CRE100DO, a foundation that promotes business excellence and brings together more than 100 of the best companies in the Spanish middle market, brought together the main actors of the innovation ecosystem in Malaga together with other CRE100DO companies from different parts of Spain, who wanted to learn about the structure of this successful innovation model.
The conference, held at the facilities of Málaga TechPark, brought together relevant representatives of the regional business network and other territories of the Spanish geography such as: Felipe Romera, general director of Málaga TechPark, Ezequiel Navarro, CEO of Grupo Premo, Antonio Gómez-Guillamón, CEO of Aertec and David Sarmiento, technical director of Trops. In addition to the global vision of the professor and expert in innovation and technology, Xavier Ferrás.
The day began with a visit to the host company, Grupo Premo, a world leader in the manufacture of electronic components for the automotive industry, to share its model of success and its keys to innovation.
Felipe Romera and Ezequiel Navarro were in charge of putting into context the successful model of the Malaga innovation ecosystem.
Felipe Romera stated that “The success of the innovation ecosystem in Malaga is not a one-off event, three things are particularly relevant in Malaga: institutional cooperation, the support of a benchmark university in the innovation system and the great transformation of the Malaga ecosystem materialised in a club of connected entrepreneurs who promote innovation in a collaborative manner”. “With the aim of materialising the large number of projects that were conceived for the Next Generation Fund calls, the Ricardo Valle Institute was born as an innovation hub, in which companies as important as three of those present here today participate: Aertec, Premo and Trops”, added Romera.
Ezequiel Navarro added that “Companies want to come to Malaga because they are sure that they are in a fertile ground with a functioning ecosystem. We want to be the first lighthouse that guides innovation through the different poles of the rest of Spain, inventing as we move forward, we must have ambition and provide innovation with the right resources such as constant training and talent”.
In his speech, Xavier Ferrás highlighted the arrival of a golden age of innovation in the face of a new globalisation based on the attraction of high technology. “Spain, like all of Europe, is at a turning point, a “sputnik moment”. It is now or never. We must drastically increase investment in R&D and initiate a solid industrial policy. CR100DO companies are examples of hidden champions that can form the backbone of the economy in the coming years,” said Ferrás.
The conference culminated with a dialogue between three representatives of companies, moderated by Rafael Vaquero, general director of the CRE100DO Foundation: Aertec, Grupo Premo and Trops. Companies with an innovative gene that explained in their speeches how they approach innovation and what is required to be an innovative company with the consequent challenges and opportunities that this entails. In the conversation, key issues of practical application for these types of companies in the middle market segment came up, such as the importance of culture in order to be innovative and the need to work in collaborative models.
Antonio Gómez-Guillamón, CEO of Aertec, a leading international aeronautics company specialising in airports, the aerospace industry and defence, highlighted anticipation as a tool for being prepared for new market demands. “Innovation means being ahead of what the client is asking of us, and that the client sees us as a technological partner to create ecosystems,” declared Gómez-Guillamón. “Without talent you can’t innovate, motivation is key for the people in the company to understand the personal and professional challenge they face”.
David Sarmiento, technical director of Trops, told us about the success story of a benchmark company in the tropical fruit sector with the production of avocado and mango using the best technology on the market. “Innovating for Trops means getting ahead of problems with the solution, raising the primary sector to another level, investing in training and research, through our recent innovation centre we want to transmit to society what our production model based on the efficient use of water in our processes consists of”. “Being innovative is a daily challenge”, he concludes.
For his part, Ezequiel Navarro highlighted the role of innovation through culture. “The essence of innovation is the culture that must be collaborative and participatory, you have to innovate whether you are doing well or badly, curiosity, looking outwards and feeling permanently challenged”.