Carta del presidente

REUNE Introductory Letter - Joaquín Moya-Angeler Cabrera President of the Andalusian Technology Corporation (CTA)

Joaquín Moya-Angeler Cabrera -  Presidente de corporación tecnológica de andalucía (CTA)

Business-University cooperation is the cornerstone of innovation. It has been clearly demonstrated that the development of an efficient regional system of R&D&i, which generates competitive results, depends on active collaboration between scientific and productive frameworks to achieve specialisation and excellence. At the Andalusian Technology Corporation we are absolutely convinced of this principle and it has been a fundamental aspect of our approach since we began. It is this belief in collaboration which has led us to launch the REUNE Project and create this manual, with the aim of helping to introduce the best practices of University-Business cooperation to Andalusia.

The REUNE project, created by the CTA in collaboration with the School of Industrial Organisation (EOI), and the consultants BICG, began in 2010 with the aim of analysing successful international examples of relationships between universities and the business sector. 16 geographical areas were chosen, either because of their similarities to Andalusia in terms of development, or for their notable levels of success in specific areas, in order to analyse their systems of innovation, and particularly their approach to University-Business cooperation. Of the 16 regions which were chosen, personal visits were made to the 5 which we found most interesting in terms of their results: Massachusetts (USA), Oxfordshire (United Kingdom), Veneto (Italy), Nord Pas de Calais (France), Styria (Austria) and Karlsruhe (Germany). In each case, following a survey of the members of the Corporation and an analysis of their requirements, the elements which were of most interest to Andalusia were identified. They are all proposals which are easy to implement and have a high level of impact.

Ideas such as laboratories being shared by university researchers and companies, exchanges between company managers and teaching staff, involvement of senior management in university collaborations, the providing of personnel to research groups, the creation of a shared geographical brand and a Master degree which encourages students to market technologies which are developed by universities, are all ideas which could have considerable impact in the medium or long term.

I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank the consultants from EOI and BICG who have taken part in the project, as well as all the institutions which have provided information and welcomed technicians from the Corporation to explain to them how their systems of collaboration operate.

The approval and success of the project has meant that it has continued to develop in 2012 with visits to the sub-region of Helsinki (Finland) and South Korea.

The Andalusian Technology Corporation has demonstrated that the collaboration model which has been established between its member companies and the region’s universities is advantageous to both parties. They no longer ignore each other or see collaboration as a mere obligation, and, on the contrary, are clearly convinced that it provides competitive benefits and opportunities for everyone.

In the majority of instances, Companies and Universities have overcome any doubts they may have had, and have embarked on a long-term process which has resulted in an increase in subcontracting, the establishing of university seats, the signing of mutual agreements and even, in some cases, the development of spinoffs. It is clear that this teamwork is a success.

In the complicated economic situation which we are currently enduring, with increasingly ferocious market competition and the failure of traditional forms of entrepreneurship, it is fundamental that new forms of collaboration are adopted in order to continue to generate new business, good quality jobs, and, as a result, wealth.

It is necessary therefore to fully exploit the potential for cooperation and joint working practices, so as to maximise technological supply and demand, reinforce areas of research and training, and collaborate in a context of maximum empathy and sensitivity between the parties concerned, and in conjunction with Public Administrations.

The Andalusian Technology Corporation sincerely hopes that this REUNE manual is a useful and effective tool for both companies and universities, with the aim of taking another step on the road to collaboration, and complementing each other more successfully as they advance together towards excellence.

I would ask you to read each of the recommendations with care and an open mind, with a view to overcoming any difficulties which may exist, because we have clearly demonstrated that in the field of Innovation, we are capable of great things.

Joaquín Moya-Angeler Cabrera

President of the Andalusian Technology Corporation (CTA)