The University of Valladolid’s Faculty of Commerce this Thursday hosted the II International TIMMIS Congress on team entrepreneurship and University-Company knowledge transfer. The meeting was held within the framework of the UVa Foreign Trade Department’s European project 0422_TIMMIS_entrepreneurialism_2_E, developed thanks to FEDER funds through the Interreg POCTEP programme.
The Deputy Minister for Universities and Research of the Government of Castile and León, Pilar Garcés, and the UVa’s Vice-Rector for Research, Innovation and Transfer, Oscar Martinez, opened the congress, together with the President of the Polytechnic Institute of Bragança, Orlando Isidoro Afonso Rodrigues, and the Dean of the UVa Faculty of Commerce, José Antonio Salvador Insua.
Pilar Garcés started by thanking the “University of Valladolid Faculty of Commerce, flagship of entrepreneurship” for its participation in the Congress. “I want to emphasize the importance of the multidisciplinary nature of the TIMMIS project, as well as its multiculturalism and teamwork methodology. Only by working together and in a sustainable manner will we manage to achieve the Agenda 2030 objectives”, she added.
In turn, Óscar Martínez thanked the Dean of the Faculty for his work in driving entrepreneurship and stressed that “creating new business ideas and putting them into practice are fundamental in settling population in our region. University, students and company need to always need to work in a coordinated fashion to achieve the development of these projects that bring so much benefit to our society”.
Orlando Isidoro Afonso Rodrigues then spoke of the importance of the development of the cooperation involved in this project and said that “the cross-border question is a great opportunity for our regions, where these can contribute most to growth and peaceful development”. “Our aim is to augment the impact for our region through research and teaching, but we must also respond to the new needs of companies, create new competences and innovate at the same time as learning from each other”, he urged.
Finally, José Antonio Salvador Insúa maintained that “TIMMIS is a brand we would like to continue developing. We are going to try to get the financing needed for the projects presented here today and make them a reality and so help Castile and León to continue growing economically, so young people stay here and keep transforming this society in which they can have a working future. We want this project to be inclusive and we want to work with anyone with the desire to drive a venture. TIMMIS is a very significant example of collaboration between a public university and private companies”.
After the opening of the congress, the co-founders of the UVa Foreign Trade Department, Patricia Sanz and Beatriz Fernández, presented the indicators for the TIMMIS project’s two years of life. Patricia Sanz, founder of Exportun and TIMMIS technical director, highlighted that “in this brief, intense period of time of less than two years, we have generated 50 bidirectional alliances that have enabled us to offer study and development of professional studies in our region. These alliances have provided us with the opportunity to generate business models in venture preincubation phase in 45 TIMMIS teams, 17 of which have been aimed at generating impacts in the rural world”.
In turn, Beatriz Fernández, UVa principal investigator in the TIMMIS Entrepreneurship project, indicated that “since December 2017, over 180 students from the University of Valladolid and the Polytechnic Institute of Bragança, corresponding to 42 qualifications and 13 nationalities, have been through this ‘TIMMIS experience’, each attracted by different motivations and expectations. And they have all grown with us as we have grown with and thanks to them”.
To illustrate this TIMMIS experience, Iris Muñoz, an engineering student and project participant gave a presentation on her personal experience, explaining how TIMMIS offered her “the opportunity to enjoy an approach to the business world”.
Keys to driving a business
Teamwork and forms of funding were the two topics discussed in the round tables held in the Congress as keys to successful entrepreneurship. Prominent professionals in the sector from Valladolid and Bragança took part in these, such as the Business Director of the Spanish Official Credit Institute (ICO), Rosario Casero; the Director General of the Sodical Financial Institute of Castile and León , Carmen Sanz; and the Director of Projects and International Relations of the Valladolid Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Services, Ana Atienza.
TIMMIS project experts in turn, such as the Director of the IPB International Entrepreneurship Department, Jorge Humberto Sampaio; the UVa Science Park entrepreneur adviser, Pedro Ignacio Ruiz de la Loma; the manager of the Castile and León Basketball Federation, José Alberto Martín Manjarrés; and the psychologist specialising in Human Resources Estela Llorente, shared their impressions from their point of view with first-hand knowledge of the project.
To finish the congress, ten TIMMIS teams from the UVa and IPB presented their projects and business ideas to all the attendees, accompanied by Juanma Romero, Director of Spanish Television’s ‘Emprende’ programme and master of ceremonies.
The ten TIMMIS projects demonstrated their vision for contributing to society from their various sectors. They were teams such as the Spanish Language Foundation, which presented its project on the study of wine making and language; the Provincial Council of Valladolid, which worked on demographic challenge and social inclusion from the services area; the Michelin Foundation, aiming to reduce motorists’ accident rate and mortality on the roads; and the Tierras de Medina Association of Municipalities, with its “escape room” on historic gamification.
In turn, Castromonte Town Hall emphasised renewable energies with its wind power project; the Cáritas Diocesana de Valladolid Catholic charity team presented a project for the vulnerable women’s group; and the Coproga Agricultural Cooperative explained the importance of pest control with its project on the world of agriculture.
Three Portuguese teams also presented their business models. These were CIM Trás-Os-Montes, which worked on the restoration of a railway line; Câmara de Bragança, which committed to creative tourism; and Termas de Vimioso, which focused on developing the local economy in its area.
To end the meeting, José Manuel Reyero, State Commercial Specialist and Economist, Independent Director of ICO and honorary member of the UVa Foreign Trade Department, highlighted the multidisciplinary vision of the TIMMIS European project in its closing. “Here, as you can see, we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that”, he said. With this quote from Lewis Carroll in ‘Alice in Wonderland’, alluding to the uncertainty of the business world, the II International TIMMIS Congress was closed.