Are Spanish Innovation Centers at the end of an era?


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!


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Xavier is an experienced executive, consultant and lecturer. He has worked over 15 years as marketer at Nestlé, Sara Lee and Panrico-Donuts, and over 10 years as Marketing Director and Board member, leading national and international teams. Since 2005 he has been acting as a consultant for several international growth projects. Between 2010 and 2015 he also acted as Innovation Leader at ESADECREAPOLIS, ESADE’s Collaborative Innovation Ecosystem. Since 1999, Xavier is also a renowned Marketing, Innovation and Branding lecturer at ESADE, as well as other international universities and companies. He participates in several entrepreneurship initiatives, as well. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Xavier es un experimentado directivo, asesor y profesor nacido en París y afincado en Barcelona. Ha trabajado más de 15 años como profesional del marketing y las ventas en Nestlé, Sara Lee y Panrico-Donuts, y más de 10 años como Director de Marketing y miembro del Comité de Dirección, liderando equipos nacionales e internacionales. Desde 2005 ha venido desarrollando su faceta de consultor y asesor en diversos proyectos internacionales de crecimiento. Entre 2010 y 2015 también lideró las actividades de Innovación y Emprendimiento de ESADECREAPOLIS, el centro de Collaborative Open Innovation de ESADE. Desde 1999, Xavier también es un reconocido profesor que imparte cursos de Innovación, Marketing y Branding en ESADE, así como en otras universidades internacionales y renombradas compañías. Además, Xavier participa en diversas iniciativas emprendedoras, como inversor y asesor experto o Professional Board Advisor.