The technology company CYPE has participated in the “Horizon Europe” conference organised by the Spanish Construction Technology Platform PTEC, with the aim of explaining the next Horizon Europe programme, the European Union’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation that runs from 2021 to 2027. Benjamín González, Director of Corporate Development at CYPE, outlined the advantages and disadvantages of participating in this type of research project during the round table on “Experiences in European projects”.
During his speech, he highlighted the importance of scientific and technological innovation to increase the productivity and international competitiveness of companies, something that CYPE has benefited from since it was awarded its first research programme in 2009. “Since then CYPE has grown as a company, we have created strategic alliances in Europe, we have expanded internationally at a much faster rate and we have achieved our goals more efficiently,” said the leader of the Spanish technology company.
These advantages, however, may not be appropriately achieved when companies or research centres lack an R&D&I strategy in the medium and long term. In this sense, Benjamín González recalled how CYPE changed the scope of their participation in these projects in order to maximise their potential.
“At first we were searching for an idea to finance it. Time and experience have shown us that this is not the best option. In order to access research projects, the first thing a company should ask itself is: “Where do I want to be in ‘X’ years? What solutions will our customers or users ask us for in the future?” When the answers to these questions are clear, then it’s time to participate in these programmes and use the resources provided to achieve those pre-set goals,” he noted.
What’s better, national or international research projects?
Benjamín González also distinguished between national and international projects. Among the former, he spoke of those promoted by the Spanish Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI), which he considered to be very appropriate when starting to work on R&D&I financing for a Spanish company because, among other reasons, “they have a higher success rate than European projects”.
Furthermore, he also discussed the possibility of participating in research projects either individually or as part of a consortium. From his point of view and according to CYPE’s experience, “No one option is better than the other, as both have their advantages and disadvantages. Working alone allows you to move faster and avoid depending on others. However, it also generates some limitations with respect to group research”.
Among the benefits of the latter option, the Director of Corporate Development highlighted the sharing of technical expertise, having access to systems, equipment and data from participating partner countries, and the possibility of creating strategic alliances with partners that last beyond the research project.
The importance of communication and dissemination in R&D&I projects
Finally, Benjamín González also mentioned the importance of disseminating the milestones achieved in research projects. “The dissemination of R&D&I is crucial for creating a company’s brand image and the search for new business opportunities. In fact, the H2020 programmes include a financial cost for research dissemination, something that has allowed us to make contact with new partners in different countries and position our brand image,” he stated.
The round table, chaired by Cristina Gallego, technical manager of the PTEC, was also attended by Francisco Díez, coordinator of the infrastructure sector at TEKNIKE; José Manuel Baraibar, technical director and head of R&D&I at Viuda de Sainz; and Amaia Martínez-Muro, head of Technology at SPRI – The Basque Business Development Agency of the Basque Government.
Representation of SMEs and start-ups in the construction industry
CYPE is a member of the Spanish Construction Technology Platform PTEC standing committee, the central management body of this group, where it represents and defends the interests of SMEs and start-ups in the construction industry. Within the standing committee, CYPE shares its experience in R&D&I projects in the construction industry, as it has participated in 18 innovation projects in different areas such as Open BIM technology, sustainability, augmented and virtual reality, 3D printing, and structures and smart cities, among others.