Fostering research excellence
in EU Outermost Regions
A delegation from the Innovation Department of the Canary Islands Technological Institute (ITC) visited Bilbao to meet with several key agents and initiatives that support and drive the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem in the region. For 3 days, they were able to exchange their impressions on the programmes and resources available to improve the rates of innovation and employability in Bizkaia. It was also a great opportunity to connect with R&D&I centres to establish new collaborations and develop joint proposals to participate in European and national calls for proposals.
On the first day, the delegation met with the Department of Employment, Social Inclusion and Equality of the Provincial Council of Bizkaia. Susana González Rómulo, Director General of Employment, and her team informed about the current Employment Plan 2020-2023, among other actions, aimed at supporting and promoting social innovation as a key element of their policies. On the other hand, the Barakaldo Makers, the City Council of Ermua and the Basque Food Cluster presented the methodologies and results of the different programmes developed with the support of the Provincial Council of Bizkaia.
On the same day, the Biscay Federation of Metallurgical Companies presented the “3R Company” project developed with the aim of facilitating the labour insertion of the unemployed in different economic sectors. Later, they were received at the facilities of the Peñascal Cooperative, where they were introduced to the Gazte On Project, an initiative that promotes the inclusion of young people in the labour market.
On the second day, the delegation visited the facilities of DEMA, the Regional Employment and Entrepreneurship Agency. Mairivi Riol, director of DEMA, and her team presented the key aspects of their activity. Most of these projects are related to entrepreneurship and employment, with a strong innovation component that could lead to new cooperation opportunities for ITC.
Finally, the delegation had the opportunity to meet with 3 different R&D&I organisations. The first, Bizkaia Talent, is a non-profit organisation that promotes research, creation, innovation and knowledge transfer to Bizkaia, fostering and facilitating an environment that is attractive to people qualified in these areas. For its part, the University of the Basque Country hosts different employment, entrepreneurship and innovation programmes focused on researchers and graduates. The last visit took place at the Bilbao Berrikuntza Faktoria facilities, a pioneering project for learning, innovation and entrepreneurship, promoted and managed by Mondragon Unibersitatea, in collaboration with the Bilbao City Council.
Therefore, this short mobility has been a great opportunity for the Canary Islands Technological Institute to establish new cooperation networks in the near future with organisations that aim to promote innovation at any social and economic stage. This experience is also an opportunity for the ITC to cooperate with organisations in Bizkaia and improve its participation in EU-funded projects in research and innovation to promote territorial development.