In the electoral program of Rafael Robaina, José Pablo Suárez repeats as vice-rector for Research, Science and Innovation, after managing said area in the last four years. Collecting the slogan of the campaign, he assures that the experience accumulated in the last four years “accredits us to consolidate the things that have been done, strengthen the present, and lead the future.”
Their proposals are aimed at giving “concrete answers” to the “ordinary researcher”, which implies from personalized attention, dialogue, legal and procedural guarantees, transparency and precision. “The illusion must be translated into what the researcher needs, which are concrete measures.”
Among those measures, he points out the implementation of a science and innovation plan 2021-2024, with an approximate endowment of seven million euros. “With the help of all European and national funds, we can have a single plan for our University in terms of funds to promote the priority axis of the candidacy, which is the attention and retention of researchers. The ULPGC has a global geostrategic situation and we are going to give visibility to this advantage ”.
Specifically, they propose a pilot mentoring program to support the development of the professional career of ULPGC researchers. “The researcher who joins our University will have advice from the first day on how to focus his professional career”.
Izquierdo is committed to promoting Open Innovation with companies and administrations
Promoting the reform of the labor and contractual regulatory framework in the research career is another of its objectives, helping to promote a state career program in science and innovation and a statute for research staff, channeled through the University Coordination Council and of Scientific Policy of the State Government. “The researcher in Spain is helpless because the labor regulatory framework is very dispersed. The difficulties that universities have is that there is a regulatory framework, such as the Workers’ Statute or the Subsidies Law, which is what increases the bureaucratic burden. We are going to defend at all costs a statute of the investigating personnel, that unifies the labor categories, expanding them with total guarantee. The idea is to lay the foundations so that the path and the research career is continuous, and there is no stoppage ”.
Suárez also highlighted among his challenges, the creation of an office for the management of research grants, with more staff to help resolve the most bureaucratic issues. Likewise, they are committed to commercializing up to 80% of the patents that are requested from the University of Las Palmas.
At the head of the Vice-Rectorate for Research and Transfer in the candidacy of Lluis Serra, is the professor in Aquaculture, Marisol Izquierdo, director of the EcoAqua University Research Institute. Under the objective of “inspiring researchers”, it is committed to promoting a clear policy to promote research, which simplifies management processes and provides sufficient resources to consolidated teams, and to those who seek to achieve a greater projection.
“The ULPGC is training very good researchers, but they do not find either in the University or in the Canary Islands, the ability to develop their research career, and they are forced to go abroad, to other centers, universities or companies.” Izquierdo warns that one of the main problems is the late incorporation of researchers into the teaching system – 40 or 45 years on average. “They enter so late because there are no places left. But in addition, the conditions that they have as contracted researchers are not correct. Salaries have been frozen for a long time, and their ability to teach or help teach is greatly diminished ”.
For this reason, they propose a plan for human resources in research that identifies and solutions to these problems. “You have to give the boys clear expectations of professional opportunities. And this happens by diversifying the training offer, we have to train researchers to meet the needs of society, so that they can join as innovative agents, entrepreneurs … “.
Expanding the recruitment of innovation projects and contracts with companies to give space to Open Innovation, is another of the objectives of this candidacy, in order to favor the relationship of ULPGC researchers with other agents of the innovative process: companies, administrations , other public research entities, start-ups …
They also take on the challenge of solving the excess bureaucratic burden in the management of research projects. “As in all aspects of Lluis Serra’s program, we want to listen to all the actors and decide on consensual measures. It is important to have a dialogue between researchers, managers … to try to simplify the administrative processes in research, facilitate and modernize online management, and we also need to attract more management human resources ”, he indicated.
Marisol Izquierdo, who could become the first vice-rector for research at the ULPGC, faces the challenge “wanting to contribute to leaving a better University for our children than the one we found because this, in the end, is a service to society.” And he adds as a goal, to facilitate family conciliation, “a very important problem that we encounter, especially women in Spain when developing research work,” he concluded.
Debate on knowledge transfer
One of the novelties of Robaina in its team proposal is to separate the objectives of knowledge transfer from the research area and associate them with that of the company, in a vice-chancellor called for the Company, Employability and Knowledge Transfer. A measure not shared by Marisol Izquierdo, vice-rector for Research and Transfer in Serra’s candidacy. “We believe that research, innovation, technological development and transfer to companies must be coordinated within the same vice-rector, because everything is closely related. We need, through Open Innovation, to incorporate other agents of the innovative process – companies, administrations, other research organizations …- ”. The professor points out as an example that many of the doctoral theses that are read at the University are financed by companies. “The business sector is closely related to the training process of researchers, so our interest in keeping everything within the same vice-chancellor, obviously differentiated in different directions. The close relationship with the business sector will favor the subsequent incorporation of researchers in companies ”. | MJH