23 abr 2019
1st Open Innovation Forum


The meeting was opened by the Permanent Secretary of the Council of Ibero-American Businessmen-CEIB, Narciso Casado, and the Head of SEGIB’s Economy and Business Department, Pablo Adrian Hardy. The vice president of CEOE’s Commission on R & D & i and former Director General of the CDTI, Francisco Marín, took part in the conference.


Ffirst meeting of the group of experts working on "The Ibero-American space as an open innovation platform"
The president of CEOE, Antonio Garamendi and the Ibero-American Secretary General, Rebeca Grynspan, closed the first meeting of the group of experts working on "The Ibero-American space as an open innovation platform" — ©CEOE

Today, at CEOE’s headquarters, the president of CEOE, Antonio Garamendi and the Ibero-American Secretary General, Rebeca Grynspan, closed the first meeting of the group of experts working on "The Ibero-American space as an open innovation platform". The group is made up of representatives specialized in innovation from a significant number of companies, including the vice president of CEOE’s Commission on R & D & i and former director of CDTI, Francisco Marín. The meeting was opened by the CEIB’s permanent secretary and Head of CEOE’s International Department, Narciso Casado; the Economic and Business Advisor to the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB), Pablo Adrián Hardy, and the Advisor on SMEs and Entrepreneurship to the SEGIB, Esteban Campero.

The president of CEOE, Antonio Garamendi, highlighted the important role played by CEIB with SEGIB, which emerged to provide an answer to the business interests in the region and to ensure dialogue with governments in Ibero-America. He also pointed out that Spain has a great responsibility and leadership in the process of promoting innovation in Latin America, since it is undoubtedly the country that has the greatest interest in this region. He also insisted on the need to develop a collaborative economy, reduce administrative obstacles and work diligently and continuously on all kinds of training.

He also stressed that we must encourage governments to enable a free and open market, in which companies may feel like they have equal opportunities and face fair competition. Garamendi said that "companies are here to add and that short-term and achievable goals must be set." In this sense, he believes that by boosting business innovation and intra-regional trade, the productivity and competitiveness of Ibero-America as a whole will be strengthened, making the entire region a more prosperous and integrating place.

The Ibero-American General Secretary, Rebeca Grynspan, highlighted that the private sector is one of the main axes of the Ibero-American summits and that it must be fostered. Grynspan emphasized the forthcoming Summit, which will be held in Andorra in 2020 and will have as its topic of discussion "Innovation for sustainable development". She explained that, by that time, an agenda that makes sense should have been drafted, one that is consistent with the topic of innovation to achieve results.

In fact, she insisted that we must create ecosystems that enable more open innovation, and take advantage of the opportunities offered by the area, taking into account that Latin America has a young and numerous population that must be trained and can contribute with its talent to developing innovation and sustainability. She pointed out that in order to carry out the proposed objectives, it is essential for resources in the region to be improved in fields such as infrastructure, water or telecommunications. "Latin America is still a great opportunity and we have to be committed with the region," she said.


Opening session

The permanent secretary to the CEIB, Narciso Casado, stressed during the opening session that innovation, through new technologies, has become a strategic element and one of the factors that most boost the economy as a whole. In this sense, both CEIB and CEOE believe that we must promote innovation and digitalization processes in our society, not only because of the impact they have on traditional business models and their ability to generate new consumption habits in the population, with the subsequent emergence of new business models, but because it results in an increase in competitiveness.

Casado reported that CEOE has proposed various measures to improve the situation in the field of innovation, such as a political pact for R & D & i, regulatory and administrative simplification, promoting the transfer of technology, improvement in the financing of R + D + i, training and retention of talent, industrial and intellectual property, innovation and public procurement, digitalization, promotion of an innovative culture in companies and social innovation. He also noted that CEOE, CEIB and SEGIB work together to organize a series of meetings focused on incorporating the need to innovate within the public debate. Among them, he highlighted the VIII Business Forum on Innovation and Sustainability scheduled for May 29 at CEOE; the 3rd Ibero-American Forum of the MSME to be held on July 2 and 3 in Buenos Aires, and CEOE’s Commission on R + D + i, which meets periodically at the headquarters of the Business Confederation to discuss the specific topics of interest.

SEGIB representatives, Pablo Adrián Hardy and Esteban Campero, stated that the open innovation phenomenon is a reality on most Ibero-American countries.  They explained that a recent study identified 155 cases of alliances between large companies and more than 3,000 Latin American startups to innovate together, leading to a dual benefit for the productive fabric: on the one hand, they indicated, the company feeds from the entrepreneurial dynamics and the fluidity of innovation and, on the other, startups and young companies gain the possibility of achieving scale and turnover, which is one of the great barriers for the Ibero-American entrepreneurial ecosystem. They highlighted that Spain and Portugal already have more than a hundred cases of open innovation, and not only among technological and multinational companies, this phenomenon extends to national companies in different productive sectors. "Open innovation is an opportunity for the Ibero-American space to gain in productivity and shorten the technological and innovation gap of its companies," they concluded.


Group of experts

Looking towards the next Ibero-American Summit to be held in Andorra in 2020, there was a proposal to create a working group convened by SEGIB, CEOE and CEIB and made up of heads of open innovation in multi-Latin companies with experience in the field. The group’s main goal would be to instill in the public policy agenda the importance of partnerships between large companies and startups for the development of entrepreneurial ecosystems, highlighting the importance of interconnecting the initiatives being developed in each country throughout Ibero-America to optimize access to talent and financing and identify difficulties, as well as to propose improvements in the design and implementation of the promotion instruments available to the region’s different governments.

The vice-president of CEOE’s Commission on R + D + i and former director of CDTI, Francisco Marín, highlighted the importance of making the concept of "Open Innovation" compatible with the digital revolution, always prioritizing the follow-up and implementation of the SDGs across all countries. He pointed out that there is a lack of common goals and there should be more convergence and homogeneity, especially among regional agencies. Marín insisted that it is essential to attract talent and, to this end, it is essential to raise awareness among the population. Finally, he explained that innovation also happens within the company and, in this regard, entrepreneurship is essential to create internal innovation.