8903310032_91614cbf7b_nI leave you a copy of my answers to a questionnaire about the R+D+I that they did to me for the special “Basque Company Innovation” of El Correo that was published last week. In the paper edition (it doesn’t seem to be on the web) you can also find the answers to the same questions from Txema Villate, Joseba Jauregizar, José Miguel Erdozain, José Angel Corres, Miguel Angel Lujua, José Miguel Corres, Aitor Cobanera and Martín Guridi .

What role does R+D+i play in overcoming the crisis?

R+D+I is the only credible way that we have in the Basque Country to recover the more than 145,000 jobs that we have lost since the crisis broke out in 2008. We need to conjure all our public and private capacities to move towards a renewed industrial economy competitive in the global market and this is only possible with intensive high-tech processes and by launching new, highly innovative products and services that take advantage of the only truly valuable resource we have: our people. R+D+I is our great structural challenge; It already was before the crisis began and it is much more so now.

Should we invest more or better? In what?

Investing better is always a challenge, but when you are very far from the reference standards, that alone is not enough. The Basque Country needs to invest “much more” to play with the best; Just to take it into account, Hovedstaden in Denmark, Bravant Wallon in Belgium, Stuttgart and Braunschweig in Germany and Trøndelag in Norway spend more than three times more on R&D per inhabitant than we do. The numbers speak for themselves, I think. Of course, it is also necessary to invest better, being more efficient and rigorous with public money and, especially, focusing the effort in the industrial areas in which we have companies and a critical mass of the market.

Open innovation, collective innovation, co-creation… Is the traditional R&D&I model exhausted? What is the future model?

If we understand the traditional model of R+D+I, that linear model that went from basic research to applied research, finally reaching innovation, it has been radically obsolete for some time now. The innovation models that are successful are, in my opinion, those that face the market head-on and without complexes, those that integrate excellent capabilities as an open eco-system, forgetting about localisms and with a global perspective, those that are capable of integrating intelligently the knowledge value chain to capture the specific value and difference of each type of agent and, finally, those that adequately articulate the necessary vision of the private initiative, with the public potential and shape a public-private leadership with a social and future perspective.