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Fundación Banco Santander and IE University support CNIO researchers in transforming their findings into business opportunities


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IE grants The scientists who obtained the FBS funding, from left to right and from top to bottom: Eva González-Suárez, Francisco de Luna, Barbara Oldrini, Patricia González Santamaría, Sara García and Sofía Cabezudo. /CNIO

Fundación Banco Santander is giving financial support to CNIO scientists undertaking a business management and entrepreneurship executive programme at IE University

“Courses like this one help CNIO build a culture of innovation,” said CNIO Director, Maria Blasco

Fundación Banco Santander is giving support to six scientists from the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) whose research on cancer will be part of an IE University executive programme. The aim is to transform their scientific findings into useful medical applications. The funding is the result of a CNIO-Fundación Banco Santander cooperation agreement to promote business and innovation among young and well-established scientists. The researchers will be part of the programme “Accelerate: Building Business from Science & Technology”, at IE University. They will acquire business management and entrepreneurial skills to transform scientific findings into business opportunities.

The IE University Accelerate programme comprises eight modules, to be completed in six months (January-July 2021): strategy, economic context, finance, marketing and sales, human resources, operations, legal issues, and entrepreneurship. Given the programme’s blended format, the CNIO researchers will be able to continue with their professional activities as they take the courses. The final project will be a business plan, to be designed in groups.

Since 2012, the Accelerate programme has been completed by 100 scientists, 40 of whom were from CNIO. The programme is open to all scientists and researchers who are interested in combining scientific knowledge and business skills to become entrepreneurs or to acquire useful management tools for professional development.

To sign up for the programme, the selected researchers from CNIO will get a €10,000 grant each from Fundación Banco Santander (FBS). What they learn in the courses will help them start up a business, thus transferring their knowledge to the market.

“Excellence makes science competitive at the global level, producing innovative ideas,” says CNIO Director, Maria Blasco.

“Crossing the line between research and business poses big challenges, but it is what you have to do if you want scientific research to have an impact on society. We are really proud of being able to break down barriers with this programme, undertaken by 100 researchers so far from a number of fields, countries and organisations. Accelerateoffers business management tools and skills to acquire through the Liquid Learning model, getting students ready to cross that line,” says Naira Pérez-Alonso, Director of Executive Programmes at IE University.

The Director of Fundación Banco Santander, Borja Baselga, said that, “Fundación Banco Santander is proud to support talent as applied to research and science, not only to the fascinating world of scientific findings but also to more practical sides. The goal is to build a society ready to face dramatic scenarios like the one we faced recently.”

The CNIO scientists who have received grants for the Accelerate programme went through a strict selection process, submitting projects in line with their research goals and CNIO’s innovation standards.

The scientists who obtained grants are Barbara Oldrini, Sofía Cabezudo, Sara García, Francisco de Luna, Patricia González Santamaría and Eva González-Suárez. They are between 31 and 46 years old. Five are women, and only one is a foreign national, from Italy. Most of them are working in molecular oncology programmes and have graduated from Spanish universities, like the Autonomous University of Madrid or the University of Salamanca.

The FBS grant covers the 2020-2021 course, and the selected applicants’ employment contracts with CNIO will be valid until the end of the course. The funding is the result of the agreement signed by CNIO and Fundación Banco Santander to promote business and innovation programmes among young and well-established scientists.

Hybrid classroom at IE University
Hybrid classroom at IE University. /IE

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