Valentí Martínez: "AVINENT can develop digital technologies to replace conventional processes and innovation is explained in the classroom as it is being developed"
Avinent Implant System
We are interviewing Valentí Martínez, Director-General of the Fundació Universitària del Bages (FUB), to analyze the relation between the FUB and AVINENT, which signed a collaboration agreement two years ago to guarantee the quality and success of the advanced training program for dental prosthetics technicians. With a PhD in Psychology from the Universitat Abat Oliba (UAO) and a degree in Nursing, he is also a consultant and member of the Manresa Chamber of Commerce and sits on the board of trustees of the Fundació Althaia. At the academic level, apart from the FUB, he is also an associate professor in the Universitat de Barcelona (IL3), Universitat de Vic – Universitat Central de Catalunya (UVic-UCC) and Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB).
The Fundació Universitària del Bages and AVINENT joined forces to ensure innovative training in the advanced program for dental prosthetics technicians. How would you evaluate it?
At the Fundació Universitària del Bages (FUB) and the Manresa campus of the UVic-UCC, we are extremely satisfied with the first two years of the advanced training program for dental prosthetics technicians. Working alongside a company like AVINENT provides our students with innovative training adapted to the sector’s current demands. Since the 2015-2016 academic year, our partnership with AVINENT has favored skill acquisition and prepared students to begin their professional practice, facilitated access to employment and fostered capacities for entrepreneurship. We only have good things to say about it.
This is the only educational program in this field taught in Catalonia to be structured as a cooperative course. What led you to commit to it?
Indeed, the advanced training program for dental prosthetics technicians is taught through cooperative courses at the UManresa Professional Campus. Sandwich and cooperative courses combine learning at a company with an academic education, which boosts collaboration between vocational training centers and companies in training students. Therefore, the students’ education is considered a pathway aimed at preparing healthcare professionals with complementary skills linked to entrepreneurship, innovation and internationalization. The company internship is split into two stages. In the first, which takes place in the first academic year, students join the company to practice and adapt to how it operates. When this period ends, during the second stage, the students start an internship remunerated through a contract or scholarship.
So the relation between the university and the company is constant.
That’s right. Combining work at a company with studies fosters connections between lessons in the classroom and real professional situations and facilitates the students’ future job placement. Moreover, collaboration between companies and laboratories on the one hand and the university on the other enables an exchange of knowledge, needs and solutions that bring value to students and the business environment of the sector alike. Therefore, students can combine their university education with working at a company from the sector under a contract or scholarship, develop all their professional potential, learn in real work situations and acquire professional experience in an ideal environment. This system of education allows students to combine education at the Manresa campus of the UVic-UCC with internships at different companies of the sector, including AVINENT. Thus, the students leave perfectly prepared for their future entry into the job market.
What is the relationship between the FUB and AVINENT beyond this advanced training program?
Even though the agreement was signed just two years ago, the Fundació Universitària del Bages and AVINENT have worked together for some time on education with specialized dental implant courses, using the spaces of the university clinic. AVINENT also provides technical specialists who teach in their fields of specialization and open companies to visits by students from the FUB. Furthermore, both institutions provide spaces to carry out training activities. We have a very powerful academic and business relationship. We do not have esthetic relational mechanisms, but immensely pragmatic ones: everyone benefits from this partnership.
What factors brought about the partnership and what brings you together?
The entire teaching staff consists of professors with long professional careers in the dental prosthetics sector. It is also important to enjoy the support and experience of the teaching methodologies provided by leading companies in the sector like AVINENT due to their market penetration and their background in innovation. An active teaching staff guarantees a close connection with the professional world and an education in line with what the job market requires. Therefore, collaboration between companies and laboratories on the one hand and the university on the other enables an exchange of knowledge, needs and solutions that bring value to students and the business environment of the sector alike. The agreement allows for a sweeping view where everyone wins. As a result, we would like to create a small cluster for the dental prosthetics sector in Bages.
AVINENT may provide a complete solution with regard to the digital flow. What advantages does that mean for the FUB?
We must thank AVINENT for their commitment to help to turn this advanced training program of the Professional Campus into a benchmark for training future dental prosthetists. The FUB strives to foster vital attitudes of anticipation, connection with the environment, orientation towards change and a vision for the future, and this is easier to achieve with a pioneering company like AVINENT. Being able to train prosthetic professionals and teach them to work with new technologies that are being implemented in the sector is one of the elements that distinguish education at the FUB from other educational institutions in Catalonia that provide them. According to AVINENT’s professionals, a Prosthetics graduate needs a lot of time in the laboratory to master the different techniques. Cooperative courses help to save time spent during this part of professional training, so the graduate leaves with more experience and mastery than a graduate with a more conventional education. Furthermore, at AVINENT we have first-class facilities and equipment.
What must be done in the field of education to respond to how quickly technology is being implemented in the dental market?
Training is a key factor in the dentistry and dental prosthetics sector, as it is one of the pillars helping to move towards a new dental paradigm. We are committed to this educational program in order to change and revolutionize the training paradigm in the new digital approach. Moreover, AVINENT has very powerful departments with which we are constantly in contact, and we want to open new lines. In no way is it a limited agreement. The education sector must evolve in parallel with the progress made by market technologies, because otherwise graduates will be less able to meet real needs once their training ends. AVINENT can develop digital technologies to replace conventional processes and innovation is explained in the classroom as it is being developed. This is an immense benefit for the students and the university system, because it teaches with latest-generation technology.
Is continuous training more essential in the medical sector than in other sectors?
All sectors must maintain continuous and ongoing quality training. Otherwise you lose competitiveness and cannot respond appropriately to demand. In the three sectors in which we work (healthcare, business and education), we must be constantly up to date. This is even more so with regard to healthcare, because people’s wellbeing depends on it. The commitment to training at a company that has a vision for the future is essential. And if it can be done with the collaboration of an institution like the university, the qualitative level of this activity can be raised.
TagsImplants, Dental prosthetics, Dentistry 4.0