On Tuesday, 6 May 2014, the Spanish Associate Partner Group (APG) of EIT ICT Labs organised a partner event in Madrid to discuss progress, coordinate 2015 activities, and explore opportunities for expanding the EIT ICT Labs activities in Spain and beyond. In this occasion, Willem Jonker, CEO of EIT ICT Labs, and José Manuel Leceta, Director of EIT, were special guests at the meeting.
The APG members - the IMDEA Software Institute, Telefónica, Atos, Indra, BSC and UPM - presented the progress made so far and pooled the main strengths of the group, including links to other European and international initiatives, links with the Future Internet Public-Private Partnership (FI-PPP), involvement in entrepreneurship ecosystems, expertise in education for innovation, and links to Latin America.
Willem Jonker used the opportunity to present the Strategic Innovation Agenda of EIT ICT Labs, centred on the concept of Blended Life in a Connected World, which aims at driving forward the European ICT Innovation leadership, based on development of a pan-European education and innovation ecosystem. Willem Jonker remarked the recovery of the Spanish economy and the alignment of the Spanish Associate Partner Group with the goals of EIT ICT Labs, as well as the opportunities Spain brings to open bridges to Latin America.
"I hope that together with the Spanish partners we will enforce what we are doing in EIT ICT Labs: more innovation in the area of ICT in Europe." - Willem Jonker
José Manuel Leceta outlined the main priorities of the EIT. Speaking about Spain's growing presence in the field of ICT innovation, the director of EIT stressed the promising tendencies in Spain: digitalisation of traditional business, ICT start-ups doing open innovation, and the growing Internet presence of Universities.
"We see many interesting and promissing tendencies in Spain. Spain is well positioned with respect to these phenomena." - J. M. Leceta
The meeting was held in Madrid at the main offices of Telefónica's Wayra, the world's biggest business incubator in the field of ICT. Wayra has 14 entrepreneurship academies in Europe and Latin America; over 20 thousand innovation projects have been submitted to Wayra's open calls, and has a vibrant community of close to 300 incubating start-ups.
The working session included an address from Serafín de la Concha, representative from the Spanish National Center for Development of Industrial Technologies. After the working session, Willem Jonker and Jose Manuel Leceta met with Carmen Vela, Secretary of State for Research, Development and Innovation, who expressed the support on behalf of the Spanish Government for the mission of EIT ICT Labs.