Knowledge Transfer Association, which contemplates two compatible, complementary and necessary models: the Open Science and the Open Innovation models.

CamBio aims at promoting the Open Innovation model, by unifying the abilities and the research results, protected or otherwise, of all coalition members. The target is to go beyond the mere relational interface (by creating links and promoting cooperation between researchers and the private sector) and to develop activities regarding advisory and management enterprises (Open Science model). In this regard, all coalition members have shown their commitment through the promotion of strategies for the valorisation of research results in environment, biodiversity and global change related subjects, essential for the profitability of research. The target is to increase the value of these results with the aim of facilitating their efficient transference into the productive sector and, ultimately, society.

As a crucial pre-requisite for valorisation, the CEI aims at implementing a rigorous programme for the identification of transferable results, according to criteria of use, application and economic exploitation; in short, turning discoveries into innovations.

Propuesta de construcción del CETIMAB - Sede CEI CamBio (Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Sevilla)

CETIMAB will be the management structure from which CamBio will articulate the project’s policies towards the improvement of research and transference of results. This same centre will host the CEI’s HQ. Additionally, in order to reinforce some of the project’s lateral approaches, CETIMAB will coordinate with the Creativity and Innovation, Internationalisation and Entrepreneurship and Employment Areas of the Consortium. Finally, CETIMAB will also work in coordination with the Escuela Internacional de Doctorado en Estudios Medio Ambientales (EID-EMA) in those matters regarding research, innovation and entrepreneurship in doctoral studies.

The main target of CETIMAB is to consolidate and promote R+D in the scientific-technological disciplines currently in the research agenda of the CISC centres and universities that form the coalition. Other targets of the centre are as follows:

  1. To unify centres and groups within the coalition CEI CamBio.
  2. To coordinate the transference functions of all members of the coalition.
  3. To attract talented junior and senior researchers willing to integrate their research activities into CEI CamBio.

For this, CETIMAB has been organised into five units in charge of designing and developing a number of programmes, as shown below.

Unidades de gestión y programas de actuación del CETIMAB

L.1. Innovation Unit (INNO)

The aim of INNO is to increase the transference of knowledge and innovation by assuming an active role within the outlines set forth in the 34th article of the Science, Technology and Innovation Bill; illustrating the project’s commitment to its socioeconomic environment and the economic and environmental sustainability of all projects undertaken. This unit will develop the following programmes:

A.1.Transference Managers Training Programme: The programme’s target is the professionalization of all agents involved in the transference of knowledge, in order to ensure the identification of those research items with a market value and which are, therefore, transferable into the productive sector. The results of this programme will be: i) an increased number of R+D projects based on the needs of the productive sector; and, ii) an increase d number of actions aimed towards transference and the dynamisation of innovation.

A.2. Gap Junctions Programme: The programme aims at linking several knowledge profiles present in the R+D system, through the creation of communication lines and the dynamisation of knowledge, aptitudes and research results. This programme will materialise in conferences for spin-off companies and CamBio research groups, networking actions among international R+D centres and cooperation and collaboration initiatives with technological platforms. CEI CamBio is currently in the process of identifying and selecting national and European technological platforms. The ultimate aim is to create a global, complex structure for the interaction of university-generated knowledge, firms and research centres capable of advancing in innovation and attracting international talent. This will involve: i) increasing the number of cooperation programmes; and, ii) greater involvement of the productive sector in research strategies.

A.3. Creativity and Social Innovation Programme: CamBio understands innovation in a wide sense, and therefore believes it to be connected not only with technology but also with design, management, marketing and services. In this vein, the CEI intends to make full use of the creative potential of its coalition members. This includes, as suggested by the initiative Unión por la Innovación, the public sector, small and medium sized businesses, the social economy and individual citizens. Additionally, CEI CamBio incorporates the cultural industry -following the European Commission’s recommendation and other initiatives already in operation in the campus, among which the creative network ‘Arte y Sostenibilidad’ should be highlighted’. We must not forget that the 38th article of the Science, Technology and Innovation Bill, regarding scientific and technological culture, is aimed at promoting innovative learning in the education of well informed citizens. CEI CamBio, as established in the project’s Mission and Vision, is fully committed to this target.

L.2. Valorisation Unit (VALOR)

VALOR will articulate a systematic process towards valorisation, integrated into the quality assessment systems of the project’s transference units. The strategic coalition CamBio unifies an extraordinarily valuable critical mass in the generation of knowledge, although its true value for society will depend on the efficient transference of results. The current funding shortages have prompted CamBio to use this unit for the stimulation of demand and the involvement of final users -public or private- in all stages of the innovation process. Consequently, this unit will be in charge of the evaluation of projects according to their market adequacy and their potential for valorisation, with the implementation of the following programmes:

A.1. Identification of Opportunities Programme: This line of action will focus on the identification of market-friendly R+D results developed by CamBio research groups or affiliated spin-off firms. Those susceptible to valorisation will be selected. The programme will specifically focus on the following actions: i) Identification and assessment of competitive results; ii) Development of a technological dossier; iii) Characterisation of results in
order to guarantee the adoption of the most profitable exploitation and industrial property regimes; iv) Development of concept tests for the technical validation of result potential; and, v) Scientific and market viability studies.

A.2. Expert Pool for the Evaluation of Technologies Programme: Will support and assess VALOR in the evaluation of the potential of innovations. The specific targets will be: i) The evaluation of technologies developed within the strategic coalition and their transference potential, according to technological and commercial criteria; and, ii) The performance of consultancy services to the transference offices forming CETIMAB.

L.3. Commercialisation Unit (MERKA)

MERKA’s key targets are the promotion and commercialisation of valorised technologies and assets and the creation of technology-based enterprises for their consolidation in the market. For this, the following actions are proposed:

A.1. Technology-based firms promotion programme, which will offer the following services:

  1. Education, with special regard to training skills conducive to innovation, the promotion of creativity and entrepreneurship, within the framework of the Escuela Internacional de Doctorado en Estudios Medio Ambientales, as established in the 61st article of the Ley 2/2011, March 4, Economía Sostenible.
  2. Consultancy for new firms.
  3. Location of new firms in company incubators, in CETIMAB or other facilities in the scientific and technological parks attached to the CEI. See Section 2.5. This will contribute to the creation of environments which stimulate the demand for knowledge, skills and technologies resulting from research, development and innovation activities, and to the recognition of the parks as strategic facilities for the transference of research results to the productive sector.
  4. Access to resources and financial and industrial partners:
    1. Forum business angels, in which senior entrepreneurs will offer their advice.
    2. Forum of investors in cooperation with other coalition partners, such as the Corporación Tecnológica de Andalucía and other active agents specialising in innovation and transference, previously mentioned as allies for the project’s drive towards the improvement of research and the transference of knowledge.
  5. Consolidation of technology-based firms: Meetings between technology-based firms with other, well established companies in their sector, for the facilitation of cooperation links and research agreements, fundamentally aimed at finding investors for the new companies.
  6. Internationalisation: Networking and opening of contacts with potential partners.

A.2. Promotion of Patents and Licenses Programme: Through the unit MERKA, CEI CamBio will participate in the European market of patents and licenses, as suggested by the Innovation Union. The creation of patents, the concession of licenses and the establishment of spin-offs or start-ups not only brings research closer to the market, but also allows agents of knowledge to open up to the entrepreneurial culture.

A.3. Intellectual and Industrial Property Programme: This unit will also undertake the management of intellectual and industrial property rights, as established in the Ley 2/2011, March 4, Economía Sostenible, and will make sure that these rights are not used for purposes detrimental to competition.

L.4. Talent Attraction Unit (ATRAE)

The key target of ATRAE is the attraction of talent, and it will base a good deal of its efforts in the project’s drive towards increased visibility, the international recognition of the CamBio trademark and the mobility programmes. This unit will be in charge of the dissemination of the main results (cooperation projects, commercialised technologies, creation of technology-based firms, etc.) within the areas of action of CETIMAB. Specifically, the unit ATRAE will develop the following programmes:

A.1. Cooperation with e-Infrastructures ESFRI Programme: The actions within the research and infrastructure programme, based on the European Strategy Forum for Research Infrastructures (ESFRI), have greatly facilitated remote access to scientific facilities and information. As suggested by the European Union in its initiative Innovation Union, these infrastructures have the potential to attract talent from all over the world and to become the nuclei of competitive clusters worldwide. In this sense, CEI CamBio enjoys a privileged position, due to the presence in its territory of the only two Spanish-led e-infrastructures, with which preferential relationships will be established:

  1. EU-SOLARIS in Almería, dedicated to the development of new technologies in the field of concentration thermosolar energy. In order to consolidate the relationship, the CEI will act in coordination with the coalition members Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas (CIEMAT), the Plataforma Solar de Almería (PSA) and the project’s host, Centro Tecnológico Avanzado de Energías Renovables (CTAER).
  2. LifeWatch on the campus of the University Pablo de Olavide, Seville, dedicated to the study of the protection, management and sustainable use of biodiversity. In this case, the CEI closely cooperates with the Estación Biológica de Doñana (EBD) which will own the facilities at which the project is to be carried out; the Centro Nacional de Biodiversidad y Cambio Global (EBD/CNByCG), to be built in the Biotecnópolis -a building of approximately 36,000m2– in the University Pablo de Olavide.

A.2. Researchers Attraction Programme: This will involve several actions for international dissemination directed at the attraction of talented junior and senior researchers, for the enhancement and promotion of projects and the consolidation of CamBio’s leadership on the basis of the following

  1. Consolidation and increase in R+D projects through the promotion of mobility programmes and the attraction of international talent.
  2. Dynamisation of the relationship between the university and the industrial sector through the supply of specialised services, and the participation of professionals from private firms in teaching and research.
  3. Increase in research profile and international recognition, through concentration and coordinated management of scientific services and infrastructures.

Presentación pública de LifeWatch, Casa de la Ciencia, CSIC (Sevilla, 13 de junio de 2011)

A.3. Professorships of Excellence Programme: Based on the model of the Cátedras Universidad-Empresa, these are tailored to fit outstanding researchers who have been in charge of at least three competitive projects over the last ten years. This recognition will involve a substantial decrease in teaching load and the appointment of a research assistant for a period of two years. The funding for this programme will be drawn from the CEI’s main budget, but it could also be supplemented with private sponsorships. This programme will aim not only at capturing talent but also at maintaining it. It will therefore also imply a deeper involvement with the ‘Programa de Captación del Conocimiento para Andalucía C2A’.

L.5. International R+D Activities Unit (ACTIVI+D)

The target of the International R+D Activities Unit is to support all management structures within the coalition, with special regard for participation in the 7FP, for which the following actions will be taken:

A.1. Internationalisation of Research Programme: In order to ensure that research and transference of results reaches the international stage, it is essential that products and firms remain competitive through innovation.
Similarly, internationalisation forces processes, products and services to undergo a constant process of renovation if they are to compete in the world market.

A.2. Promotion for the Participation in International Calls Programme: This programme will pay special attention to participation in any call related to the EU’s 7FP, which is furnished with considerable funds and which offers the opportunity to significantly increase returns32. This will involve carrying out the following actions:

  1. Coordination of all offices for the management of European projects within the coalition, to ensure the joint participation and the involvement of the private sector.
  2. Creation of an institutional lobby in Brussels to ensure that research programmes and environmental policies are supportive of CamBio’s concerns, in accordance with the project’s areas of specialisation. The target is to create an institutional channel with the European Commission, a strategy which has previously proven successful, for example with Abengoa, member of the coalition with an office in Brussels.

A.3. Scientific Cooperation Programme: As pointed out in the Estrategia Estatal de Innovación, the Ley de la Ciencia, la Tecnología y la Innovación, and the Innovation Union, scientific cooperation with other countries will contribute to a more efficient process of generation and exploitation of research results towards better economic and social conditions. In this vein, CEI CamBio has set forth the international cooperation projects embodied in the Transnational Campuses (Estrecho de Gibraltar and Ibérico) and the Centro de Excelencia en Panamá de Medio Ambiente y Conservación de la Biodiversidad.

L.6. Internationalisation Policies

A.1. Visibility and recognition of CEI CamBio trademark

In order to support all internationalisation initiatives in relation to teaching, research, innovation, transference, campus, coalition, etc., CamBio intends to improve the project’s visibility and recognition at the international level, as a way to ensure the project’s external promotion.

The main tool for this will be the continual updating of the CEI CamBio website, with the permanent renovation of contents regarding academic offer and scientific developments. This site will provide information about the actions taken towards improved employability (job offers, information on entrepreneurship and self-employment opportunities, scholarships and mobility programmes, etc.)

Additionally, the website will give access to CamBio TV, corporate broadcaster on the web, the first projects of which started after the signing of the agreement between CamBio and the European Foundation for Information Society and e-Government, on January 13, 2011. Since then, CEI CamBio has been taking the necessary steps to ensure that this channel, which has its own domain, is ready in terms of design, content, software and equipment. The target of this platform is to promote scientific vocations and disseminate the project’s activities in each of the areas of specialisation.

This will contribute to reinforce one of the project’s strategic lines, the attraction and concentration of talent in research, innovation and teaching.

The target is to create a recognisable CEI CamBio trademark, making the campus an attractive option for students, researchers and other agents involved with the project’s areas of specialisation. At the same time, CamBio intends to increase the presence of project members in other countries, as a way to disseminate the project’s progress.

A.2. Transnational Campus Estrecho de Gibraltar and Transnational Campus Ibérico

It is important to note that the member universities and CSIC centres are present in all eight Andalusian provinces, and that, because of Andalusia’s geographical location, the project is and aspires to be a border zone between continents. In addition, CEI CamBio is committed to complying with the Spanish Innovation Strategy and with the “Innovation Union” developed within the Europe 2020 Strategy, towards the implementation of cooperation for development projects conducive to higher degrees of collaboration of the members of the coalition and other regions regarding environment and biodiversity related issues, in order to promote the development of these regions and their scientific and technological progress.

Red Internacional CEI CamBio.

For this, several preferential geographical spheres have been selected -this does not exclude work with others in relation to different strategic lines- among neighbouring regions with which there is a long tradition in the sharing of knowledge which can, however, be further stimulated: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Portugal and Latin-America, thus contributing to the Euro-Mediterranean Space of Higher Education and the Espacio Iberoamericano del Conocimiento.

Within this context, the creation of the ‘Transnational Campuses CEI CamBio‘ has been reinvigorated by the incorporation of several key organisations to the project’s ‘innovation ecosystem’, ensuring that the whole system will work towards the implementation of the project’s strategies regarding teaching, research, transference, concentration of talent, creativity and innovation. These key partners are companies with presence or commercial interests in priority countries, bodies specialising in international relations with special regard to the project’s geographical priorities, and international organisations.

Joint cooperation strategies with the countries included in the Transnational Campuses will be articulated through: i) transnational learning networks, ensuring the mobility of students, lecturers and administration staff at the university and vocational school levels, and the development of joint
programmes; ii) transnational research and transference, through the use of platforms for the networked cooperation of researchers and firms in different countries; and, iii) transnational creativity, through the creation of networks aimed towards innovation.

    • Transnational Campus Estrecho de GibraltarThis initiative emerged in 2010 and is being developed throughout 2011, It has already set roots in Morocco and, most importantly, Algeria and Tunisia -given the strategic importance of northern Africa for Andalusia and the whole European continent- with the cooperation of the Instituto Mediterráneo Andalusí (IMA), directed by the prestigious political scientist Sami Naïr.

      Reunión de la Directora del CEI CamBio y el Director del IMA con el Ministro de Educación Superior e Investigación Científica de Túnez, Rifaat Chaabouni (6 de junio de 2011).

      The following organisations cooperate with CEI CamBio for the development of the Transnational Campus Estrecho de Gibraltar:

      • Agencia Andaluza de Promoción Exterior, EXTENDA
      • Arco Latino
      • Casa Árabe
      • Casa Mediterráneo
      • Cátedra UNESCO de Resolución de Conflictos
      • Centre de Biotechnologie de Sfax (Túnez)
      • Centre Mohamed Ali de Recherches d´etudes et de Formation, CEMAREF (Túnez)
      • Centre National pour la Recherche Scientifique et Tecnique, CNRST (Marruecos)
      • Centro Andaluz de Medio Ambiente, CEAMA
      • Centro de Estudios Paisaje y Territorio, CEPT
      • Comité Andaluz de Reservas de la Biosfera,
      • Programa MaB UNESCO
      • Consejería de Medio Ambiente
      • École Nationale d´Agriculture de Meknés Agropole Olivier (Marruecos)
      • École Nationale de Sciences Apliquées d´Al Hoceima, ENSAH (Marruecos)
      • École Nationale Supérieur de Sciences Politiques (Argelia)
      • Fundación Carolina
      • Fundación Centro de las Nuevas Tecnologías del Agua, CENTA (Tamuda, Marruecos)
      • Fundación Cultura de Paz
      • Fundación de Cultura Islámica
      • Fundación Ecología y Desarrollo
      • Fundación Forja XXI
      • Fundación Migres
      • Institut d´Études et de Recherche Europe Méditerrannée, IEREM
      • Institut Europeu de la Mediterrània, IEmed
      • Instituto de Estudios para la Paz y la Cooperación, IEPC
      • Instituto Jane Goodall
      • Instituto Mediterráneo para el Desarrollo Sostenible, IMEDES
      • IUCN Mediterráneo
      • Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Medio Rural y Marino
      • Parque Nacional de Diawling (Mauritania)
      • Universidad Abdelmalek Essaâdi (Marruecos)
      • Universidad de Sfax (Túnez)
      • Universidad de Túnez (Túnez)
      • Universidad del Cairo, National Institute of Laser Enhanced Science, NILES (Egipto)
      • Universidad Hassan II Mohammedia de Casablanca (Marruecos)
      • Universidad Ibn Tofail (Marruecos)
      • Universidad Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah de Fés (Marruecos)


  • Transnational Campus IbéricoThe proposal for the creation of the Transnational Campus Ibérico emerged in 2011, with the target of setting one pillar in Portugal but also to have an impact in Latin-America. The traditional relationship that the coalition’s members have maintained with these areas facilitates the creation of this new network, which also has the support of the Escuela de Estudios Hispanoamericanos (CSIC), partner of the coalition. The collaborating organisations are:
    • Agencia Andaluza de Promoción Exterior, EXTENDA
    • Asociación Brasileña de Agroecología
    • Centro Andaluz de Medio Ambiente, CEAMA
    • Centro de Estudios Paisaje y Territorio, CEPT
    • Consejería de Medio Ambiente
    • Fundación Carolina
    • Fundación Ecología y Desarrollo
    • Grupo de Universidades Iberoamericanas La Rábida
    • Instituto Nacional de AdministraÇao (Portugal)
    • Instituto Politécnico de Beja (Portugal)
    • Instituto Politécnico de Setúbal (Portugal)
    • Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Medio Rural y Marino
    • Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (Panamá)
    • Sociedad Científica Latinoamericana de Agroecología, SOCLA (Berkeley, Estados Unidos)
    • Universidad de Algarve (Portugal)
    • Universidad de Aveiro (Portugal)
    • Universidad de Évora (Portugal)
    • Universidad de Panamá (Panamá)
    • Universidad Portucalense Infante D. Henrique (Portugal)

A.3. Centre of Excellence for the Environment and the Preservation of Biodiversity, Panama

CEI CamBio highly values the potential and strategic value of cooperation with Latin-America, especially regarding the creation of centres of excellence and the promotion of mobility, towards the enlargement of the Espacio Iberoamericano del Conocimiento, created by the 15th and 16th Cumbres Iberoamericanas de Jefes de Estado y de Gobierno.

The decision to create Centre of Excellence in Panama, taken in 2011 and focused on environment and preservation of biodiversity related issues, is set within this framework. The centre will offer academic degrees, valid at the national level. The project has been endorsed by the Government of Andalusia
and the Conferencia General de Política Universitaria

The proposal to locate this centre in Panama responds to the preferential relationship maintained between CEI CamBio and the University of Panama and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, the only facility belonging to the Smithsonian institution outside the United States. The centre will be particularly focused towards the preservation of biodiversity, for which the territory of Panama acts as a privileged laboratory. The prestige of the Smithsonian and the availability of research stations such as Barro Colorado and Bocas del Toro attract nearly a thousand researchers from all over the world every year

This centre of excellence will be located in the Ciudad del Saber, Panamá, which has become an international centre of excellence for research, innovation and teaching, including the ‘Tecnoparque Internacional de Panamá’, an industrial park with a long experience in the promotion of innovation and the transference of knowledge and research results, and the ‘Acelerador de Empresas’. Both institutions stand as models for the design and development of some of CamBio’s work avenues.

This line of action will also benefit from the shared use of the centre in the Ciudad del Saber, creating an ideal opportunity for collaboration with other, already established, projects, such as CEI or CEIR: BKC Barcelona Knowledge Campus, Campus Studii Salamantini, Health Universitat de Barcelona Campus HUBc.