The Bizkaia Science and Technology Park has hosted the XIX International Conference of the Association of Science and Technology Parks of Spain (APTE), in which future challenges have been addressed under the slogan: “Integrating the SDGs: towards more parks sustainable “.
The Association has delivered its prizes for the best Practice in Science and Technology Parks of APTE 2021 and the most active Parks of the Network of Technicians during 2020, as well as the ‘IV Prize for the dissemination of science and technology parks in the Spanish press ‘, which has fallen on the newspaper elEconomista .
The institutional opening has been carried out by Arantxa Tapia, Minister of Economic Development, Sustainability and the Environment of the Basque Government; Ainara Basurko, Deputy for Economic Promotion of the Provincial Council of Bizkaia; and Felipe Romera, president of the Association of Science and Technology Parks of Spain.
After the inaugural lecture by Cristina Monge, political scientist and doctor from the University of Zaragoza, and Carlos Mataix, tenured professor of the Department of Organization Engineering of the Polytechnic University of Madrid, a round table was held on experiences of companies in the integration of the SDGs, moderated by Leyre Madariaga, Director of Digital Transformation and Entrepreneurship of the Basque Government.
The closing conference was given by Josu Jon Imaz, CEO of Repsol, who defended that the energy transition is “essential”, but “not a transition in any way”. In his view, it should be a “fair” transition where the industry “has the opportunity to compete” and “can become competitive to face the challenges of the transition.”
Imaz has also pointed out that a transition has to be made “thinking about consumers and the industry” and has assured, in this sense, that “it is not acceptable” that we have to “face months in which families have to pay electricity at 220 or 250 euros per MW / h generated or that there are industries that have to “stop because they cannot address energy costs.” For this reason, he believes that the transition should be “rethought”, “maintaining the ambition in terms of CO2 “, but carrying out a” just and competitive transition “.
The CEO of Repsol has reflected on some concepts to take into account in the energy transition. One of them has to do with ensuring security of supply. “If we take natural gas out of the equation because it emits CO2, companies stop investing in natural gas, production drops and then, suddenly, we don’t have natural gas and the electricity bill goes to 200 euros MWh. the consequence of the decisions we have made, “he exemplified.
Hydrocarbons and liability
Imaz also considers that a strategy is needed on how to approach hydrocarbon production “responsibly” and has indicated that, if it is not done at “competitive costs”, consumers “will pay for it and the industry will also pay for it in terms of competitiveness. “.
On the other hand, he pointed out that decarbonization “is not electrification.” “Electrification is a part of decarbonization and it is necessary, but a large part of sectors and applications are not technologically electrifiable in the coming years. We also need to decarbonise liquids because, if not, there is no solution,” he added. Thus, Imaz has affirmed that “technological neutrality” is needed and it is necessary to “put all technologies to compete”.
The Association of Science and Technology Parks of Spain (www.apte.org) was created in 1989 as a non-profit association whose main objective is to collaborate, through the promotion and dissemination of science and technology parks, to the renewal and diversification from productive activity, to technological progress and economic development. It currently has 62 member parks distributed throughout the Spanish geography.
52 of them are partner parks, that is, fully operational, one is an affiliated park that is under development, one is an honorary member and eight collaborating members. These parks hosted 7,967 entities in 2020, with a turnover of 27,244 million euros. These companies employ more than 184,508 people, of which 38,212 are dedicated to R&D tasks.
The Euskadi Technology Parks Network, made up of the Álava, Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa Parks, currently has 580 companies that employ 19,472 people and present a global turnover of 5,361 million euros per year. According to 2020 data, 1% of all Basque companies are located in one of the three parks of this Basque innovation ecosystem and account for 37% of business investment in R&D in the Basque Country. ICT, Biosciences and Health and Engineering are its predominant sectors. The RPTE is part of the Spanish Association of Technology Parks (APTE) as an active member of its Board of Directors, as well as of the International Association of Science and Technology Parks (IASP).