The Centre of Technology and Strategic Information of the Bay of Cádiz (CITEBAC) is a platform of technology watch services and competitive intelligence for Energy, Logistics-harbourt, Metal-Mechanics and Cultural companies of the region. It is a regional project developed by the Technical Office of Business Advice of the Technological Foundation of the Algeciras Campus (Spain), and funded by the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade.

We spoke with Francisco José Trujillo Espinosa, Director Manager of the Technological Foundation of Algeciras Campus

P: In which context does this initiative arises?

R: The Centre of Technology and Strategic Information of the Bay of Cádiz, CITEBAC, is a project funded by the Economy, Innovation, Science and Employment Council of the Andalucia Board and the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade, through the Plan REINDUStrializacion 2011 for the Bay of Cádiz. It has the collaboration of the University of Cádiz and the Algeciras City Council.

P: How you arrive to contrive CITEBAC?

R: In November 2010, the Foundation of Technology from the Algeciras Campus set up our first tool of technology watch and competitive intelligence designated “Centre of Technology Information for Business Impulse” (CITIE), available on-line in www.citie-fcta.es. This tool was exclusively to those sectors considered strategic for the Algeciras Bay, such as: port-logistic, petrochemical and energetic sectors.

Thanks to the success reached with this tool, regarding number of users and site utilization, the Foundation launched in 2011 the creation of a new tool to complement other important sectors for the Bay of Cádiz, such as metal-mechanic and the cultural sector. That how CITEBAC was born.

It is, therefore, an important result of the Foundation policy, that prevails the coherence with the aims pursued by the organisation, as it is, to boost the technological impulse of our industrial business, especially of those companies linked to the strategic sectors, in this case, for the economic and social development of the Bay of Cádiz.

P: Which social needs pretends CITEBAC to give answer?

R: Through this platform of technology watch and competitive intelligence, we pretend to provide a new tool for companies so that they improve its competitive capacity, reaching a greater profitability through the permanent access to the most notable information of their sectors and whose profits can revert into a greater social welfare of the region.

P: In what consists this virtual platform that the companies can find at: http://www.citebac.com/?

R: It treats of an exclusive site oriented to the strategic sectors of the Bay of Cádiz, such as: port-logistic, petrochemical, energetic and cultural sectors. Through the analysis of more than 1.000 sources of information, the system facilitates the research of technological and strategic information to companies, researchers, research centres and entities.

In this way, through this exclusive tool, one can daily consult: news, technical articles, normative, legislation, events, patents, offers and request of technology, financial support, etc. related with the specified sector.

P: With an example, can you explain how an employer or an entrepreneur can use CITEBAC?

R: Yes, for example, if an entrepreneur wants to set up in Andalusia a solar plates company, by registering has access to the portal and will be able to be updated with notable information for his sector. For example, all Andalusian, national and international rules regarding matters of renewable energies and in his case, solar photovoltaic. In addition, the portal offers other functionalities as, for example, “Offers and Requests”, which will offer the product to other members and contact with potentials applicants for the product or service.

For a business entrepreneur, the access to news, patents, technical articles, among others resources of notable information, can suppose a very important source to achieve competitive advantages in his product or service. For example, if he wants to offer an exclusive product that was not offered before by his direct competitors, he will be able to improve this process thanks to the access and profitable utilisation of information, for instance in new European trends for this type of energy exploitation, which new processes are making possible costs saving, etc.

Another very common situation: employers that already have recover their investment in Spain and are interested in exploring new international markets, for example the possibility to establish in another country. Through CITEBAC, they will be able to detect new business opportunities and also request the support of the Foundation Projects Technical Office, for a specific report of a sectoral analysis in a specific country-market.

P: Who can use CITEBAC?

R: CITEBAC is headed to any entity that have interest in obtaining a competitive advantage through having instantaneous access to up to date information on a specific activity sector. The users of CITEBAC, will be able to benefit of multiple advantages related with the four sectors described previously. Associations and business federations, researchers, universities, as well as any person interested in obtaining relevant information for his daily activity.

P: How can one be user of CITEBAC?

R: Register as a user is very simple. Only have to access www.citebac.es and register, filling the data for identification in a brief series of steps. Once registered, the user will have access to free general information and to other services with added value, that is to say, more personalised. For us it is important also to establish a permanent contact with the user.

CITEBAC is defined as an open portal to new ideas and suggestions, developing a feed-back with the companies and researchers, helping them in what they need and this reverts in a tool improvement.

P: What do you do to keep it updated?

R: There is a daily and permanent work of configuration of information sources, validation by experts in each field, in addition, a detailed analysis to discriminate different types of data generated. The most valious result from this tool would be the information generated from the analysis. The services of Competitive Intelligence are the ones that offer a high added value to this tool. The Technical Office is qualified to satisfy all the specific needs, as for example the trends analysis in a sector or specific area, advice in project management, research of partners, looking for technological centres able to solve needs or lacks, financial support, presentation to public announcements, etc.

P: Interesting work… which kind of activities do you organise to promote CITEBAC?

R: The Technical Office offers, among other activities, training workshops, so the users, registered, learn a more efficient handle of the tool.

From the workshops realised until now, we have obtained a very favourable result. We have qualified already more than 30 companies in the CEEI Bay of Cádiz, some even from the Andalusian Province; in some cases, there was a possibility to establish an agreement of collaboration or the preparation of a specific platform for their own business services.

P: Which possibilities do you consider there are for Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for business development and entrepreneur projects?

R: In the first place, living in the information,society, to have a technological team adapted to the business needs is already a necessary base. To offer services and products, through the available on-line media, world-wide and to any sector.

In the other hand, precisely because we find ourselves in a global market, any project (having or not a technological base) requires a launch to be present in any field to international level. The cooperation inter-business using the ICT tools is understood for the time being as the best strategy of business synergy.

P: In your opinion, which paper offers the technology watch practices for the competitive development of these projects?

R: As we have said previously, this type of services suppose an open window to the daily world, so that the companies can not only attend their own market in a much more efficient way, but they also have the possibility to attract the new trends and initiatives that arise in a specific sector that, without this type of surveillance, wouldn’t be possible to detect. It is a key element in order to achieve a competitive advantage in a globalised world in which the information moves so quickly that it is not easy to distinguish between the truly useful information form the one that is not.

P: To finish, which reflections on the present challenges do you foresee?

R: The Foundation pretends to promote the regional business industry. It means to support technological promotion, the growth, profitability and competitiveness of our companies, offering the necessary tools so they are do not left behind in regard to the other sectors or regions.

Our institution is devoted to the training (qualify, consolidate and expand the existent employment), to research (knowledge development and innovation) and to business advice to attain a greater competitiveness for SMEs, pursues the aim to reach a greater economic welfare and social in our surroundings. Challenges that reflect the reality and by which we wish to follow struggling to keep it in the future.

More information: CITEBAC

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