The EU-LAC Digital Accelerator is an initiative financed under the Neighborhood, Development & International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI-Global Europe) in the framework of the EU-LAC Digital Alliance, focused on fostering multi-stakeholder and private sector collaboration, competitiveness, digital skills and innovation, through the establishment of a regional EU-LAC Digital Accelerator.

Today we are interviewing the leading entity TECNALIA Research & Innovation and our Project Coordinator Ms. Maika Gorostidi. TECNALIA is the largest center of applied research and technological development in Spain, a benchmark in Europe and a member of the Basque Research and Technology Alliance. They collaborate with companies and institutions to improve their competitiveness, people’s quality of life and achieve sustainable growth. They do it thanks to people who are passionate about technology and committed to building a better society. Maika is the Director of International Relations, with a special focus on Latin America. Her activity is aimed at establishing alliances that strengthen TECNALIA’s position and market development mainly in this region.

Look what she told us in this short video and read more details of our talks in the article!

Hello Maika, we are very happy to have you with us!

Hello, it is a pleasure!

We would like to know more about your organisation, what are you focused on and what is your field of expertise?

Well, our mission is to transform technological research into prosperity and our vision is to be agents of transformation of companies and society for their adaptation to the challenges of a changing future.

We work with an increasingly strategic business relationship model based on trust, collaboration, and a shared technological approach, whereby our main scopes of action are: smart manufacturingdigital transformationenergy transitionsustainable mobility Personalised health, urban ecosystem and circular economy.

We are the first private Spanish organisation in contracting, participation, and leadership in the European Commission’s Horizon Europe programme and we are ranked third in European patent applications.

Now, how is this linked to the EU-LAC Digital Accelerator? Can you explain the role you envision to play at this meaningful project?

TECNALIA can bring to the EU-LAC Digital Accelerator the technological knowledge contributing to increase digital skills, the experience and capacity to support companies to identify their technological challenges and to offer them the best solutions to solve these challenges. 

TECNALIA has a wide network of agents in the innovation ecosystem both in Europe and in Latin America and the Caribbean who will undoubtedly contribute to the smooth running of the accelerator and its sustainability once the project has finished.

What are the main actions or activities you are working or will work on in the project that you are most excited about?

I want to generate efficient teams able to provide quality services to all the acceleration process phases, from the identification of enterprise digital challenges, the match with startup digital solutions, and the investment phase.  

Also, I would like to establish contacts with innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems stakeholders on both sides of the Atlantic who want to get involved in the accelerator not only to meet the project objectives but to expand the impact, contributing also to the sustainability of the accelerator beyond the project period.

At the EU-LAC Digital Accelerator, what is the positive impact you hope to generate?

First and foremost, I believe creating the digital accelerator that connects EU and LAC and that is positioned at the top of the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems of both regions.

Moreover, we would like to get the recognition of the accelerator as the top and trustful digital accelerator that unites Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean digital business opportunities. 

What do you think are the biggest challenges to boosting digital cooperation between Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean? And the keys to solve them?

Developing new businesses is always difficult, and for cooperation the distance and time-zone differences do not help. Yet online tools help deal with these difficulties.

There are cultural differences which are more subtle, which can be solved with mutual knowledge and interaction.

And finally there are different laws and regulations, different economic conditions (inflation, interest rates …) which influence business and require again mutual understanding.

Do you have previous experience managing European projects? What is the most rewarding thing about it?

Yes I do. The most rewarding is to support the generation of new joint ventures contributing to increase employment and to build bridges between EU LAC regions learning from each other.  

To close our interesting talk, how would you describe the EU-LAC Digital Accelerator in one sentence?

The opportunity to grow your business with an international vision minimizing risks with multidisciplinary professionals from the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem!

Fantastic! Thank you very much for your time Maika!

Thank you for having me!


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