Welcome OIC!

Ohhh, I see (OIC) … .. With this acronym is born the Open Innovation Community, a new initiative in the field of design and open innovation full of innovative concepts, and which I have the pleasure to be part of now .

This community has the vision of democratising innovation through people empowerment, which refers to making innovation more extensive to all companies by unifying effort by a growing community members, primarily formed by strategists, creative thinkers, designers, anthropologists, marketing and communication people and other.

The initiative is based on the premise that we failed to achieve a better distribution of R&D power and accomplishment through the whole business ecosystem. For instance, corporate R&D expenditure in Spain was 7,159 M€ in 2016, and 35% of such expenditure was made by only 7 companies (Telefónica, Amadeus, Grifols, Iberdrola, Acciona, Indra and Repsol). Having a closer look to this data, and according to the Global Innovation Index, Spain is placed in the 30th position in the world ranking of gross domestic expenditure in R&D (with 0.64% of GDP, equivalent to 7,159 M €); however, this country is ranked as the 13th country with greatest R&D investment by its 3-top corporate investors (which means a total of 1,008 M€ investment, which represents 16% of the total business expenditure in Spain). These data shows a clear gap that needs to be covered if we want to improve the productive model and work on projects with greater impact to people.

I encourage you to join the community through oicteam.com either as Observer or Ambassador, or you can also try the beta-version in Spanish if you are a business willing to request an InnoAmbassador to help you managing change and innovation from a holistic perspective.

The Railway Innovation Hub: a new Open Innovation initiative with no precedents!

An interesting new global initiative has emerged to promote innovation and entrepreneurship across the railway sector and industries alike worldwide, with its neural operation center based in the Andalucía Technology Park (Malaga, Spain). The newborn “Railway Innovation Hub”, is the result of jointed efforts across some of the key leading corporations in Spain representing the whole value chain of the railway industry, and aims to promote collaborative R&D, technology transfer and acceleration, as well as becoming an contact point for industry solutions.

This initiative dates back to 2017. Following several years of recurring collaboration on R&D projects among key players in the railway and construction sector, a group of 10 visionary companies decided to design a joint initiative to empower the sector, and founded The Railway Innovation Hub. The founding members, namely Ferrovial, Abengoa, MRI, Telice, Siemens, Vias, Deimos, Comsa, Thales and Azvi, have built a collaborative framework capable of trespassing individual interest for the achievement of a better joint goal, which may be writing a new chapter in the Spanish innovation logbook.

The Hub has now over 50 members, and is building key institutional relationships to promote public-private collaboration, having recently signed agreements with both the Spanish and Andalusian governments, to enable the definition of specific technological and scientific challenges, so that member companies can build innovative solutions to improve Spanish railway technology. The governance model has been designed to enable a democratic but efficient decision-making process, which will be a challenge in such large partnership structure.

I am truly happy to see this kind of initiatives emerging in Spain. Let´s observe over the evolution of this new venture!

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See related news (in Spanish):

The Chilean Minister of Economy appeals to the democratisation of innovation at VI Innovation Meet

Picture of speakers at VI Innovation Meet, 29 June 2017, Casamerica, Madrid

Speakers at VI Innovation Meet, 29 June 2017, Casamerica, Madrid

Last 29th June, during the opening of the VI Innovation Meet organised by MRI-International and KIM, the Chilean Minister of Economy, Development and Tourism, Mr. Luis Felipe Céspedes, appealed at the democratisation of innovation and entrepreneurship as a key to address inequality and progress. The Minister´s encouraging speech was followed by an explanation on several programmes implemented by the Chilean government to diversify and sophisticate their economy.

This interesting event took place at Casamerica of Madrid, and aimed at sharing initiatives to foster cooperation on innovation between Latam and Europe. Following the Minister´s intervention, there where three round table discussion:

  • The first roundtable discussed public policy measures across both continents, moderated by Carles Ramió (Pompeu Fabra University) and with the participation of the embassies of Peru, Ecuador, Argentina and Colombian embassies, as well as the Spanish CDTI.
  • The second roundtable focused on cooperation perspective of large Spanish corporations, with a panel moderated by Leitat and formed by Indra, Gas Natural, BBVA, Telefónica, Ferrovial Agroman and ADIF
  • The third roundtable focused on Intellectual Property Management, moderated by the Licensing Executive Society, and with the participation of Repsol, Elzaburu, Clarke, Modet & Co, Tecnalia and KIM

You can visit here the lessons learnt at the VI Innovation Meet (only in Spanish)

Or have a look how was the programme of the event (only in Spanish)

Launched APTA Hub in Chile, a model worth following!

Last 20th April 2017, the “Andes Pacific Technology Transfer Hub (APTA) was officially presented in Santiago de Chile., resulting in a highly interesting initiative worth following!

Picture of Francisco Velasco presenting the Needs Programme at the APTA Hub launch in Chile

The HUB model on technology transfer was launched last year by the Chilean government (more specifically, the Corporación Andina de Fomento de la Produción, CORFO), with an approximate 20M€ investment for a period of 5 years. The initiative aims to build 3 organisational structures (named Hubs) specialised on innovation management and prototyping at national level. The 3 Hubs shall bring together a large part of the Chilean innovation ecosystem, including a total of 26 universities, 8 scientific & technological centres, 4 international centres of excellence, 3 investment funds, 7 trade associations and several key international partners, such as KIM (the entity I currently represent).

The most interesting aspect of this initiative is the fact of financially empowering “off-campus” teams to provide services to several universities. Such measure could potentially address many of the issues observed in university tech-transfer models in the past: setting the Spanish example, the named Oficinas de Transferencia de los Resultados de la Investigación (OTRIS) has evolved in most cases into a bids and funding management offices, rather than actual technology licencing offices, and have proved low results in terms of return of investment. One key reason for such failure lies on the fact that such offices were designed with small teams (1-2 person), while technology transfer requires larger teams in order to offer the required knowledge and skills in tech transfer (technical evaluation, market research, business development, intellectual property management, negotiation, legal, financial, marketing and communication among other). Thus, the creation of larger “off-campus” teams (7-15 people) that provide services simultaneously to several universities seems an excellent example of rationalisation of resources and optimisation of results. And to avoid any concerns on the potential disappearance of the OTRIS (named in Chile OTL – Office for Transfer and Licensing), the Chilean model has enabled that such OTLs form part of the Hub governance structure and a clear communication link with each university.

The APTA Hub is also pioneering in reversing the typical order in tech transfer to focus on the demand –side of technology, rather than the supply-side. In this same meeting, APTA has have launched the Chilean Business Challenge Programme (Programa de Retos Empresariales de Chile), which is designed and powered by KIM. This will focus on building a portfolio of industry needs working in collaboration with some of the most relevant trade associations in the country, in order to match existing and new technologies within the Hub and other knowledge generators worldwide.

It is yet early to evaluate results, however the initiative shows clear signs of an intelligent model to promote innovation, which builds on the principles of rationalising public resources and being a programme of national interest. We will follow it closely!