The Universitat demands the promotion of the talent at the I Conference of the International Mentor Program

The principal of Universitat de València, Esteban Morcillo, demanded the promotion of the young talent in the opening on Monday of the I Conference of the International Mentor Program Europe-EUA-IMP, promoted by the International Mentorship Foundation for the Advancement of the Higher Education (Imfahe) that has its headquarters in Massachusetts.

The meeting, celebrated at the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, was opened, among several authorities, by the secretary of State for Research, Development and Innovation of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Carmen Vela. She indicated the importance of this programme pioneer in Spain so that international renowned researchers –Spaniards that live abroad– act as mentors for students aiming to develop their scientific career, which allows for “the creation of a new knowledge, a new science that serves to generate financial resources, and also social resources, that is, to improve the quality of life of people.”
Innovation and competitiveness
By its part, the president of Imfahe Foundation and director of IMP, Zafira Castaño, assured that this initiative aims to “connect the talent with the resources by encouraging the innovation, competitiveness, and quality advice.” All of that taking into account that we are “in a new era of high competitiveness, financial and technologic globalisation, and where it is necessary the international collaboration.”
Castaño announced that the IMP programme will be offered to students by the end of September, when the conventions with the universities end. “With an availability of 80 mentors, we hope to increase the offer to 300 places in biomedicine, human and economic sciences, and engineering. Until now, the quality advice has been basically through Linkedin, but we hope it also includes stays and interchanges”, added Castaño, creator of the initiative with the existing model in the Harvard University.
This conference, that will last for the whole day, is the first of three annual sessions that will take place on the International Mentor Program, supported by Banco Santander and the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT) of the Ministry of Economy and Finance. It have been invited the 22 scientists that have acted as mentors in the academic year 2014-2015, the first year of life of the project in pilot format, and the 78 advised students that belong to five centres: the University of Oviedo, the University of the Basque Country, the University of Navarra, and the Miguel de Cervantes European University. And out of the total of participants, the student from Universitat de València, Lucía Ramos has been awarded for the person who carried out the best trajectory during the advising process, as well as the mentor Joaquín López, that belongs to MIT, awarded for his mentorship trajectory to his student.
Besides, the programme had the support of the Spanish Scientists in the USA Association (Ecusa), which gathers professionals that work in international universities such as Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, John Hopkins, Salk Institute, or Karolinska Institute. 
It also has participated in the opening the first deputy mayor of the Valencian City Hall, Joan Calabuig; the delegate of the Valencian Community Government, Juan Carlos Moragues; the vice-president of Ecusa, Teresa Nieves; and the deputy assistant director-general of Banco Santander and the regional director in the Valencian Community, Antoni Valldecabres, who indicated that the IMP “constitutes the first international platform for advice for students, an innovative programme with which our entity engages since it responds to our social responsibility of encouraging education and research.”
Return of the 9,5% of the Horizon 20/20
Carmen Vela indicated that IMP “perfectly fits our Science and Innovation Strategy”, in fact, “we want to recognise the job of this kind of organisation, of the promotion of ‘networking’, because we do not want to lose quality researchers.”
Vela referred to the scientific excellence and the internationalisation of the Spanish research. “As a sample, in the first 73 calls of the programme Horizon 20/20 of the European Union, we have achieved a 9,5% return, that exceeds what Spain provides, the 8,5%, that is, 553 million euros more, while the 15% of the passed projects are lead by Spanish technologists.”
Esteban Morcillo affirmed that the availability of mentors for second and third stage last years students “is going to enrich our universities through the acquired and shared knowledge by these excellent researchers.” Before the scientific numbers provided by Vela, the principal reminded that about “two-thirds of the Spanish research is carried out in the public university system, which is intensive in research, as well as its teaching responsibility.” In turn, he indicated that three joint centres of Universitat de València and the CSIC (Spanish Research Council) have been recognised with the excellence award Severo Ochoa, the most recent the Institute for Corpuscular Physics (IFIC).
By his part, the vice-principal for International Relations and Cooperation, Guillermo Palao, noted the importance that the tendency to the internationalisation “is really wide and necessary because, in turn, talent knows no boundaries and it requires other talents to grow.” As an example of this tendency, Palao said that the Universitat de València is the second in receiving Erasmus students in the European Union, and the first in the Spanish area, and she also mentioned the bet that the institution makes for the entrepreneurship through its Science Park and agreements as the one signed with Berkeley University, together with its progress in the internationalisation of its campuses.
The responsible for the Príncipe de Asturias Chair in the Georgetown University, the full university professor of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Jordi Garcés, insisted on that the world “changes according to the capacity of enthusiasm, the attitude, and the effort of the youth, which guarantee a qualitative step.” In relation to the International Mentor Program, Garcés informed: “Not only having the idea is necessary, but also the will and policies, that is, internationalisation requires a project planned collectively.”
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Last update: 27 de july de 2015 14:24.

News release