Elisa Martín Garijo, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer at IBM Spain: “Europe may have an opportunity on the technological level if it can find its own space”

“Europe may have an opportunity on the technological level if it can find its own space. If we just compete by doing the same as others, it’ll be too late, because we won’t be able to pick up enough speed. This is what Elisa Martín Garijo, Technology and Innovation Officer at IBM, stated in her presentation during the think-tank meeting “Foro de Consejeros” organised by the REDIT Innovation Network.

Ms Martín Garijo also highlighted the importance of training. We have to improve,” she explained, “in critical thinking and emotional intelligence. Companies and organisations have to understand that the acquisition and retention of talent is essential. We have an entrepreneurial system and excellent universities and we have great research capacities, which all play in our favour,” she affirmed.

IBM officers shared with attendees a number of key ideas and strategies being implemented by their company, affirming that “we must be able to retain experience and adapt organisations and people to the technological revolution we are witnessing. Companies,” they explained, “must evolve to deal with this revolution; they have to be open to new forms of business driven by technology and change the way they do things correspondingly.”

The Forum welcomed over 70 entrepreneurs as well as various representatives of the administration, such as the Director General of Ivace, Julia Company, and Innovation DG Sonia Tirado.

The event was opened by the Chairman of REDIT, Fernando Saludes, who stressed that these forums provide Directors of Technological Institutes with a meeting place in which to share knowledge and experiences with prominent representatives of Innovation Systems, both at the regional level and the national and international levels.

Saludes also highlighted the results of a recent report published by the REDIT Network on the social perception of innovation in the Valencian Community, stating that, in general, we have to make strenuous efforts to catch up with our competitors,” adding that “this commitment should be for everyone: administration, companies, society and R&D&I agents”.

Another aim of the Forum was to promote the new facilities of the Information Technology Institute (ITI) at the Valencia Technology Park, where participants were able to witness demonstrations of some of the Institute’s major work projects.

As ITI Managing Director Laura Olcina pointed out, the opening of a new ITI headquarters was due to two reasons: first, the need for more space in which to continue developing quality R&D&I initiatives, and also to get closer to business networks and other technology centres in the Network, with whom we collaborate closely.

The “Foro de Consejeros” is a REDIT initiative which aims to bring the directors of the 11 Technological Institutes in the association closer together, as they are major entrepreneurs from key sectors in the Valencia Region, concerned to discuss and reflect on the various strategies implemented by these bodies forming part of the Innovation System.

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