The current post-crisis landscape is forcing Spanish innovation centers to redefine its strategy and size, as the recent creation of Eurecat has shown. Quo vadis “Innovation centers”?
For Spanish Innovation Centers, becoming bigger is crucial in order to compete in the new European and “more private” marketplace.
The Spanish R&D system has always been very dependent on public subsidies and policies (44% of the budget originates from public sources compared with 28% in OECD countries. Source: COTEC 2010). Before the crisis, Innovation Centers expanded throughout the country but a substantial reduction in the public R&D budget has changed current market dynamics. And this is a clear threat for these types of institutions.
The current R&D market is no longer Spanish or German. Now, it’s not a “national” marketplace but a European one. Consequently, Innovations centres need to grow in size to remain competitive. And since public funding has been substantially reduced, new private resources are needed to fill the gap.
Through this evolution, several innovation and research centers are redefining their value proposition, the range of services they offer and how they adapt their approach to entice more value from private clients. This strategic change is really a must in this sector and impacts on everyone, from larger centres to very specialised ones, like Easy. In all probability, this change will help to improve the transfer of technology from Innovation Centers to companies and the market, and in the process transform R&D to Innovation.
Presenting a real business model challenge for a sector regarded as innovative!