Without us even knowing it, there may be a technology behind the switch that changes the way we consume energy. With the aim of promoting these innovations, Iberdrola has just held its first Innoday on its Corporate Campus, a day in which it has brought together those partner companies with which it collaborates in various innovation matters as well as several of the Universities with which maintains various agreements to enhance research.
The company’s president, Ignacio Galán, assured that Iberdrola is committed to innovation with the aim of leading the future. More specifically, the company’s manager pointed to renewable energy as the main driver. “We want to generate sustainable value that has an exponential acceleration of technological development”, because, in his opinion, “companies will be innovative or they will not be”.
After ruling that the energy sector is one in which the relevance of this innovation is being demonstrated the most – “it is an area with a lot of competitiveness and in full transformation” -, Ignacio Galán explained that there are three pillars on which it is based success right now: investing in technology, having trained and prepared talent, and fostering collaboration between companies, education, and entrepreneurs.
In this sense, the president of Iberdrola defends that this collaboration between private companies and educational institutions, such as universities, be encouraged. “We need to go further by creating innovative ecosystems. Companies and universities must go hand in hand to transfer that knowledge, attract talent and boost entrepreneurship ». Precisely with the motto ‘Learn to innovate’, Iberdrola has five chairs with as many universities (Salamanca, Pontificia de Comillas, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Strathclyde and the Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey).
More than 250 projects, scholarships and internships have been developed in them. In 2017, there were 900 scholarship holders and 750 young people who took master’s and postgraduate courses in these chairs. But, in addition, Ignacio Galán defended that the creation of new companies is also essential for the economy based on technology. For this reason, the Perseo Project promotes investment in startups that innovate in the energy sector.
“Generating wealth and employment, both inside and outside the company, is our social dividend”, defended the president of Iberdrola. “Thanks to innovation we will be able to serve and transcend,” he said.
Iberdrola took advantage of the event in the facilities of its Corporate Campus – a space designed to “boost talent” and which is “open to companies and talent from all over the world” – to bring together part of the winning projects from the universities with the that the company collaborates, as well as to give visibility to some of the partner companies with which it works in different areas of innovation.
Drones and ‘big data’
Thus, in this space it was possible to see how drones equipped with two types of cameras (photographic and thermal) are being used to fly over modern windmills. Thanks to these drones, those responsible are able to see earlier if the blades that rotate as a result of the wind have any kind of crack or damage, which speeds up both the detection of these problems and their repair, in many cases preventing damage from reaching to be too considerable and “visible” with the naked eye.
In the Corporate Campus it was also possible to observe the different electric vehicles that are changing the panorama of urban mobility. From plug-in cars to electric bicycles and skateboards.
The students of the Pontifical University of Comillas also showed the chassis of their electric racing cars and motorcycles at the event. Although they already have experience in motorcycle racing, it is the first time that they have managed to devise, create and manufacture a racing car.
Furthermore, many of Iberdrola’s collaborating companies do so by taking advantage of technologies such as ‘big data’ to better predict energy production models and for efficient biomass combustion.
Finally, it should be noted that according to data from Iberdrola itself, the Spanish electricity company is the fourth world company that invested the most in R&D last year, with some 246 million euros destined to “offer better, more competitive services, with disruptive models and technologies ».