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BBVA and the University collaborate to train employees and promote research in data science


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From left to right, Iciar Astiasarán, Ricardo Martín, Carlos Casas and Jesús López Fidalgo, during the partnership formalized in a telematic event. PHOTO: Manuel Castells
14/07/20 11:07

BBVA and the University of Navarra will collaborate to train their employees and promote research in the science of data. This agreement will allow BBVA professionals the possibility to study an official Master's Degree in 'big data', obtain the recognition of scientist of data or carry out an industrial doctorate in science of data. In addition, the agreement will enable students at the University of Navarra to carry out research work with BBVA and even join the bank at a later date.

The partnership between both institutions has been formalized in a telematic event with the participation of Icíar Astiasarán, from the University of Navarra, Vice President of research, and Jesús López Fidalgo, director of high school of Science of the data and Artificial Intelligence; and from BBVA, Carlos Casas, manager of Talent and Culture; and Ricardo Martín, manager of Data.

partnership between university and business

This alliance, which opens several avenues of research between both institutions in the field of advanced analytics of data and artificial intelligence, is a big step in the partnership between university and business. "This agreement marks a different way of understanding training and research with the university, creating a synergy that will allow our scientists from data to enter the academic world, and the university teams to enter the business world. The University of Navarra is a strategic partner for BBVA, with which we will create a professional certification and a real 'pool' of talent," said Carlos Casas, manager of BBVA Talent and Culture.

For his part, the director of the high school of Science of the data and Artificial Intelligence of the University of Navarra, Jesús López Fidalgo, has highlighted the need to have professionals trained in this subject that will mark the competitiveness in all sectors: "The co-direction of industrial doctorates and the creation of the joint professional certification of scientist of data will constitute a seal of quality in the curriculum of professionals in this field. In addition, it is important to have a training that allows data scientists to develop a technically excellent role with the appropriate ethical values," stressed Fidalgo, who believes it is essential to put all these tools at the service of the defense of people's privacy and intimacy.

A vision that coincides with that of BBVA, which has made data a strategic priority, which it now comes to reinforce with this new agreement. "The data are essential to our understanding of financial services. We want to be able to make the most of these technologies to be a more efficient bank and offer personalized advice to our customers so that they can make the right decisions to fulfill their dreams and life goals," said Ricardo Martín Manjón, manager global Data at BBVA.

The agreement between BBVA and the University of Navarra focuses mainly on three lines of partnership:

Certification for scientists from data: This certification, issued by the University of Navarra and BBVA with global recognition, will be awarded to BBVA professionals who take the training "Data Scientist Fundamentals", included in the training offer of Campus BBVA and also complete at least 400 hours of work on the bank's Big Data platform. The work will be supervised by academics from various university centers with proven experience in advanced analytics at data.

Master's Degree university degree in 'Big Data Science'.BBVA will have its own group within the Master's Degree that the University of Navarra offers in Madrid for BBVA employees with a dedication of 1,500 theoretical and practical hours of work of student. Master's Degree In addition, the students of Master's Degree of the University of Navarra will be able to carry out their internships or their end-of-degree work within BBVA.

Industrial doctorates: BBVA data scientists will be offered the possibility of carrying out their doctoral thesis in the industrial format (applied to a practical case of a business) which will be co-directed by the University and BBVA in a doctoral program of the University of Navarra. Likewise, partnership will facilitate research and publication of scientific papers and participation in international congresses.

BBVA will also take advantage of this close relationship with the University of Navarra to attract talent among its students, who will have access to a job listings to join the bank's project . While those scientists from data of group who are interested in the academic field will be able to teach classes or carry out other teaching activities at the University of Navarra.

The road traveled

The agreement is part of BBVA's global strategy to improve its capabilities in science data and increase its teams of scientists and specialists. Throughout these years, BBVA has tried to boost this talent subject through different initiatives, both internaltraining and recruitment of new profiles.

To train BBVA employees, group has carried out projects such as 'Transcendence', an internal plan to train scientists from data, specialists and advanced analysts, through which 1,400 professionals have already passed throughout the organization. On the other hand, it has also promoted recruitment initiatives such as the 'Young Data Professionals' program, designed to recruit and train the best young talent specialized in advanced analytics.

To boost the collaborative work among group professionals involved in data analytics, the 'Space Career' has also been created, where in the last year alone the community has carried out more than 50 activities to share knowledge globally. From 2018 to the present, BBVA has trained 677 scientists from data, 676 specialists from data, and has 48,356 employees who have completed some training of Data. The offer provided by Campus BBVA, the training model of group, has become one of its main axes to attract and retain talent.

high school of the University of Navarra

At the beginning of 2020 the University of Navarra has launched the high school of Science of the data and Artificial Intelligence (DATAI) whose goal is to value the potential of the University in this field. The high school seeks to carry out a quality research with transfer to society and the business sector, as well as to provide and advise on the training. In particular, in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 academic years, a specialist program in Big Data was taught, which in the 2019-20 academic year has become an official Master's Degree that takes place entirely at the headquarters of postgraduate program in Madrid.

DATAI is attached to the School of Engineering and has members from many centers of the University of Navarra.