Nowadays innovation is a key business strategy for companies and organisations in theur attempt to be competitive in today’s markets. The first step is to have access to the scientific and technological information to go for innovative strategies and improve decision-making. There are many techniques and tools for technology watch and competitive intelligence available to take advantage of the information and innovation, regardless of our company size and resources (CTIC), the important thing is to exploit the opportunities provided by Internet.

The Foundation for the Urban Innovation and KnowledgeEconomy (FIVEC) is an institutional initiative that works for promoting in network the innovation, the technology and the knowledge for the Valencia socio-economic and competitive development. The technology watch and competitive intelligence occupies a central place in their daily activity.

We spoke with Arturo Ortigosa Blanch, Director Manager of the Foundation for the Urban Innovation and Knowledge Economy (FIVEC).

P: What is the Foundation FIVEC:

R: The Foundation FIVEC is an initiative of the City Council of Valencia created to promote innovation and technological development in all segments of the Valencian society. From the beginning, we consider that it is very necessary and positive for Valencian employers, scientists, enterpreneurs or students, amongst other, to set up Networks of Cooperation with which promote transfer technology and knowledge to the different social agents.

Besides FIVEC, in our mission to boost Knowledge, bets by the transfer of technological advances, the new technologies and technology watch and competitive intelligence from a didactic vocation, where the networking is a key factor for the technology, social and business innovation.

P: Who are in FIVEC?

R: FIVEC is composed by sponcers in which there are the City Council of Valencia, the Camera of Trade of Valencia, the Polytechnical University of Valencia, the Universitatof València , the Network of Technological Institutes of the Valencian Community (REDIT) and Valencia Fair, all these, entities devoted to innovation, education, research, technology, cooperation, trade, amongst other.

P: The need to set up FIVEC, how it arises and why betting for networks of cooperation as a model to improve University-Company relation-ships?

R: FIVEC is of recent creation, in 2006, and the project focus on a strategic instrument to give effective answers to technological needs of different Valencian sectors and to promote the urban innovation, the access to the new technologies and the productive transformation into the Economy of the Knowledge.

With this mission, in a global world like we are living today, have to promote and to manage in network. So there is a need to bet for the creation and dinamización of networks of cooperation where scientific and employers collaborate and work together.

P: How do these networks of cooperation work?

R: The networks VIT are one of the main products of FIVEC witch give effective answers to concrete problems. Through these networks of cooperation we improve business sectors specialised for the region, like Health, Energy, Fail, Urban Planing.

The networks VIT of cooperation facilitates processes of promotion and transfer of technology, activities and projects of R&D, spread the scientific and business capacities, attract investments and work for generating opportunities, besides, to improve the social welfare and the quality of life of the citizens in the region.

P: Who can participate and benefit of FIVEC activities, as well as of VIT networks?

R: We work fundamentally with the scientific and business community of Valencia, through our activities, to help to promote the economy of knowledge and to be sure that all these efforts in technology transfer arrive and benefit the citizenship.

They are numerous the organisations with which have signed agreements of collaboration.

P: Which services can researchers and companies find in FIVEC?

R: The formulas of collaboration are numerous and we always work for adapting to the needs of our users. The main services, in FIVEC are:

The Magazines VIT (Energy and Health) in which we publish articles of scientific actuality, technology and business, with the lastest activities and projects of R&D of members of VIT Health, VIT Energy. We distribute around 1000 copies of the magazines, and each one of these has there own site where the contents is updated daily with news and interesting activities for the sector.

We have also an intense diary of activities, in which we participate and organise Workshops, of traning and informative character, that address specific subjects of sciences and technologies of health and energy. These activities boost the networking and promote the collaboration between members of the network, employers, researchers, professional and other assistants. In these moments we are preparing a new edition of INTERBIO International Meeting that will take place in Valencia on the 17th and 18th of November.

Other interesting publications are the Technology Watch Bulletins, that collects the last novelties of patents, national and international in a sector. These Bulletins are of monthly character and digital format and are sent by email to more than 750 addressees.

We have also an annual Catalogue, specialised in Health area, in which the members of the community have the opportunity to promote and spread their innovative activities. We distribute it in meetings, workshops and events directed to the sector.

P: They are many the advantages that a professional interested in innovation can obtain by Technology Watch. Some practices allow to improve notably the knowledge and management of strategic information for business and orient the decision-making to bet by strategies of business diferenciadoras in the market. From your experience, which are the main profits that your users achieve when they begin to implement tools for technology watch?

R: Numerous, implement activities of technology watch and competitive intelligence in an organisation brings a lot of and different advantages, for example:

  • It allows to be updated with regard to the technology advances.
  • To know companies and countries leaders in our technological area of interest, as well as who are the attractive markets to go for.
  • Detect emergent technologies, find available technology and, obviously, to know also when a technology initiates its phase of obsolescence to make decisions and bet for differenciation strategies in the market.
  • In this sense, to know the notable information in our professional activity is crucial nowadays to make decisions, with the best technology and partners, to progress in the market.

P: How these organisations improve their professional activity with the technology watch and competitive intelligence?.

R: For example, the companies are the first in recognising markets with possible interest to go for, expanding their possibilities of business, and even if they want to bet by internationalisation, the technology watch is a fundamental key. In the case of the researchers, saves time and efforts, avoiding errors as for example knowing in advance other works donne by different groups of research that can be available to develop or apply free disposal.

P: What job is still remaining to generalise the strategic use of technology watch in companies and researchers?

R: It is still remain a main awareness in the companies at all the organisational levels, beginning by the High Direction and arriving to all the employees. Besides, it is necessary to increase the qualification in the use of tools of support this work, mainly in the SME that is where more lacks are detected; and improve the qualification in the interpretation of graphic, signals and indicators of Technology Watch and Competitive Intelligence to promote its suitable exploitation.

P: Inyour opinion what do you consider important for a company or research group to begin to implement a system of technology watch?

R: The team work is fundamental, as well as allocate something of resources and time to watch and, especially, systematise the work of surveillance. It is important to designate a manager, hable to use tools of research of information and surveillance; coordinated with scientific/engineers and supported by documentalists; together can make big teams.

P: In this mission of awareness on the importance of the use of scientific and technological information through the technological surveillance and the competitive intelligence which challenges of performance do you propose?

R: Thinking in challenges is the same to think in networks, how to build networks of cooperation and networking through Internet, where the members of these communities interact, favouring opportunities of business; exchanging opinions and experiences with experts; betting for opening to internationalisation and new technological markets, amongst other.

P: Bet for implementing technological opportunities in our business is not exclusive of emergent sectors. In the Valencian Community predominates the traditional sectors, which paper play these sectors in the activity FIVEC?

R: The technology watch is not exclusive of any sector neither trends, and supposes a strategic tool in the bet for SME to innovate.

P: Which activities do you develop to reinforce the University-Company relation-ship?

R: Before we spoke of the importance to act in network and generate connections such as strategies of progress and competitiveness in the current world, this is fundamental to walk to a true effectiveness of the cooperation for companies, institutions and citizenship. The universities can orient their work of research to satisfy needs of our companies, and the knowledge and their research helps to favour its direct implantation in the industry.

P: Which are the challenges for FIVEC in the near future?

R: Four years have passed since the network VIT Health was set up, the networks VIT are a referent and a place of meeting for the distinct agents in the strategic sectors of the city. One of the challenges of the networks VIT is to continue being the tool or meeting point of the distinct sectors facilitating the transfer and creation of knowledge. But in addition to consolidating the already existent activities we are opened to new initiatives that can bring main profits for our members and for the sectors in Valencia. For the next years, beside the consolidation of the already existent we have the aim to set up new networks in other sectors as ITC, food, education or sport.

More information: FIVEC

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