Science and technology policies are a factor of the highest importance in the development of present day society, with a direct relationship between a country's capacity for innovation and its competitive position. These policies are also transversal in that they can and should contribute to the development of the different public sector policies, including education, health or the environment and also to improving people's welfare and quality of life, the ultimate goal of all public policy.
The Complutense University seeks to promote research activity within the university community by creating its own research programme, and in recent years has devoted a considerable part of these endeavours to producing high quality research, working together with other public and private institutions to capture the human and financial resources to enable the society at large to benefit from the enormous research potential there is to be tapped.
The primary aim of the University's own research funding is to train researchers, helping to fulfil one of the fundamental aims of University science programmes.
Research Plans are drawn up to define the action priorities in the area of scientific and technological research and development, to programme resources and to coordinate the activities of productive sectors, research centres and universities. These Research Plans define the overall aims in scientific and technological R&D over periods of several years and specify the activity needed to achieve the defined aims. This activity may be national or by sector, may be carried out by the Ministries with responsibility for specific research areas, or may be included in regional government programmes. The R&D programmes may be funded wholly or partly by the State, by the EU or by the University itself.
Current Research Plans
These Research Plans complement each other and are coordinated to achieve an optimal integrated science policy.
The Research Service
This unit of the Vice-Rector of Research and Scientific Policy manages research programs, in conjunction with the Office of Technology Transfer to facilitate professor and student participation, mainly Doctorate, in the National R&D Programs offered by ministry departments, autonomous communities, public and private agencies and the UCM's own Research Programme.
The Research Service acts as a point of contact between research grant awarding bodies and UCM applicants by assisting with applications and overseeing the grants, the research process and the presentation of results to meet grant requirements. In this area, the UCM participates very actively and is very successful in terms of the total funding obtained.
The Research Knowledge Transfer Office
The Research Knowledge Transfer Office (OTRI) was founded in 1989 as an interface between the University and business with the fundamental aim of encouraging relationships between them, promoting the transfer of the University's scientific and technical know-how to the production sector.
The main objectives of the Research Knowledge Transfer Office are: the creation, updating and fostering of the Complutense University's scientific and technological research portfolio; to identify both the transferable results generated by University researchers and the potential R&D requirements of companies to establish contractual relationships between the University and business; to advise researchers on the formulation of research contracts and R&D project proposals and on writing and applying for patents, both at national and international level; to advise businesses on how to find solutions for their technological needs and to offer information on financial assistance for the creation of R&D projects in Spain and Europe.
UCM Research Groups
The Organic Law of Universities (LOU) envisages the research group as the basic research unit, and the UCM statutes state that the Governing Committee, following the proposal of the Research Committee, will regulate the conditions under which a research group can be considered as a "UCM Research Group", and will also delegate the Vice-Chancellor for Research and Scientific Policy to draw up and maintain an updated census of UCM Research Groups.
This census is essential and will benefit the University and the researchers themselves, as it provides an accurate map of the research currently underway in the UCM. This can then be used to decide scientific policy and identify equipment renovation programmes.
The Research Groups recognized by the University can sign contracts with individuals, universities or public and private agencies to carry out scientific, technical or artistic work as well as to develop specialized teaching curricula or specific learning activities.
Research Assistance Centres
The mission of the Research Assistance Centres is to improve the Complutense University's research infrastructure and to advance the research programmes in which its teachers participate. The Research Assistance Centres also increase the technological capabilities and the profitability of investments in high-cost scientific equipment and boost UCM research activities. The Research Assistance Centres offer their services to other public and private centres within the framework of different formally established agreements, arrangements and understandings.
At the same time, the Research Assistance Centres develop research that involves an improvement or an increase in the technical and scientific capabilities in line with the general directives of the scientific policy of the University. They draw up and participate in research projects under the auspices of the Complutense University of Madrid or other national, EU and foreign programmes, in line with Universidad Complutense rules. Finally, the Research Assistance Centres advise the scientific community on all matters related with specialities and techniques important for each centre, and they cooperate in designing teaching programmes to teach and retrain specialists in techniques useful for each centre.
Research Assistance Centres
The services offered at each of the centres can be examined on the website: www.ucm.es
University Research Institutes
The University Research Institutes are centres devoted to scientific and technical research or to artistic creation. They can organise and develop programmes of Doctoral and Post-graduate studies in accordance with UCM Statutes and provide technical advice in their area of knowledge. Their activities, both teaching and research, will not overlap with those undertaken by university departments.
At present, the UCM has 38 institutes, which according to their charters, can be classified as Dependent (25), Associated (11) or Mixed UCM-CSIC (2).
Mixed Institutes CSIC-UCM
Madrid Science Park
The Madrid Science Park is a joint initiative of the Complutense University and the Autónoma University (UAM) and was envisaged as a decisive force for revitalizing the regional system of R&D. Its aim is to transform the varied scientific know-how and capacity for technological development within the region into sustainable progress and social welfare.
The tools the Madrid Science Park uses to encourage knowledge transfer are basically the promotion of quality scientific-technical platforms and the creation and development of technology based innovative enterprises. Although the activity base of the Madrid Science Park is wide ranging, the main technological sectors and activities represented are: Bio-sciences (Bio-technology, Bio-medicine, Food and Agricultural Science and Technology), IT Technologies, New Materials and Nano-Technology, the Environment and Renewable Energies.
The Madrid Science Park welcomes collaboration from any type of agency, enterprise or institution, within or outside Spain which shares its philosophy and aims.