Science, Technology and Innovation: Transfiere 2021

A tantalising glimpse into post-pandemic life last week as Transfiere, Spain’s biggest professional and multi-sectoral forum for knowledge and technology, was given the green light to be held in-person. Over 2,000 professionals attended Transfiere 2021 in Málaga on 14 and 15 April, among whom the LifeWatch ERIC Common Facility in Spain and LifeWatch Spain Node. That the annual Forum was allowed to go ahead (with health and safety measures in place) confirms its status as one of the most valuable intellectual exchanges on technology transfer and innovation for research ecosystems in Southern Europe.

Staying true to form, the organisers behind Transfiere 2021 made it possible to check in to more than 3,000 meetings with potential partners, among which some 30 universities and research institutions. Many important bilateral meetings and presentations took place, one such being the table on the Circular Economy, where LifeWatch ERIC’s Chief Technical Officer, Juan Miguel González-Aranda, spoke alongside other eminent participants such as representatives of Airbus, Mercadona, CDTI and several Innovation Technology Parks.

Meanwhile, at LifeWatch ERIC’s own dedicated exhibition booth, the ERDF Andalusia programme was met with keen interest by the hundreds of visitors to the stand. During such institutional visits and working meetings at the booth, LifeWatch ERIC staff were only too happy to reply to the inundation of questions and requests received, highlighting LifeWatch ERIC’s increasingly salient profile in the research sector.

Institutional interest in LifeWatch ERIC at Transfiere 2021

Institutional interest in LifeWatch ERIC: New collaborative partnerships sealed with handshakes at Transfiere 2021

Transfiere 2021, from 14–15 April in Málaga, Spain was all about sharing scientific, technological and innovation knowledge to promote innovation and connect science and business. The perfect forum, in fact for LifeWatch ERIC to show its prowess and competitiveness. LifeWatch ERIC Chief Technology Officer Juan Miguel González-Aranda jointly with staffers from the Common Facility in Spain and the LifeWatch Spain Node welcomed at the LifeWatch ERIC booth a number of visits from representatives of local, regional, national and international governments, universities, and other research centres.

On Wednesday, 14 April, Enrique Playán-Jubilar, Director of the Spanish State Research Agency-Ministry of Science and Innovation, and Teresa Serrano-Gotarredona, Directorate General of Research & Knowledge Transfer – Regional Government of Andalusia-Junta de Andalusia visited our booth. Thursday, 15 April was the turn of Elías Bendodo Benasayag, Minister of the Presidency of the Junta de Andalucía, Francisco de la Torre Mayor of Málaga, and Jesús Alonso Sánchez Secretary General of Science, Technology & Innovation at the Regional Government-Junta de Extremadura.  These high-ranking officials showed strong support and reaffirmed their commitment to the projects and initiatives on display and took a great interest in LifeWatch ERIC.  

We were also honoured by the visit of other public administration representatives and decision makers in the field of sustainable ecosystems management and services, including: Raúl Jiménez Jiménez, recently appointed as Managing Director of the Andalusian Digitalisation Agency, a long-time supporter of LifeWatch ERIC through the Smart Food ERDF Andalusia project; Inmaculada Aguilar Nacher, DG of the Spanish Science and Technology Foundation-FECYT, accompanied by Borja Izquierdo, International Science Department Director at FECYT; Daniel Escacena Ortega, Director of Projects in the Andalusia Knowledge Agency-Junta de Andalusia; the Rectors of the Pablo de Olavide and Málaga Universities, Francisco Oliva Blázquez and José Ángel Narváez Bueno, respectively; and Fernando Ferrero Álvarez-Rementería, Director for Strategic Investments at IDEA-Junta de Andalusia, among others

This level of interest at such an intense forward-looking forum is a great tribute to, and recognition of, the role LifeWatch ERIC can play in contributing to new EU Green Deal-based and circular socioeconomics models. New collaborative initiatives were also forged with South Africa and Bulgaria. 

New collaborations with Bulgaria and South Africa

As part of LifeWatch ERIC’s highly successful involvement in Transfiere 2021 in Málaga on Thursday 15 April 15 2021, two international bilateral meetings were chaired by Chief Technology Officer and Director of the Common Facility in Spain, Juan Miguel González-Aranda. 

The first involved the Deputy Minister of Education and Science from the Government of Bulgaria, Karina Angelieva, while the second was a meeting with the Deputy Director General of International Cooperation and Resources of the government of South Africa, Daan du Toit, accompanied by Vinny Pillay, Senior Science & Technology Representative to the EU, from the South African Department of Science & Innovation. 

Both of these important meetings counted on the involvement of representatives from the Region of Andalusia Government-Junta de Andalusia, first among whom was the Director General for Research and Knowledge Transfer of the Junta de Andalucía, Teresa Serrano Gotarredona.

The discussions were broad-ranging and positive, looking at future collaboration projects between the countries involved. Of particular interest for Bulgaria were relationships around Agroecology and the Marine domain; whereas joint actions aimed at EU-African Union cooperation on the Green Deal and Energy Transition were explored with South Africa.