Extremadura companies do not have complexes when it comes to aspiring to access Next Generation funds from Brussels, nor does the region as a whole, as pointed out by the president of the Extremadura Board, Guillermo Fernández Vara at the first European Funds Conference for the Next Generation recovery organized in Cáceres this morning by elEconomista and sponsored by Extremadura Avante, Ibercaja and Ingenostrum.
In the second panel of experts that closed the day, seven experts linked to the company and the region’s consultancy have presented very specific projects that they already have ready and at the expense of the calls through which they can apply for the aid. community.
Very ambitious projects, such as the one promoted by the Xtrem Software company that aspires to become a part of the digitization of all the irrigated land in Spain. At the moment, they have the commitment of CCAA that add up to 80%, more than 90,000 hectares. A volume that can justify that it ends up as a driving force for the Spanish economy.
Based on 5G technology, it is intended to be able to access a lot of information that must be obtained from the earth about these crops, data that would be treated with Big Data to be able to make more efficient and competitive operations with better use of energy and electricity. Water. Eduardo Blanco Uclés , from the R + D + i department of Xtrem Software, emphasizes that large tractor projects do not have to come from the hand of large multinationals.
It is, in his opinion, bringing together many companies, also SMEs, administrations, research centers. A project for which an investment of 1,000 million euros is calculated and to which the multinational telecommunications company Orange has already joined.
Ingenostrum is another of the companies in Extremadura that aspires to play in a higher league. Born in the heat of the energy transition, it has partnered with Enel Green Power for investments worth 3,000 million euros, of which 1,300 million have already been executed. Although his great project at present is a large Eco-Industrial estate in Cáceres CC Green linked to energy efficiency.
At the moment, there are several large linked operations, the most advanced being a large Data-Center, one of the largest in the world, although Santiago Rodríguez , the CEO of Ingenostrum, is not very clear if it will be possible to access Next Generation aid. “We prefer not to delay the project, even if that prevents access to these funds,” he clarified, since the project is well advanced and they are already in the last phase of defining the Data Center operator.
Likewise, it will house a hydrogen pilot plant in collaboration with the Norwegian public energy company StatKraft and a large training center linked to the energy transition.
They are not the only projects that bustle in Extremadura. Another participant in the second panel of the Next Generation conference has been EcaptureDtech, which with a decade of existence is dedicated to capturing crime scenes in 3D in an easy way through mobile phones. A technology that Extremadura sells to the police of 15 countries.
But in addition to capturing these three-dimensional images, the company has developed a project to contribute to the three-dimensional image many other environmental data, especially environmental data that facilitate the investigation of the police.
Miguel González Cuetara, CEO of the Extremaduran software company , points out the importance of subsidies in this type of project, in fact, they have already received aid from the CDTI. However, he understands that a portion of the investment must be covered by loans to engage shareholders in success.
But the company is not limited to the application of 3D in the field of security. “The trend is that citizens will no longer be satisfied with capturing things through photos, they will do so with 3D, which opens up a great field for us.” But as you warn, that’s the future.
Adiper, dedicated to providing services and products to the elderly , also aspires to obtain community funds with which to develop the necessary technology to be able to bring what the elderly need to their own homes. “We are in an accelerated aging process and our objective is to respond to the needs of this group and to the demographic transformation we are experiencing,” says María Barco, director of the company.
Barco stresses that if community funds are managed well, it will also be possible to respond to the economic challenges that arise with these demographic challenges and the depopulation of many areas. “We aspire to develop care technology to offer individualized solutions and services, with personalized attention. It is therefore a comprehensive project for each of the Extremadura localities”.
The public company responsible for the tobacco business , Cetarsa, has also contributed its experience on the impact that community funds can have on the transformation of the economy. José Antonio González Martín, general director of the company , recalls that Spain is one of the ten countries that continue to produce tobacco in the European Union, a crop that receives aid from the CAP like any other. And Extremadura concentrates 98% of the production of this agricultural product in Spain. And he notes that Spanish production only contributes 13% -14% of the national demand for tobacco.
The head of the company points out among the challenges that he encounters, beyond the drop in demand and consequently in production, the challenge of digitization, the lack of efficiency and sustainable production. In this sense, González Martín points out that the investments that Cetarsa must undertake to go from a traditional or clean energy are “important”. In this sense, he understands that community funds are transcendental, since the company specifies that 80% of the investment is covered by subsidies.
Support to companies in the management of funds
To help these and many other Extremadura companies, consultants have positioned themselves in the region that intend to direct their clients towards Next Generation funds. Vector Arram Innizia is specialized in projects linked to innovation. Cecilia Pérez Casado, the CEO, insists on the need for SMEs in Extremadura to cooperate in consortia to access aid. And remember that these are not “financial funds, but transforming funds that allow companies to compete with added value and not only in price.” For which, the distinctive base is innovation, which is easier to execute and allows shorter-term projects than R&D.
And it trusts that Next Generation will contribute to changing the current Research, Development and Innovation data that the region has, but also Spain, which sees how other countries surpass it in this area.
The Gesfiscal Group, with half a century of experience in consulting and business management , lends its shoulder to guide Extremadura companies through the complexity of Next Generation funds. To do this, as announced by Javier Benito Cordero, the group’s CEO and CEO, they have opened a free consulting line for SMEs in the region called Futuro Pyme.
And remember that digitization is a challenge in all sectors and asks all participants in the management of funds to make an effort so that they also reach micro-SMEs and the self-employed. And break the historical difficulties of access to finance for SMEs, for which legislative reforms such as proposals to facilitate the creation of companies in an agile and cheap way are required.
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