The Generalitat Valenciana, through the Ministry of Innovation, has officially presented this week the international open innovation programs promoted by the Digital District, and which will entail the effective extension of this technological ecosystem throughout the territory of the Valencian Community.
The coming-out of these challenges o challenges, chaired by the Councilor for Innovation, Universities, Science and Digital Society, Carolina Pascual, also had an online welcome from Ximo Puig and the participation of the Minister of Universal Health and Public Health, Ana Barcelo, of the regional secretaries of Climate Emergency and Ecological Transition, Paula Tuzón, Security and Emergencies Jose Maria Angel, and Tourism, Francesc Colomer.
In addition, the general director of the Valencian Community Digital District, Antonio Rodes, and the teams of the companies that are carrying out the organization of the challenges: the UTE Globaldit-Innova Next on tourism, la UTE AGBAR–Gellify Iberia S.L. on Climate change, e Innsomnia Accelerator SL. on Health.
The President of the Generalitat, Ximo Puig, advanced the keys to this ambitious program with which Distrito Digital takes a step further to become “a factory of technological creativity, a laboratory of the knowledge economy, and the node of a network system that will contribute to innovation for structuring our territory ”.
When it comes to promoting digital transformation of the productive fabric, he remarked, “Distrito Digital assumes a fundamental role in a scenario in which it is especially important to have instruments and new companies and startups that develop new technologies, and above all, that distribute them among the thousands of SMEs in the Valencian Community.
The Regional Minister for Innovation, Universities, Science and Digital Society, Carolina PascualIn this regard, he valued that “initiatives like this enhance the specific fabric of each area and contribute to economic reactivation and the promotion of research and technology, creating new employment niches and retaining talent”.
Open innovation challenges
Aware of it, Digital District It has articulated three programs to convene the national and international innovative community to develop cutting-edge technological solutions in sectors so fundamental to our territory such as Tourism, Health and the prevention of natural disasters. These programs should make it easier for three clusters of sectoral innovation crystallize:
The first of them will be focused on meteorological forecasting and management, and the management of more sustainable agriculture. It will be managed by the UTE SGAB – Gellify Iberia SL, and will give rise to a cluster locatedor in the Vega Baja, a region especially vulnerable to the climatic emergency.
It is challenge intends to achieve the attraction of companies and projects, –with a minimum of 7 new companies established in Digital District– as well as favor an effective transfer of digital solutions in relation to climate change, forest fires, pollution, the sustainability of the sea and rivers in terms of their pollution (both by plastics and by industrial waste, agriculture or the warming of its waters), as well as for public awareness.
Both the regional secretary for Climate Emergency and Ecological Transition, Paula Tuzón, as the regional secretary for Security and Emergencies, Jose Maria Angel, They stressed precisely the importance of having new technological tools that help to predict and prevent natural disasters in real time, and thus be able to improve the management of disasters in communications, logistics and rescue, among other aspects.
The second challenge will be carried out by Innsomnia Accelerator SL and will focus on the Health. This challenge will lead to a cluster with a main location in Gandía, with the implementation of at least 5 new companies dedicated to the sector HealthTech. This vertical will be in charge of developing digital applications that respond to the challenges faced by the health administration and corporations after the pandemic.
In this field, technological solutions dthey will have to address challenges for digitization from health management, improving the efficiency and management of hospitals, use of AI and Big Data for the exploitation of patient data, the call telemedicine in aspects such as the creation of emergency provider platforms, the start-up of virtual assistance in homes, advanced clinical microbiology or the connection of patients and remote healthcare control, and precision medicine, among other aspects.
The Minister of Health, Ana Barceló, in her speech, referred to the need for Public Health to advance at the same speed as society and be able to adapt to present and future challenges. In this task, he pointed out, initiatives such as these new open innovation programs are of particular importance, which help to generate alliances within the innovative ecosystem and facilitate digital transformation processes in the field of Health.
The third challenge will focus on an essential sector for the Valencian Community such as tourism, in which it is essential look for smart solutions and that guarantee sustainability at the destination. It will be managed by Globaldit Innova Next and the consulting firm Barrabés.biz, and will be the seed of a cluster in the sector, located in Benidorm. A minimum of 5 new companies will be the result of this international call, which will start the trajectory of the new cluster.
This call will promote the search for new technological solutions that can be implemented in the tourism sector to improve its operability and competitiveness, such as Smart DestinationSolutions, or technological initiatives in the field of urban services related to tourism, both in the context of crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic, and in normal conditions.
In this sense, the regional secretary of Tourism, Francesc ColomerIn his speech, he considered that “societies will advance to the extent that they know how to retain and enhance talent.” Tourism, he added, “is a knowledge economy, and therefore, an alliance with innovation and talent is necessary” .
Innovation, a necessity for survival
The CEO of Society Thematic Projects of the Valencian Community (SPTCV) and CEO of Distrito Digital, referred to the continuous work carried out from this hub to promote the innovation production and transfer it to tissue productive, given that, as he said, “in its day innovation was an option of excellence, but today it is already a necessity for survival”.
The challenges of Innovation open They intend to attract the presence of large private or public corporations that accompany the process and detect what purchase opportunities they may have of these solutions, first in a pilot format within the Valencian Community, to be exported to other territories later.
In this regard, Rodes celebrated that the calls already have large firms to accompany them in the three scopes.
It is the case of Tourism Challenge, which has attracted the interest of leading corporations such as Banco Santander; Esri Spain; Heineken; IBM; P&M Partners; Microsoft Iberia; SAP; Pangea-Travel Store; Tecnalia Foundation; European Space Agency (Nordic Node), Segitur; Televes IDC Research Spain; Pikolín Group.
In the Challenge of Prediction and Management of meteorological catastrophes linked to climate change and agriculture, the following companies have already expressed their interest in participating in the purchase of these innovation solutions: Aquatec Proyectos; Labaqua; Burger King; Elecnor; Primafrío; Valencian juices; Comsa Environment; Saica Natur; Merinova; Cespa, Waste Management; Hidraqua; Obremo; Verne Technology; Aqualogy Solutions and the European Space Agency.
Finally, they will accompany in the health challenge the following firms: Bankia; Generali; Saint Lucia GSK; the Port Authority of Valencia and the Port Authority of Alicante; Ribera Health; Raise UD; SAP; Everis; Chiron Health; IMED hospitals; Televes and Vithas Foundation.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.