The 1st IAA-DONES Meeting confirms the business opportunities of the knowledge economy

The scientific and technological alliance between the IAA-CSIC and IFMIF-DONES will increase collaboration between the two scientific communities representing research excellence. The strong presence of the business sector at this conference confirms the industry’s interest in the knowledge economy. These conclusions were made clear at the “1st Meeting between the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC) and the IFMIF-DONES Consortium”, held today at the IAA-CSIC with the collaboration of the Granada Chamber of Commerce and the Industry Office.
Key issues such as the industrial and business impact on the city, possible future technological development projects, collaborative strategies, and qualified personnel training were addressed through different sessions. This is the first step towards a long-term collaboration with significant repercussions for Granada.
Antxon Alberdi, Director of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC), the host centre for this first meeting, which around a hundred registered professionals attended, said: “The IAA-CSIC and IFMIF-DONES are two different international scientific projects but with a great common impact on the city of Granada. Today, we have explored new lines of collaboration, present and future, to make Granada a global city through knowledge and development”.
Antxon Alberdi and Ángel Ibarra, Director of the IFMIF-DONES España Consortium, were in charge of opening the meeting in a first-round table in which, in addition to presenting the current activity of both institutions, areas of interdisciplinary collaboration between the two centres were discussed. “Although the scientific objectives are different, the technological challenges are similar in both projects, as are the training needs of qualified personnel. With this series of meetings, we aim to foster direct and continuous collaboration between our research and technology teams,” concluded the director of the IFMIF-DONES Consortium.
After the scientific round table, it was the turn of industry and business. The president of the Granada Chamber of Commerce, Gerardo Cuerva, spoke with the director of IDEAL, Quico Chirino, about the challenge that this new economic model based on knowledge represents for the business sector in Granada. For Gerardo Cuerva, “Without a doubt, the IAA-CSIC and the IFMIF-DONES are key initiatives in the province’s new internationalisation strategy that reinforces economic and social development through the new Granada Global agency”.
The third of the round tables focused on cutting-edge and innovative technological development, one of the aspects most shared by the IAA-CSIC and the future IFMIF-DONES infrastructure. María Balaguer, head of its Instrumental and Technological Development Unit between 2018 and 2023, and Santiago Becerril, coordinator of Test Systems Engineering of the DONES consortium, expressed both projects’ joint engineering and development interests. These include vacuum technologies, cryogenics, ultra-fast processing of highly reliable electronic signals, and even virtual reality and artificial intelligence.
Finally, Ana Castro, Vice-President for Innovation and Transfer at CSIC, and Moisés Weber, Deputy Director of the IFMIF-DONES Consortium, presented the different tools and platforms for collaboration in which both institutions can collaborate. The meeting closed with Érik Fernández, Director of Ineustar, who reflected on the role of the IAA-CSIC and the IFMIF-DONES consortium in the Industry Office, an initiative created to promote the business ecosystem around the science and knowledge industry.

Ángel Ibarra recalled that science generates economic returns of direct impact on society, “in the case of IFMIF-DONES between fifty and one hundred and fifty million annual investments over the next decade”. Antxon Alberdi closed the meeting by recalling, “We intend that this is the first of a series of regular meetings that ensure a smooth and daily collaboration between our institutions and explore new lines of collaboration with business and industry. An example of how IFMIF-DONES, an initiative in full development, and the IAA-CSIC, a centre with fifty years of experience, can work together”.

The meeting was attended by authorities such as José Antonio Montilla, Deputy Delegate of the Government of Andalusia; Antonio Posadas, Secretary General for Research and Innovation of the Andalusian Regional Government; Ana Castro, Vice-President for Innovation and Transfer of the CSIC; Gerardo Cuerva, President of the Chamber of Commerce of Granada; Ángel Ibarra, Director of the IFMIF-DONES España Consortium; Antxon Alberdi, Director of the IAA-CSIC, accompanied by Vito Episcopo, Councillor for Human Resources, Organisation, Smart City, Digit Díaz, Deputy for European Funds, Development, Industry and Employment; and Antonio Arrabal, Mayor of Escúzar.


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