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The circuit Futures of Iberian Press about technological innovationwhich has organized events in a dozen Spanish cities in the last year, held its last stop this Thursday in Madrid, with the presence of the First Vice President of the Government and Minister of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, Nadia Calviño.

under the organization of The Newspaper of Spain -newspaper of the same editorial group to which EL PERIÓDICO DE CATALUNYA also belongs- and the sponsorship of Telefónica, Procter &_Gamble and Ayming, Prensa Ibérica brought together a large group of experts to analyze the present and future challenges of technological innovation in Spain.

The president of Prensa Ibérica, Javier Moll, welcomed those attending the conference and pointed out that his group is committed to Futuribles because it is “well aware that technological and digital transformation is one of the great hallmarks of our time.” Moll assured that it is a revolution that “stimulates thought, modifies habits and forces us to rethink everything: the way we relate, inform ourselves, produce, learn and live.”

Gemma Roblesdirector of The Newspaper of Spainpointed out in this same sense that “we cannot miss the opportunity to promote the technological advances necessary to improve as a society & rdquor ;.

Vice President Nadia Calviño reviewed in her speech the current deployment of reforms and investments contemplated in the recovery plan and highlighted it as a vehicle for advance in innovation: “We have launched competitive processes that are already financing around 29,000 projects, which represents more than 10,000 million euros in companies, research centers, universities, etc.”

Calviño took advantage of this forum to give news and advance that the Government of Spain will present a pilot project with a Spanish seal next Monday in Brussels to make the first controlled sandbox for the artificial intelligence rulebook. “It is a great opportunity for this pilot project to be tested with Spanish companies, SMEs and startups, and it is an example of the role that Spain is playing in promoting artificial intelligence,” he said.

He also valued the great reception of the SME digitization program (‘digital kit’) and the eight specific plans launched in the heat of the Digital Agenda (connectivity, 5G, cybersecurity,…), which he transfers to the Recovery Plan “in which we are investing 20,000 million euros”, he added.

Innovation specialists

The event featured the first swords of knowledge around technological innovation in Spain. Francisco Marin, director of Futures and National Award for Innovative Career in 2020, pointed out that “we are on the way, but much remains to be done. We are the 13th economy in the world, and yet, in the global innovation index, we fall to position number 30”.

The allusion to the opportunity that in terms of technological innovation represents for Spain the european funds Next Generation It was a constant throughout the match. In the first of the round tables on “active policies for innovation and development”, Pedro Mier, president of Ametic, emphasized that European funds must reach companies as soon as possible: “to date, out of every four euros dedicated to innovation, only one has reached the companies & rdquor ;, he assured. “We must not forget that the transformation is in the companies; science is global and innovation is local, so where wealth is produced in the territory is through companies & rdquor ;, he added.

Antón Costas, president of the Economic and Social Council, was more optimistic: “We are using the funds better than we think; if it were not so, the balance of payments of this country would not be understood. Our companies are more innovative than the statistics say; We have to have a little more self-esteem because we have all the elements to overcome this challenge & rdquor ;.

José Manuel Pingarrón, Secretary General of Universities, agreed with him, believing that “today our young doctors have more opportunities for mobility and exchange with other universities in the world is becoming easier & rdquor ;.

Ana Castro, deputy vice president of Knowledge Transfer of the CSIC, pointed out that Spain is on the way and we have the prepared structuresbut warned that “the challenges are great and the return times may not be as fast as society demands.”

The meeting was not able to attend in person, as planned, the Secretary General for Innovation, Teresa Risk, who had to go to the Congress of Deputies for the debate and vote on the Law on Science, Technology and Innovation. She intervened, however, telematically and assured that it is only possible to have bigger and stronger companies if it places innovation as the main axis.

Companies, a key element in the challenge of innovation

the journey Futures organized by The Newspaper of Spain held a second table on “companies facing the challenge of technological innovation” in which experts from different companies participated.

The meeting served to demonstrate that the success of the modernization of Spain goes through the ecosystem of companies, SMEs and startup. Without their experience and interconnection with society as a whole, it is impossible to advance in innovation.

David del Val, global director of Strategic Innovation at Telefónica, explained that betting on innovation is not only an investment but also a great business. “Because in this way a company supports long-term changes and can sell its development strategies to other companies. But for this it is necessary that public institutions help us, not only with economic resources but also with training programs.”

Javier Riaño, vice president of marketing for Procter&Gamble-Spain, says that in a company like his they also have the responsibility to innovate in solving the specific needs of consumers without forgetting their context. “We, for example, manufacture detergents and we know that the price of electricity has risen a lot in recent months. We have to work to create products with which the washing machine can be used at low temperatures and thus save on electricity bills.”

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Carlos Artal, general director of Ayming Spain, considers it essential, for his part, that the State dedicate at least 2% of GDP to innovation. “Companies are doing our part. Because only in this way will we survive over time and, furthermore, we must promote the development of a broad and solid ecosystem of startup” he said. “Right now there are companies that do not know how to access European resources for digitization and the path must be made easier for them. Because only in this way can they be more competitive and continue to grow.”

Supported by the public sector, we have to implement full digitization. But, in parallel, we must try to do it in a cybersecure way & rdquor ;, warned Azucena Hernández, founder and CEO of Eurocybcar, “because if not, we are leaving the doors open to cybercriminals. In the automotive sector we are paying great attention to this and we are also concerned about training our staff”, assured a woman who became an entrepreneur at the age of 47 and has obtained “the first cybersecurity certificate for a car” issued in our country.

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