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"Faculty research has a direct impact on student teaching quality at Tecnun"

Elena Azurmendi, Head of Research Management at Tecnun highlights the increase in the number of research projects achieved last year.

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Elena Azurmendi at the entrance of the Ibaeta building at Tecnun. PHOTO: Communication Service
28/09/20 11:16 Communication Service

Elena Azurmendi is responsible for Research Management at Tecnun. During the last academic year, the School has managed to increase the number of research projects. "Tecnun, with its research generates knowledge and helps society in many new challenges it faces in the future," Azurmendi emphasizes.

This year there has been an increase in the number of research projects awarded by Tecnun, why do you think this increase is due to this?

I believe that there is a lot of effort on the part of the teacher-researcher of Tecnun to carry out good research, which is why we have more and more projects. The School has a Research Teaching Staff (PDI), formed by fifteen research groups with more and more experience in research projects and in the different profiles of regional, national and European calls. It is important to think about the importance for the teaching staff of Tecnun and the whole University to carry out good research that has a direct impact on the quality of their teaching. 

Which projects have experienced the greatest increase?

In the last calls we have increased in projects funded by the European Union, several Horizon 2020 projects, several LIFE projects (Environment and Climate Action Program), as well as the Ministry of Science and Innovation, where we participate with projects Retos Colaboración and Retos Investigación aimed at solving problems related to the major challenges of society included in the State Plan for Scientific and Technical Research and Innovation. In addition, we continue to maintain a significant number of projects of the Basque Government, Elkartek, Hazitek, Eima, etc. programs. As well as projects with the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa and local organizations such as Fomento San Sebastian, participating in technological bonds.

What are the benefits of increased research projects for Tecnun ?

Firstly, the research of the professors has a direct impact on the teaching quality of the students at Tecnun. On the other hand, research has a social implication, synergies are sought between other internal groups of the School itself, with Ceit groups, with groups from other faculties of our university, research groups from other universities, groups from other research centers and groups from companies. This is very enriching. In addition, Tecnun, with its research generates knowledge and helps society in many new challenges it faces in the future.

In the case of European projects, hasTecnun also improved compared to previous years?

Yes, we have improved significantly. We have gone from researching an average of three to eight European Union projects, in very varied areas, with public and private entities as partners and with good budgets to be able to carry out good research.

Projects such as LIFE URBAN KLIMA 2050, MODEL2BIO, STANCE4HEALTH, MEET-AML, ENGAGE, LIFE MCUBO, SENSOFT, D-MAT, projects in which different research groups from Tecnun are involved.

Has the number of contracts with companies also increased?

Yes, collaboration between universities and companies in terms of contracts for research work has grown. Companies know the research quality of Tecnun and demand the help of our PDI for specific works. In fact, there are many calls for proposals to which funding is accessed jointly by universities and companies for joint participation in R&D projects.

Tecnun participates as a member in the 4Gune capability map, which aims to serve companies. 

What are the main areas of research that the School contributes? 

4Gune, the University Training Cluster in Engineering, Science and Technology of the Basque Country, has created a map of capabilities (training, research, transfer, and facilities and equipment) of Industry 4.0 in the Basque university system, to serve companies, in which Tecnun collaborates by making our research areas available to all Basque companies. 4Gune intends to expand the capabilities not only within Industry 4.0 but also to add other priority areas later on.

The areas being worked on are among others: Cybersecurity, Additive Manufacturing, Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, among others. The research groups at Tecnun that are researching in these areas are groups such as Manufacturing, Sustainable Improvement, Wireless Instruments, Electronic Circuits and Sensors, Mathematical Principles of Information, etc.

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