The COVID-19 situation has accelerated the importance of building a Spanish Deeptech ecosystem. Even though Spain has been spotted as an innovative country in the fields of mobility, healthcare & wellness, utilities, and Industry 4.0, the ecosystem needs to be highly reinforced.
The following is my distillation of the Spanish Deeptech ecosystem as obtains through countless hours of conference and event participation, data culled from The Collider's Technology Transfer and Business: Challenges and Opportunities report, and interviews done to key stakeholders and players from the Deeptech ecosystem in Spain including:
- GoHub Ventures
- University tech centers including UPC, UPF, IQS, UB, and UAB
- Research centers in various Spanish hospital clinics
- Various entrepreneurs
- And Public Institutions and the Barcelona City Administration
Many challenges arise from key players
1. Entrepreneurs & Researchers
- Fear of missing their economic stability
- Lacking knowledge on how to start their companies
- Failure of projects due to a non specific market problem solution (focus on their research topics instead of looking at the market needs and trends)
- Looking to license the technology instead of developing it into a business
- Lack of emotional support and fear of emotional loneliness during the entire business creation process
- Willingness to find alternatives to develop their projects and research out of academia
2. Tech Universities & R&D Centers
- Need of more human capital
- Need of more funding resources
- Necessity to track spinoffs situation and evolution
- Aquire more education on the business side
- Need to have a closer relation with organisations
- Need to understand technology applications in the market and business needs
- Lack of exponential innovations (moonshots) vs incremental innovations
- Lack of ecosystem unification (who is who?)
- Looking for incremental innovations, not exponential
- Focus on short-medium term results
- Lack of an agile collaboration structure (companies - startups)
- Involvement in later stages, when risk is lower
- Focus on the operational side, lack of time to understand market evolution and innovations developments
- Looking to understand technology applicability in business
- Looking for new business models to stay competitive in the market
- Need for a bigger funding approach to initial phases and industrialisation stages (be more risk averse)
- Looking for a higher number of qualitative and quantitive dealflow in scientific and new technology innovations
- Need to adapt indicators for each stage: quantitative vs. qualitative
5. Public Institutions
- Capital access to motivate researchers to start a business
- Capital access for Deeptech innovations (TRL3-7 - 3 being "Experimental proof of concept" and 7 "Prototype demonstrated in a relevant environment." )
- Provide constant support to universities and R&D Centres
- Attract talent to the city / region / country
- Work on fiscal incentives to attract investments
- Provide more visibility to Deeptech innovations
- Educate about science and new technologies
- Create quality job employment
- Build a Deeptech entrepreneurship culture since School
- Boost and expose more science into the market
- Knit the Deeptech innovation culture
Therefore, in order to build a strong Deeptech ecosystem, Spain must provide more visibility and exposure, more resources, funding capital and, especially, more education on scientific and high technologies to its citizens and key players.
Building relationships between key players is vital and necessary. If the Spanish economy wants to become a strong economy, investing in the Deeptech ecosystem is key for its long-term survival.
Stay tuned as I expect to have my part followup, (Part 2), with further data and conclusions within the next weeks.
In the meanwhile, three events you should take a look at:
International Conference on Agricultural, Biotechnology, Biological and Biosystems Engineering - 21-22 October 2020 - ICABBBE 2020 aims to bring together leading academic scientists, researchers and research scholars to exchange and share their experiences and research results on all aspects of Agricultural, Biotechnology, Biological and Biosystems Engineering.
Kaspersky Security Summit - 6-8 October 2020 - The Kaspersky Security Analyst Summit (SAS) is a yearly event that gathers high-caliber anti-malware researchers, global law enforcement agencies and CERTs and senior executives from financial services, technology, healthcare, academia, and government agencies.
BIO-Europe 2020 Digital - 26-29 October 2020 - BIO-Europe is the largest partnering conference in Europe dedicated to the global biotechnology industry. This year reaches its 26th edition and will be held in digital format.