Leading companies see opportunities for innovation in Spain if collaboration and talent are strengthened

They highlight the importance of open innovation, employee training, and attract external talent

Madrid, 26 (European press)

Iberdrola, GSK, Mapfre and Esade emphasized on Monday that there are opportunities in Spain to innovate and improve the technological capabilities of companies, which should enhance cooperation with third parties and talent.

This was indicated by representatives of these companies at an event in Madrid chaired by the Minister of Science and Innovation, Diana Morant, within the framework of Opportunity Generation, a Europa Press project in cooperation with the consulting firm McKinsey & Company. .

“We are in an uncertain moment and innovation will help us appear in a better position,” said Juan Comprado, Director of Innovation at Mapfre, during his participation in the roundtable titled “Leading Innovation Responsibly: Challenges and Opportunities from Spain”.

In his view, society and companies are clear about this idea and they also know that in a context of crises and instability, “innovation will be the distinguishing factor” that will determine who will emerge stronger once difficulties are overcome.

Along the same lines, David Barros, Director of Global Health Research and Development Center at GSK Spain, stated that when a company’s income statement is not performing well, one should not think that “the first thing that suffers from it is the innovation department. On the contrary, it added, on the contrary,” he added. It might be the last thing to touch.

keep up with technology

“Investing in innovation is key to generating business growth and productivity,” McKinsey Partner and Moderator Gloria Macias-Lizaso noted, and this is reflected in the “Ensuring Europe’s Competitiveness” report. Addressing Your Technology Gap, from the McKinsey Global Institute.

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Citing this study, McKinsey & Company managing partner, Alejandro Beltrán, noted that the economies and companies of Europe and Spain are growing slower and investing fewer economic resources in research and development in relation to their income than the United States. Europe warned that if Europe does not catch up with technology, the value added of companies of between 2 and 4 trillion euros annually will be at risk until 2040.

For Esteve Almirall, professor in Esade’s Department of Operations, Innovation and Data Science, there are two speeds: While some companies have very high productivity, others have “remained stagnant.”

He also distinguished between those who innovate in the “core” or core part of their business and those who innovate at its margin, in new products and services, and added that in order to reach high levels of productivity, companies must choose the first path.

In Spain “we have the technology and the professionals, we have no shortage of skills,” but “we have to reorient,” commented Almeral, who also called for innovation to be measured taking into account not so much the skills as the ability to “mobilize those capabilities,” as well as the results obtained by companies.

Cooperation with third parties

At Mapfre, they believe there will be “no brake” to investing in innovation soon, but that companies will lean toward open innovation, to collaborate with other actors, a way that, according to Comprado, is “more efficient.”

“We rely on third parties, on innovators who specialize in a particular activity, to improve productivity, our relationship with the customer or the products and services we offer,” he explained, noting that the dominance of SMEs in business could be an “opportunity” rather than a disadvantage.

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This is also how GSK works. According to Barros, the pharmaceutical company not only strives to be more competitive and has “sustainable ambition”, but also seeks to “be part of a beneficial collaboration” to continue to advance in innovation.

In the case of Iberdrola, Global Head of Innovation, Beatriz Crisóstomo, declared that they have an open model for collaboration within consortia and alliances: “As a company that does nothing alone in innovation, we depend on an entire ecosystem.”

Likewise, he emphasized “decentralization,” because innovation is “part of the DNA of all employees.” But they also have centers that specialize in specific technologies, such as the Global Smart Grids Innovation Hub located in Bilbao, where they work with 80 collaborators, including large companies, technology developers, start-ups, universities and technology centers.

We all compete for the same professionals.

With regard to universities, Crisóstomo also highlighted the cooperation they have established with them to try to ensure that their training programs include the technical and “soft” skills that companies demand, so as to create the new professional profiles that are required by the company. .

Through digitization, he said, “all companies are competing for the same professionals,” referring to scientists, architects, data analysts and engineers. A talent to retain and attract, according to Barros, from GSK, which makes the company a “great place to work” and that those who are part of it know their ideas have a place and that they will act to change.

Mapfre’s Director of Innovation noted that for internal talent, the insurer has a program to discover it and apply “skill-upgrading” and “reshaping” to “transform it, make it grow and generate new opportunities.” As for outside talent, they try to attract it by focusing on projects that might be interesting to these professionals.

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Aileen Morales

"Beer nerd. Food fanatic. Alcohol scholar. Tv practitioner. Writer. Troublemaker. Falls down a lot."

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