The Valencian Innovation Agency (AVI), the instrument of the Valencian Government to coordinate its innovation strategy, continues to promote the Scientific Units of Business Innovation (UCIEs) of the Institute of Molecular Science (ICMOL, UV) and the Institute of Corpuscular Physics (IFIC, UV/CSIC), during the year 2022, with the granting of annual aid.
These aids, granted for the first time by the agency in competitive concurrence, are intended to promote the transfer of knowledge and connect research centres and universities with the challenges and needs of the production system. For this, it subsidises different actions that may be eligible for 60% co-financing by the ERDF Operational Program of the Valencian Community 2021-2027.
In its four years of existence, the UCIE of the IFIC has promoted the development of more than 15 innovative projects in collaboration with companies and technological and research institutes of the Valencian Community. The unit was created in 2018 with the aim of bringing the research results of this centre closer to the industrial environment by implementing two strategies. On the one hand, to bring research closer to the needs of companies and, on the other, to encourage collaborations with other agents of the Valencian R&D&I system with a view to improving technology transfer.
Among these technologies, the medical applications of Physics stand out, such as image processing to aid diagnosis, surgical assistance, and the development of new technologies in accelerators with clinical applications. Also of great potential are the development of applications linked to artificial intelligence, electronics, and the environment. These technologies arise from IFIC’s experience in basic research on the elements that make up matter, a field in which it is a pioneering centre in Spain.
The Institute of Molecular Science (ICMOL) of the University of Valencia also created its UCIE in 2018 and, since then, has strengthened its collaboration with companies, technological institutes, and other universities to promote its research towards higher levels of technological readiness (TRL) and try to respond to the challenges facing the industry. In its four years of existence, the ICMol has not only consolidated the UCIE as a functional structure but has also set up a new fully equipped laboratory that covers the large-scale preparation and synthesis requirements of the applied projects.
In addition, the ICMol has joined or related to various platforms, industry associations and other innovation promotion structures to facilitate the institute’s relationship with companies. It has developed up to 15 collaborative innovation projects, including three approved by the AVI for the valorisation and transfer of results to companies or the promotion of strategic projects in collaboration. This is the case of LDHPACK, BIOCLEAN and INNOTEX, linked to the manufacture of new fully recyclable containers that isolate 100% of oxygen and water; the production of disinfectant products free of toxicity or of fabrics for individual protection elements (EPIS) that deactivate viruses and are more breathable and comfortable.
The AVI has earmarked almost 5 million euros this year to finance 11 UCIEs in excellence research centres in the Valencian Community with the aim of promoting applied research oriented towards the productive fabric. Therefore, the network of Scientific Business Innovation Units (UCIES) is expanded in excellence research centres with the incorporation of the Institute for Research, Development and Innovation in Health Biotechnology of the Miguel Hernández University (IDIBE-UMH) and the Valencian Research Institute in Artificial Intelligence (VRAIN) from the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV).
Also, within the framework of its research results enhancement programme, the AVI will fund around 4.5 million euros for the development of a total of 17 prototypes and pilot tests at universities, research centres and technology institutes.
In the granting resolution of four of its six annual aid programs to promote and strengthen the innovation system of the Community, the Valencian Government funds the development of 103 innovation projects worth 14.5 million euros.