Interview with Marta Macias, Innovation Manager at CTA
1. What’s your role within the BIOSWITCH project?
CTA (Technological Corporation of Andalusia) coordinates the work package aimed at replicating the project results at the European level. The main activities are the organisation of regional workshops to promote the knowledge transfer and the creation of a training programme aimed at clusters, innovation agents and public administration.
2. What do you offer as a cluster?
CTA offers promotion and private funding for business R&D projects that involve research groups from public universities in Andalusia (Spain). Its funding programme for R&D projects generates stable collaborations between companies and academia and favours the technology and knowledge transfer.
CTA helps companies to plan an innovation strategy, from the identification of their R&D and innovation needs to the formulation of projects to solve them and the search for partners and funding. In addition, it has deployed advanced services to help companies, universities, technology centres, public administration and other entities to transform the results achieved into business opportunities.
Finally, CTA participates in research and innovation initiatives at national and international level, many of them focused on university-industry collaboration and has become a reference partner in European projects, participating in more than 25 international consortia.
3. What can you specifically offer to brand owners within your region?
CTA has a multidisciplinary team of technical experts that can support brand owners in their transition to bio-based approaches. Moreover, CTA has a group of innovation consultants that can help shaping and implementing new RDI strategies that include bio-based approaches at company level.
CTA can connect brand owners with other organisations in order to (re)define value chains, find new suppliers and identify partners for collaborating in RDI projects and initiatives.
Finally, as an expert in public and private funding, CTA is able to assess which are the most promising funding/investment pathways to be followed by the brand owners. This way CTA can offer a systemic, holistic assistance to brand owners in their “BIOSWITCH” journey.
4. Where do you think the main change should be produced to boost bio-based alternatives in replacement for fossil-based ones?
The change should stem from the quadruple helix model. Although private sector and academia are well aware of the relevance of this transition, there is still a reluctancy from some private organisations side due to regulation uncertainties, larger cost and lack of collaborators/suppliers.
From the policy makers, although some advancements are being done, there is still a lot to do concerning legal aspects. As for the consumers, new generations might be more conscious about the benefits from bio-based products (for both the planet and the society), but lots of work needs to be done in order to reach other audiences.