A New Degree of Innovation

Founded in 1499, Universidad Complutense Madrid (UCM), is one of the oldest universities in the world, and among the top in Spain. Its faculty of Nursing, Physiotherapy and Podiatry has over 2,000 students and 40 members of staff.
Universidad Complutense Madrid




Higher Education


Ideation Management, Innovation Management

High Level Summary (For Busy People)

  • UCM wanted to improve the transparency of its Nursing faculty’s quality processes, and capture ideas for new innovations.
  • The platform is open to both staff and students – each class nominates a delegate to be their voice.
  • Innovation Commissions – made up of staff specialists – determine challenges.
  • Once the top ideas have been selected, they are presented to a board for approval.
  • UCM is planning to use the software to prepare grant proposals for the European Commission.

Making the switch to online work

Professor Francisco José García González, Delegate of the Dean for Innovation and Digital Transformation, wanted to democratize and improve the transparency of the faculty’s quality processes, and capture ideas for new innovations.

Francisco said: “Our institution was originally entirely face-to-face. The work culture was very traditional. In the Covid-19 crisis we had to adapt to online work.”

This switch to online working paved the way for introducing new platforms. Francisco chose edison365 as it integrates with Microsoft software and is fully configurable, so his team could adapt it to suit their needs.

Francisco anticipated that installing the software might be complicated as the university’s in-house teams were unfamiliar with SharePoint, so he chose to use edison365’s Implementation Services. Our consultants worked with UCM’s IT teams to support the installation and ensure it was a success.

“The first ideas uploaded to the platform are lovely! It is working as an open forum, it’s better for our work.”

– Professor Francisco José García González, Delegate of the Dean for Innovation and Digital Transformation at Universidad Complutense Madrid

Collecting the first ideas

Francisco started by creating dedicated innovation channels within Microsoft Teams, which include training resources to support individuals with using the platform.  

It’s important to him and his teams that innovation encompasses as many voices as possible, so the platform is open to students, as well as staff. Each class nominates a delegate to provide a voice for them on edison365ideas, and ensure their suggestions are put forward. Using Yammer integrations has improved communication, discussion, and feedback within the faculty.

brainstorm meeting

Francisco also created innovation commissions – made up of people with specialist knowledge in key subjects – who determine the critical challenges for the faculty. These include simulation, virtual campus, and communication.

The first submission window for ideas was opened for fifteen days, and twelve suggestions were put forward. Francisco and his team were delighted to see that the rate of participation exceeded their targets.

“The first ideas uploaded to the platform are lovely! It is working as an open forum, it’s better for our work,” said Francisco.

Users are now voting for their favorite options. Once these have been selected, Francisco will present them to a board for approval.

Want to know more about this implementation

Championing a new way of working

Universities often have very traditional ways of working, which results in resistance to change. Francisco has been championing this change within UCM, by spreading the word about his faculty’s new approach to innovation.

He said: “Our faculty has an opportunity to communicate different points of view and ideas. At this moment we are looking to generate more adherence to the software. We think the software will be a critical change to how we work and create an economy for innovation.”

European Commission

The best universities in Spain – including, of course, UCM – offer free tuition, so students can access courses without worrying about cost. To do this, it’s very important to get funding from the European Commission.

Francisco plans to use edison365 to prepare grant proposals to submit to the European Commission. The software will also be used to help the university develop projects with key start-ups – an initiative that forms an essential part of accessing European Commission grants.

european flags front berlaymont building headquarters

A roadmap for innovation success

Francisco and his team are creating a roadmap to ensure that innovation continues to go from strength to strength. This will include training, using open innovation to search for business angels, and the planned work with start-ups.

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