The University of Santiago de Compostela (USC), fully aware of the importance of the technology transference for the socio-economic development of the region in particular, and of knowledge in general, has, over the last few years, developed a scientific policy with the aim of establishing an effective structure for the Science-Technology-Business system in Galicia. The Innovation and Technology Transference Centre (CITT), was set up in a similar context, with the aim of nurturing and establishing a framework for relations between university research and the companies in its socio-economic environment.
To achieve greater efficiency in meeting its objectives the CITT is divided into two sections: The Technology Transference Division (DTT) and the Business Transference Division (DTE). The DTT is geared to the promotion of research carried out at USC, encouraging and enabling R+D groups to take part in regional, national and international programmes as well as technology transference through contracts with businesses and institutions. For its part, the DTE focuses on supporting the creation of new, spin-off businesses or semi-public companies to maximise the results obtained from research.
4,000 million pesetas were channelled through the CITT in the fiscal year 1999. In its Strategic Plan (1998-2010) the USC envisages playing a greater role in society. With this aim in mind the Management Company for the Interests of the University of Santiago, S.L. (UNIXEST) was founded in 1998 and the Business Initiative Promotion Group (UNINOVA) set up a year later to foster innovatory, technology-based companies which began as research projects at the university (academic spin-off).
UNINOVA´s activity centres on identifying those research projects with the potential to be developed into innovative products or market services, analysing their business and technological viability, assessing the abilities of the entrepreneurs, assisting in the formation of the company, locating an area with suitable infrastructure for the siting of the new company, providing management assistance, searching for international markets, providing continuous, ad-hoc training, locating company financing, and also taking part in the search for capital stock through UNIXEST.
Given the success that has been achieved in this time, with more than 15 technology-based companies being assisted, the University of Santiago intends to take a further step by establishing a Venture Capital Group, UNIRISCO Galicia, with the objective of expediting financing for the spin-off companies.