Ferrovials Global Innovation Group, together with Ferrovial University, launched the first Ferrovial Innovation Seminar in March. This seminar forms part of a cycle of seminars that will bring together the principal executives in the group with the objective of articulating an open and collaborative process to develop the Companys innovation strategy. It is also a meeting point where we can share the innovation projects being undertaken at each subsidiary.
The idea has taken hold among the attendees at this first seminar. Max Vialou-Clark, Sales Services Director at BAA, stated during the seminar: We have to be able to learn from other companies in the Group. Mel Ewel, in turn, CEO of Amey, described it as a necessary step and declared that we have to innovate, look for new, better and quicker ways of doing things. I believe that this commitment to innovation is very important for Ferrovial.
FerroInnova articulates innovation at Ferrovial
Ferrovials commitment to Innovation has a strong exterior component through agreements with Universities and Research Centres, such as the important agreement signed with MIT as part of an Open Innovation strategy. The goal is to keep Ferrovial from settling back and making a commodity of the business, innovating instead in order to offer a premium that will make us more competitive in the market and contribute to improve society through the development of intelligent infrastructures.
The first step was to perform a detailed analysis of the innovation projects already developed. The good news is that we have 98 projects underway, more than half of them technical ones involving engineering processes. This shows that we have many teams innovating, confirmed Federico Flórez, Chief Information Officer (CIO), executive sponsor and global coordinator of Innovation at Ferrovial.
And yet there is very little innovation in new forms of business. This made us think that we must also understand innovation as a platform leading to new business opportunities for greater competitiveness, added Flórez.
Ferrovials commitment to Innovation has a strong external component, with agreements with Universities and Research Centres as part of our Open Innovation strategy. According to Flórez, we want researchers working for us. In addition, Meirás insisted during the seminar on the need to perform an internal exercise as well: It is important to make a common commitment and share all our experiences to make them exportable to other business, because within Ferrovial we have some very important pockets of knowledge.
Ferrovials Global Innovation Group is already working in this direction, integrating the internal process with external collaboration. In this regard Flórez states that we are going to develop projects that will generate a culture of innovation, zeal and community spirit. Innovation belongs in Ferrovials businesses and wont be implanted through the Corporate function.
The seminar held at Ferrovial University represented the first exercise in this line of action. In addition to featuring the presentation by Xavier Sala I Martín, Professor of Economy at Columbia University, and the coordination of the afternoon work seminars undertaken by Marcos Gómez, Professor of Innovation at ESADE Business School, attendees made an initial exchange of experiences through the presentation of several projects.
Specifically, explanations were given on Fingerprinting technology for identifying vehicles on the 407 ETR motorway, the experimental seawater desalination platform in Cadagua, Ameys Best Practice Library for sharing the Companys best practices, the ABC (Automated Border Clearance) system for automatic border controls at BAA airports and the Ferrovial Agroman CLEAM project for research into clean, efficient and environmentally friendly construction.