The Digital Reality in Spain

Telecommunications and Digital Economy Encounter

For yet another year the city of Santander has served as the meeting point for Spain’s digital sector. Under the banner “The Digital Reality in Spain”, AMETIC , together with the Universidad Menéndez Pelayo and Banco de Santander, have organized the 31st Telecommunications and Digital Economy Encounter ("Encuentro de la Economía Digital y las Telecomunicaciones¨), bringing together prestigious speakers, top representatives of the main firms of the various productive sectors, exponents of the across-the-board vision of what has come to be called the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”.

Leading figures from the government and public institutions were equally keen to attend the congress. It was opened by the Minister of Energy, Tourism and the Digital Agenda, Álvaro Nadal. Other leading public figures present were Carmen Vela, Secretary of State of Research, Development and Innovation; Begoña Cristeto, Secretary General of Industry and SMEs and José María Lassalle, Secretary of State for the Information Society and Digital Agenda of Spain. The congress was then closed by the Director General of Red.es, Jose Manuel Leceta.

This yearly meeting is one of the ICT musts in Spain. GMV has now become one of the main sponsors while also presenting papers and taking part in discussion panels to share the company’s ICT experience in its various lines of business.

Science and industry in Spain: collaboration experiences

Mateo Valero, Director of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center / Pedro Mier, President of AMETIC / Francisco Marín, Director of Spain’s Industrial and Technological Development Center (Centro para el Desarrollo Tecnológico e Industrial: CDTI) / Luis Fernando Álvarez-Gascón, CEO of GMV Secure e-Solutions / Maria Teresa Gómez, Director General of AMETIC / Lluís Torner, Director of the Photonic Science Institute (Instituto de Ciencias Fotónicas: ICFO)

Science and industry in Spain: collaboration experiences
Luis Fernando Álvarez-Gascón, CEO of GMV Secure e-Solutions, took part in the panel discussion on “Science and Industry in Spain: collaboration experiences”, moderated by the Director of the Industrial and Technological Development Center (Centro para el Desarrollo Tecnológico e Industrial: CDTI), Francisco Marín. Luis Fernando tracked back 33 years to explain how today’s firm of GMV was originally born from the farsightedness of a university professor and a group of young undergraduates, all of whom believed that their space R&D projects were worthy of an important business project. Today GMV is a 1600-strong technology multinational carrying out cutting-edge projects in areas as diverse as space, healthcare, intelligent transportation and cybersecurity.

Álvarez-Gascón argued that there was currently a certain “pessimism” in Spain’s innovation ecosystem, due to the general belt-tightening in public R&D projects. But there are also another two factors to account for this downbeat attitude; firstly, "the lackluster business contribution towards R&D funding”, which, he argued, should be doubled, and secondly “the challenge of bringing Spain’s R&D to wider notice and greater effect”.

He also argued that “times of economic crisis also bring out the best of some.” Despite the pervading pessimism he believed that Spain “could be perfectly competitive in any sector”. Álvarez-Gascón wound up by advocating an overhaul of the university sector to bring out the importance of a science career and seek a greater socioeconomic impact.

e-Health: the effect of ICTs on the healthcare sector

e-Health: the effect of ICTs on the healthcare sector
Carlos Royo, GMV’s Healthcare Business Development Manager, moderated an interesting debate on the effect of ICTs on this sector

GMV’s participation included moderation of an e-Health discussion panel, where Carlos Royo, speaking as Healthcare Business Manager, moderated an interesting debate on the effect of ICTs on this sector.

Carlos Royo came out with hard facts and figures on the current difficulties faced by the sector and the problems looming up in the near future. “The first man to live 140 years has now been born”. With this attention-grabbing truth Carlos Royo opened the e-Health debate, explaining that life expectancy is soaring and people are now reaching old age in tip-top condition. This wonderful news has a worrying downside: ”40% of public expenditure nowadays goes on healthcare; 80% of this expenditure is spent on 4 chronic illnesses: high blood pressure, diabetes, heart problems and breathing problems”. This all points to a grave sustainability challenge. In Royo’s opinion “the only way to guarantee future sustainability of Spain’s health system is by using and harnessing the full potential of ICTs. Without ICTs there is no solution”.

In this country we have performed marvels with healthcare ICT, becoming an international benchmark, even though healthcare ICT investment accounts for only 1% of the total healthcare budget. This has got to change”, argued Doctor Royo.