Campus and Community

Innovative projects at TecInnov Santander Innovators’ Challenge 2020

The TecInnov Santander Innovators’ Challenge 2020 challenged students to solve specific banking problems specially designed for Técnico students. The four projects that reached the Final Pitch held this Wednesday, 18th November, clearly reflected students’ problem solving skills, willingness to innovate and to improve services.

The projects “SensEfficency”, “Consumer Experience 4.0”, “ParQ” and “Alloci” have been selected last May to the implementation phase.

With the support and guidance of the iStartLab team, the students improved their projects, readjusted strategies, developed prototypes and platforms. A Santander employee provided mentoring support to each team throughout the process.

The students pitched their ideas to a panel of experts composed of engineer Marcos Ribeiro, Head of New Normal at Banco Santander Portugal, Doctor Sofia Frère, director of Santander Universities, and professor Pedro Amaral, Vice-president of Técnico for Corporate Relations and Operations.

The “SensEfficency” project developed a portable, flexible, low-cost diagnostic probe, which can be installed in any context and allows to collect important data to support decision making, which can improve users’ comfort.

Through deep learning and Artificial Intelligence techniques, the “Consumer Experience 4.0” project team created a system that allows to measure and evaluate customer behaviour inside a counter, such as the time spent by the customer inside the counter or the areas where they spend more time.

The “ParQ” project consists of a platform that allows the management of parking spaces, maximizes the occupancy rate, and simplifies the entire process of booking spaces.

The “Alloci” project tried to solve the variations in the perception of thermal comfort of team members, by developing sensors that measure the temperature fluctuation in different spaces and a platform where they can report this discomfort. These data will allow the building manager to adapt the work sites and air conditioning systems, according to the employees’ comfort.

The project results were presented in a different way. The teams highlighted the readjustments made to the initial plan, which resulted from the implementation process itself, and analysed their expectations and their achievements.

A “unique experience” that fostered entrepreneurship and brought students closer to the “real world”

“It is a unique experience”, said Fernando Vieira, Talent, Diversity and Inclusion Manager at Santander. “TecInnov Santander Innovators’ Challenge is a way of pushing our bank forward, sharing our knowledge and, at the same time, it’s a way of meeting these talented students and improve our customers and employees satisfaction”.

Engineer Marcos Ribeiro praised the initiative and expressed his satisfaction for the work accomplished by the teams. “I am pleased to see that Técnico students are increasingly improving their ability to expose their ideas and consequently the results achieved”, he added.

“It’s my first time participating in this kind of initiatives and I was very pleased to see how these students have shown their proactivity. These activities allow Santander to get closer to universities, in this case Técnico. This is undoubtedly a fruitful partnership”, said Sofia Frère.

The Vice-president of Técnico for Financial Management, Doctor Isabel Dias, who was also member of the jury, closed the session. “These events are very important. I hope that TecInnov Santander Innovators’ Challenge continue to exist because it has been proved that Santander / Técnico partnership is a success”,