We present you, eVIA, the Spanish Technology Platform for Health, Welfare and Social Cohesion. In this interview you can find information on their last projects related with Open innovation in the health sector, betting for the innovative and eficient use of technology.

Agent of the innovation system, eVIA is a technological platform. Those are structural European instruments for R&D in a certain sector. In this case, eVIA belongs to a net of scientific-technology cooperation that groups together different entities interested in the health sector. Usually these activities are coordinated by industry, creating an important critical mass of research, development and innovative efforts.

We spoke with Ignacio del Arco Herrera, one of the coordinators of the Work Group of ORACULA, about knowledge management and foresight of eVIA.

P: ¿What is eVIA?

R: eVIA is the Technology Platform for Health, Welfare and Social Cohesion. It was born in 2007 and nowadays works in three fundamental areas undertaking colaborative projects of research, technological development and innovation in the health sector.

Our initiatives focuss on the use of technology in the health and, among our objective, we work to facilitate the independent life of disabled people, improving their quality of life and autonomy of eldery people, integration of ethnic minorities and immigrants, generation of new models for rural development and social and technological inclusion.

P: How do you organise all these research activities?

R: In eVIA the members are organized in to Work Groups.

Nowadays eVIA runs through eleven groups of research:

P: If we focuss on the group that you coordinate, which is the specialisation of ORACULA?

R: ORÁCULA is a study group for identification of knowledge related with market opportunities and scientific state of the art related with health projects associated to eVIA.

One of our main objectives is to coordinate efforts, alliances and sinerges to generate scale economy based on knowledge sharing and cooperation under open innovation. One of our aims is to promote the use of the Platform to Support Open Innovation that have developed eVIA.

ORACULA is a colaborative work group, open to whom who is interested in our field of work. Many professionals, companies and organizations associated to eVIA have contributed in different workshops and activities.

P: Which project is more relevant?

R: As I said, the first and fundamental is ORÁCULA. In the begining this project was designed as an observatory on technologies for health, welfare, accessibility; and included the development of a web platform that worked as a management tool oriented to business intelligence. Although we do not achieve the necessary funding to develop it, some of the conceptual elements have been done through SUPL@I.

Regarding this point, we also have facilitated some state of the art studies on technologies and the access to technical and scientific documents. We have held several workshops related with the evaluation of innovation impact and developed some practical models that have in account the “social effectiveness” such as the return of the investment in I&D projects. Related to this subject we make refernce to the article: “technological and social effectiveness of the I&D public investment. The value bottom up innovation”, published by the Magazine eSalud.com edited by the eSalud Foundation.

Members ORACULA have taken part also in a work group promoted by the European Commission and focussed in creating an evaluation model for projects funded to develop technologies realted to the Ambient Assisted Living program.

P: In relation to current projects, what is Supl@I?

R: SUPL@I, the Spanish Platform for Open Innovation, is a project derived partly from ORACULA activities. It was designed as an observatory, with the idea of optimised the potential derived from eVIA ecosystem, through a virtual community that interacts under open innovation principles, sharing knowledge and resources to establish sinergies.

It is a platform designed in open code. Although is still not in exploitation, the platform already contains important information on national and international projects in course and in which members of eVIA take part.

P: How do you organise this digital platform in order to promote Open Innovation in eVIA?:

R: Roughly there are four fields of participation:

  • Needs
  • Ideas
  • Projects
  • Stories, related to ended projects.

There is the possibility to use interactive tools that allows comunication, such as: Wiki, blog, Twitter, forum, events, shared documents and geo-location. Besides, the information is always categorized allowing linking problems with solutions, detection of a need and matching with a potential project that might give a solution.

P: In relation with participation of organizations, which kind of results do you distinguish in the digital platform?

R: Nowadays with have registered in SUPL@I a total of 93 organizations and around 45 projects of innovation.

P: Is there still work to be done?

R: Of course, we should take advantage of all the functionalities and tools.

P: In relation to other work groups that add value in this direction, ¿what would you highlight?

R: There are many groups and projects in course. Among them, I highlight Coordina2 where we boost the register of companies and organizations with specific interests in health technologies, one of the most active research fields in Spain.

This register pretends to increase the visibility of different technological solutions for the support of ill and disabled people. However, due to different reasons, it seems that market resists and it is quite díficult for companies, mainly SME to access these opportunities and take advantage of potential solutions.

P: To finish, what are your challenges for the near future?

R: I try to focuss in opening roads for the internationalization of solutions and services developed by the companies and organizations of the eVIA environment. We have moved forward in creating a series of alliances with Argentinean companies and organizations.

We would like to keep in touch with your OVTT platform and to open collaboration with new entities and professionals interested in our field of activity.

More information: eVIA