The Leaders learned about regional initiatives to boost innovation and entrepreneurship.
Boecillo Technology Park, inaugurated in 1992 and one of the largest parks in the region, is located 15 kilometres from Valladolid. It is home to companies with innovative technologies which do not pollute and which devote at least 5% of their revenue to R&D. Automotive, IT, engineering, aeronautics and pharma are the main sectors, while the Park is also home to the regional Institute for Business Competitiveness (ICE). The Head of ICE’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship department, Beatriz Casado, talked the Leaders through the regional government’s initiatives and programmes to boost the development of innovative companies.
The Innovation and Entrepreneurship department also deals with technology transfer and works locally. “90% of our territory is rural and that’s where the companies are,” said Beatriz Casado, who highlighted agriculture and transport as the region’s most important industries.
The Leaders showed an interest in every aspect of the institution’s structure, from its participation in European programmes such as M-ERA-Net to internationalisation grants for SMEs, along with Castilla y León’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Network. ICE’s model was deemed to be “very interesting” by the Leaders.
The startup accelerator programme was also praised. According to Ms Casado, it has “created 140 businesses; and generated 370 jobs, an investment of 24 million, and funds worth 9.8 million euros”. She also added that “77% of the companies make it.”
The delegation then visited two of the state-of-the-art organisations at the Technology Park. One of these was Cidaut, a technology centre founded in 1993 that works to increase the competitiveness and industrial development of companies in the transport and energy sectors. Among other things, Cidaut conducts research on transport safety, infrastructure (above all roads), energy and new materials development.
They went on to visit CARTIF, an innovation-oriented non-profit with the mission to boostof boosting technology transfer to companies. The organisation employs over 170 researchers across three technology divisions: processed foods and sustainable products, industry and digital solutions, and energy.