The document Proposals for new innovation policies in Spain 2023-2027, drawn up by the IND+I Council and the Forum of Innovative Companies (FEI), advocates placing the competitiveness of companies as the main focus and purpose of innovation policies. Taking advantage of its presentation on 20 October last in Viladecans, an event was organised with the collaboration of the Industrial Pact.
Within the framework of the event, a dialogue on business and innovation took place with the interventions of Josep Martin, director of R+D+i of Manufactura Moderna de Metales, and Catalina Balseiro, director of Innovation and Knowledge of Aigües de Barcelona; and the moderation of Sergi Fuster, president of the Innovation Commission of the Industrial Pact and representative of PIMEC.
The company at the centre of innovation
Catalina Balseiro emphasised that innovation policies must create spaces to foster technological advancement and achieve specific objectives related to climate change and resource efficiency. She also pointed out that technological innovation is essential to address the current challenges companies are facing, and that it is very important to develop implementation models to enable its scalability.
Josep Martin detailed that the three fundamental factors to promote innovation are knowledge, the ability for innovation to reach the market and spaces for collaboration. Martin argued that technological centres must encourage startups and he emphasised the importance of training and professional development of workers to encourage innovation.
Culture of innovation
During the event reception, Carles Ruiz, mayor of Viladecans, president of the IND+I and secretary of the Industrial Pact, explained that the IND+I was created six years ago with the aim of generating perspective on the future of industry and innovation, to have the ability to understand the opportunities presented to companies and the administration, and to disseminate the culture of innovation.
For her part, Vanessa Blanch, representative of the FEI, indicated that innovation attracts progress and economic and social wealth – which translates into increased well-being for everyone – and promotes a culture of continuous improvement – which allows companies to grow and become more competitive and productive. Therefore, given its importance, she insisted that it must be included in the country’s strategy.
Twelve driving proposals
This shared vision between both entities has motivated the preparation of this document, of which the twelve driving proposals have been presented. Those responsible for this are Àurea Rodríguez, on behalf of the IND+I, and Ezequiel Navarro, Rosa Siles and Vanessa Blanch, on behalf of the FEI. Rosa Siles mentioned the need to update government structures related to innovation and proposed the creation of a National Innovation Council. She also mentioned the need to address tax incentives, new financial instruments and the simplification of administrative procedures.
For Ezequiel Navarro, innovation is about doing things differently, so they generate more value, whether economic, environmental or social. Navarro suggested establishing a venture capital fund and a mutual guarantee fund to support companies with international patents and in litigation. Another proposal has been to create a country brand that fosters innovation “created in Spain”. The speakers recalled that innovation is not a linear process and requires collaboration between all actors in the innovation ecosystem, including companies, academia, civil society and government. They also called for society to demand and promote innovation.