By @SimonCocking. Interview with Juan A. Bertolin @espaitec , & geek.

What is your background briefly?

Between 2007 and 2016, I have been the responsible of Innovation and Projects Management in Espaitec, Science and Technology Park of Universitat Jaume I in Castellon (Spain) providing mechanisms to connect companies settled in the Science and Technology Park (start-ups, spin-off, tractors) to the Global Innovation EcoSystem, strategies of technology scouting, open innovation, hybridization management and project management protocols.

Since January 2017 I am the Managing Director of the Science Park.

I am focused in Hybridization Management, co-creation approaches, High Productivity Team Management and Innovative approaches for Regional Innovation Ecosystems. Additionally, I am currently preparing my PhD related to “Science and Technology Parks as promoter agents of Territorial Development into Areas of Innovation.

Previously, I was Project Manager at Accenture, where I developed my professional consulting career in international ICT projects and at GRUPO IT DEUSTO, as Account Manager in Mobility, Health and ICT projects.

Currently I am leading a NGO (Radioamateurs Without Frontiers) that helps to establish telecommunications bridges for other NGOs in countries where internet and mobiles are still not present.

Does it seem a logical progression to what you do now?

I think so, I have been managing people basically during all my career and the success of a project always depend on the people. Fostering passion to develop a job, motivating the team building are the basics for all the activities leaving aside the level of technology that you could develop and all our life is a big project so … logical progression.

Tell us about your innovation centre, the 1 min pitch?

Espaitec is the Science, Technology and Business Park of the Universitat Jaume I of Castellón (Spain). An innovative area made up of technology-based companies, research groups and public organisations that work in different economic sectors to contribute in a quantified and acknowledged fashion to the socio-economic development in the province of Castellón, and also to the diversification of its business fabric through innovation.

After almost 10 years of work, we have created a reference environment in the province of Castellón which intends to host, support and promote, and help develop, innovative business initiatives, to facilitate the transfer of technology developed at the University, and to act as an acknowledged delegate in the innovation field.

In short, it is an area of the Universitat Jaume I where experimentation can be done through innovation; create new professional opportunities by generating technology-based companies; bring talents and disciplines together; promote 360º innovation as a way of life; generate wealth through transferring knowledge to society.

We have created a unique environment in the province of Castellón which intends to host, support, promote and help innovative TBCs grow, and also facilitates transferring the technology generated at the Universitat Jaume I of Castellón. For this purpose, espaitec has developed the Long Way Companion methodology, which focuses on accompanying companies in their various life cycle stages, and on supporting a series of services and flexible dynamic installations, which adapt to every instant and requirement.

How do you inspire innovation and creativity?

Acting as a Hub. We are actually a Hub of Science, Technology, Innovation and entrepreneurship where a myriad of agents (entrepreneurs, startups,  grow up companies, consolidated companies, students, universities, mentors, investors, government, society)  are moving with a brownian movement and our goal is facilitating the connection among them, identifying cooperation synergies and trying to discover new ways of collaboration. We consider ourselves as innovation potters or dream catchers.

What tips would you give to people looking to start their own businesses?

Starting a business is an awesome adventure where passion, continuous learning and hard work are the main drivers, whatsoever the idea that need to be modeled as it is just the excuse to demonstrate yourself that you are useful for the society. The most important thing is that solving others problems can give your life another perspective and encourage you to go further without fear and if you fail, to have enough confidence that it is just temporary.

How was 2016, what went well?

Well, 2016 in our case has been a very interesting year and also very challenged. We have been maturing all our processes and consolidating our mission/vision and objectives to foster the local economy development of our territory fostering the relationship between companies, universities, government and society (quadruple helix) and discovering new approaches to involve more society in innovation processes.

How soon do you think blockchain based innovations will become available? (or do you think the hype is ahead of the ability to deliver the predicted solutions)

Blockchain based innovation is a non-stoppable process in this digital world where “transaction” in the coin and that is becoming a new philosophy in developing new businesses, so probably 2017 will be a launchpad to become it into an habitual concept.  Leaving aside Bitcoin uses, more and more blockchain is performing new businesses perspectives based on digital assets, so the concept is enriching its contain.


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