Nowadays it’s essential to boost scientific entrepreneurship and support all those that wish to create a company based on scientific knowledge. For this reason it was established the Spanish Association of Scientific-Technological Entrepreneurs (AEEC).It’s an organisation oriented to look after the interests of researchers, students and professionals that wish to undertake their own business project and bet for an economic and social development model supported by knowledge, innovation and its transfer into the society.
We spoke with Manuel Pérez-Alonso, Professor of Genetics in the University of Valencia, founder of six bio-medice companies and President of the Spanish Association of Scientific-Technological Entrepreneurs.
P: Why there is a need to create the Spanish Association of Scientific and Technological Entrepreneurs?
R: This network, in the beginning was the result of a personal challenge. I was aware of the need that have scientists to undertaken new experiences. Besides, I knew that there wasn’t any association of this nature in Spain, thus, in March, 2010 I decided to create a group in the social network LinkedIn, that has been the germ of the association.
Source: Manuel Pérez-Alonso (Linkedin)
P: The I National Congress of Scientists Entrepreneurs formalised the objective and gave place to the Spanish Association of Scientific and Technological Entrepreneurs, how is it nowadays?
R: Yes, it was like that. The Association is the consequence of I National Congress. Nowadays, we have our own statutes and the configuration of a provisional Board, also we are involved in organising several activities.
P: Which are the main aims of the Association?
R: The aim of the Association is double. On one hand, it will work for supporting the entrepreneurship process in science and, in other hand to boost scientific dissemination. It is fundamental to recognise the work of the entrepreneurs, as they are a key issue for the economic and social development of a country. The spin off companies are the engine of wealth creation, employment and social welfare and we have to take advantage of it.
P: Which are the main barriers that you would stand out to attain this goal?
R: Nowadays there is a strong social demand that requires creation of new companies based on science, however this is a tremendously complex task and little favoured by our innovation system. We need to support activities to help in this process and we can do it through the Association.
The main barrier is, definitely, the fact that tackle a entrepreneur project means to complicate your life in an extraordinary way. It has a personal cost that has to be managed, even more when institutions do not provide support and recognition to entrepreneur scientists…unfortunately.
That’s why the importance to undertake this Association. A network that promotes transparency and Social Responsibility, entrepreneurship in science and supports talent development giving it the value and space that it deserves.
P: Which activities are you organising now?
R: We are immersed in the organisation of several activities, among them we would like to stand out:
In the first place, the Symposium that will take place the next 5th of June in the frame of the Biz Barcelona celebration. This meeting is contrived for entrepreneurs, start-ups and SME in general, in which through round tables there is a space for debate and reflection. There will be space for legal appearances, recommendations in finance issues and different spin off companies experiences from diverse scientific and technological fields.
Source: Meeting TEI Bio
We are also promoting informal meetings oriented to knowledge transfer, entrepreneurship and investment in business scientific projects. For the moment, we have begun in the biomedicine field with the meetings TEIbio. Until now we have celebrated four meetings in Valencia, with very promising
Another field of notable activity is to promote the creation of a Best practices Code to protect the scientist and the entrepreneur and all the society. Entrepreneurship has a social responsibility and has to avoid the benefit without social profit.
We are beginning to work in the organisation of the II National Congress of Scientific Entrepreneurs that will be celebrated in 2014.
P: An intense activity. Who can collaborate in this project and how?
R: The Spanish Association of Scientific-Technological entrepreneur is open to all interested. We admits three types of associated:
- Individual partners, headed to physical people.
- Companies of scientific and technological base created in Spain
- Institutional partners.
The formal term of admission of partners in the Association is already open, the conditions are available in the web page: www.uv.es/redce.
P: To summarise, which are the present and future challenges for the Association?
R: Good question. The mixture of science and businesses is still a problem in our society. The main challenge is to show that the union of science and businesses is not a perversion of the innovation system but a beneficial tool for all.
Our challenge, therefore, is to achieve that Spanish society, especially the scientific community, sees an important social profit in applying science into the companies world.
More information: AEEC