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The Minister of Commerce Industry and Tourism, Reyes Maroto; the Secretary of State for Economic Diversification of the Government of Andorra, Marc Galabert; CEOE CEO Antonio Garamendi; and the president of the Council of Ibero-American Businessmen (CEIB) and of the Andorrana Business Confederation (CEA), Gerard Cadena, have participated in the opening session of the I Ibero-American Forum of Open Innovation, which has closed the Ibero-American Secretary General, Rebeca Grynspan, today at the headquarters of the Business Confederation. It should be noted that this is the first official business act of the XXVII Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State, which will be held in Andorra in November 2020 and will have as its motto ‘Innovation for Sustainable Development. 2030 ’Objective.

Prior to the official opening, the co-founder and managing partner of FinTLV Ventures of Israel, Gilbert Ohana, gave a keynote speech on the new challenges of open ecosystems to innovate. The day began with a few words of welcome to the assistants of the president of CEPYME, Gerardo Cuerva; the permanent secretary of CEIB, Narciso Casado, and the head of Economy and Business of SEGIB, Pablo Adrián Hardy.

The Forum, organized by CEOE from its Ibero-American Business Council-CEIB, and the Ibero-American General Secretariat-SEGIB, brought together leading international experts from the public and private sectors of more than 20 countries. It is the first such forum held in the strategic Ibero-American region, which has served to constitute a space in which to reflect on existing opportunities and gaps, derived from the technological change that companies face.

Forum Opening

The CEOE CEO, Antonio Garamendi, highlighted that this Open Innovation Forum is the first official business meeting in the framework of the preparation of the Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State, to be held in Andorra in 2020 and highlighted “the work permanent carried out by SEGIB and CEOE-CEIB during the inter-summit period, through joint activities such as today ”.

Garamendi emphasized the firm commitment that Latin America makes for multilateralism and for increasing productivity, competitiveness, sustainable development and job creation, factors for which open innovation is a key piece. In fact, he considered that this concept should become part of the public agendas and be integrated into the policies of the governments of our countries, since they are strategic priorities.

Garamendi insisted that we are still far from reaching the innovation goals, and for this to be achieved, companies should be prepared. For this reason, it is essential to support technology transfer, administrative simplification and have more access to financing in the development of R & D & I. The CEOE CEO said that this is "the time for action" and that technological change must be seen as a business opportunity. In addition, he continued, the participation of CEIB, SEGIB and all Latin American organizations in this process is essential.

The president of the Council of Ibero-American Businessmen (CEIB) and the Andorrana Business Confederation (CEA), Gerard Cadena, said that although "Andorra is a small country nestled in the Pyrenees, between France and Spain," what he intends is to do much more large not in size, but in the development of economic ties with the rest of the world. Cadena said that Europe and Latin America are at the forefront of multilateralism and innovation is the element that allows the critical mass limits to be exceeded. He also pointed out that more and more professionals are working in this area in Latin America and that the region has plenty of potential to become leading in the sector. For this reason, “this forum is an unbeatable preview for the Andorra 2020 Ibero-American Summit and to turn the 22 countries of the region into true references in innovation,” he said.

The Secretary of State for Economic Diversification of the Government of Andorra, Marc Galabert, said Andorra wants to strengthen its ties with Latin American countries and, therefore, the Summit to be held in the country in 2020 is the perfect occasion. In this regard, he assured that his country is fully committed to the 2030 Agenda and proof of this is the 2018 National Strategic Plan, which will help implement the Sustainable Development Goals. "It is essential not to leave anyone behind and encourage cooperation between all economic and social agents."

Open innovation

The Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, said that open innovation is changing the way of innovating not only in companies, but also in institutions, universities and society in general. "Innovation is already a reality in Latin America and alliances between large companies and startups are fundamental, since they allow the former to have more agility and flexibility and the latter to acquire more resources to grow and enhance their development," he said. In this regard, he added that public-private collaboration is key in the sector to gain in dynamism and competitiveness, so it is essential that "we work together for Latin America to move towards more prosperous and inclusive societies."

The Ibero-American Secretary General, Rebeca Grynspan, advocated continuing to collaborate and build the Latin American space and form permanent alliances to encourage and enhance collective action. He also explained that "humanity is torn between innovation and resistance to change, for this reason, the adaptation process is key". When we talk about innovation, he continued, it is at all levels, both economic, social and environmental, and also assured that Latin America is prepared for change. In this regard, he mentioned some progress in the availability of financing in the region for this sector and reported that there is a prepared and qualified human capital, with “a digital youth” trained and trained. Finally, Grynspan suggested seeking initiatives from educational, national, international and business institutions, to present a common innovation strategy in Latin America. "We grow more and better if we grow together," said Grynspan, who added that Spain has a lot to teach Latin America.

Ecosystems open to innovate

For his part, the co-founder and managing partner of FinTLV Ventures of Israel, Gilbert Ohana, gave a keynote speech on the new challenges of open ecosystems to innovate. He reported that Israel is a small country, but in which 8,300 startups coexist in all sectors, 300 Venture Capital funds and 358 accelerators and hubs. Ohana said that, in addition, it is the first country in R&D spending and the second most advanced innovation ecosystem in the world, after Silicon Valley. Much of the technology is applied in the defense industry and, subsequently, has moved to other sectors such as transportation, health, agricultural technologies, automotive or financial services.

Ohana stressed that "innovation is incorporated in the DNA of Israel and is developed in terms of cybersecurity, big data, blockchain or artificial intelligence." In this regard, he stressed that collaboration is essential to create a sustainable ecosystem and, therefore, startups to survive need capital, infrastructure, access to data and research and development centers, so that knowledge can be translated into products and services . Ohana also mentioned three types of innovation in Israel, that of internal cohesion, which is that the company absorbs innovation from abroad; outward innovation, in which companies use their capacities abroad to be used in other areas; and the associated innovation, which would be done jointly. The co-founder of FinTLV concluded his speech with the idea that "to innovate you have to start doing it as fast as you can and then accelerate little by little".

Prior to the opening session, the president of CEPYME, Gerardo Cuerva; the permanent secretary of CEIB, Narciso Casado; and the head of Economy and Business of SEGIB, Pablo Adrián Hardy, offered a few words of welcome to the participants.

Gerardo Cuerva, president of CEPYME, insisted that this forum is key in the preparation of the private sector of the Ibero-American Summit of Andorra 2020 and assured that the introduction of new technologies in society is inevitable in order to evolve. He also spoke of the importance of connecting large and small companies, since the large company is nourished by the entrepreneurial dynamics and the fluency of innovation of the small and; On the other hand, startups and the young company manage to acquire scale and volume of business, one of the great barriers to the Latin American entrepreneurial system. He also insisted on promoting innovation in the agenda of all the governments of the region.

The permanent secretary of CEIB, Narciso Casado, agreed with Gerardo Cuerva that entrepreneurial development and innovation strategies must transcend government policies and transform into state policies. He further stressed that new technologies can help, to a large extent, to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda; that the problem of entrepreneurship education must be tackled, starting with primary education; and that it is necessary to work through platforms, since individual initiatives have less impact than collective ones.

The head of Economy and Business of SEGIB, Pablo Adrián Hardy, said that Latin American governments have developed numerous initiatives to strengthen their entrepreneurial ecosystems, providing technical assistance, training, financing and improvement in regulatory frameworks, to promote high-performance, capable companies to generate quality jobs and putting on the public policy agenda support programs for entrepreneurs. Hardy referred to the recommendations of the XII Ibero-American Business Meeting, held last year in Guatemala, to remember that it is essential to “interconnect the entrepreneurial ecosystems of the Ibero-American space, encouraging entrepreneurial mobility and developing a network of incubators, accelerators and means of innovation” .

Forum Program

During this day, José María Siota, representative of IESE Business School, made a presentation on 'Open Innovation: the 7 myths of Corporate Venture in Latin America' and, in turn, Hugo Kantis, director of PRODEM, spoke of the state of the art of open innovation in Latin America.

In addition, between today and tomorrow, leading international experts from the public and private sectors of more than 20 countries will participate in the Forum to present corporate accelerators as a means of rapid innovation; industry 4.0 and open innovation; public promotion initiatives in this area; ‘Open innovation from the shoes of an SME. Challenges and opportunities ’; internal collaboration to innovate and intrapreneurship cases in Latin America; ‘Companies, startups and technology centers: Interconnecting the entrepreneurial ecosystem to innovate’; and corporate venturing as an alternative investment in innovation. The Forum will close tomorrow the head of Economy and Business of SEGIB, Pablo Adrián Hardy.

For more information:

  • Consult Full program of the I Iberoamerican Open Innovation Forum.



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