Bodega Herencia Altés, winner of the BBVA Award for Business Innovation

Bodega Herencia Altés, based in Gandesa (Terra Alta), yesterday received the distinction of winner in the first edition of the BBVA Award for Business Innovation in Tarragonaorganized in collaboration with Diari de Tarragona, which distinguishes innovative business initiatives in the field of digital transformation and sustainability in Camp de Tarragona and Terres de l'Ebre.

He was accompanied as finalists by Autoescola Jordi, based in Tarragona, and Magnore, also from Tarragona, along with Talentea, Compossar, Tecnovelero, Microalgae Lab and Servidron Sirgar, until completing the eight business projects that went to the final of this contest.

The awards ceremony, held in the Victoria Climent room of the Diari de Tarragona, served to recognize the innovative effort and territorial commitment of self-employed entrepreneurs and SMEs based in the Tarragona demarcation and an annual turnover of less than 5 million euros, in sectors as diverse as tourism, agribusiness, the circular economy, cybersecurity or mobility.

A jury made up of Sandra Morales, director of BBVA in Tarragona and Núria Pérez, director of the Diario de Tarragona, as promoters of these guardians, together with Mercedes Teruel, director of the Chair for the Promotion of Business Innovation at the URV; Daniel Martín, director and general secretary of the Tarragona Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Navigation, as well as Pablo Mazón, president of the Southern Catalonia ICT Cluster and CEO of the company Movertis, previously evaluated the projects presented, highlighting their quality and ambition.

In this sense, José Ballester, territorial director of BBVA Catalunya, highlighted yesterday during the awards ceremony that "Tarragona is a land of entrepreneurs, without any doubt: personally I have had the opportunity to meet and work in many different places , and I can assure you that here you are leaders in this aspect ».

"I would highlight - continued Ballester - the knowledge, professionalism, vision of the future and the enormous effort, as well as the assumption of risks that it implies, with a healthy ambition to build", in the framework of a meeting that he synthesized in three words: «innovation, digitization and sustainability».

frontier innovation

In order to unravel some of the processes that lead to this innovation, Ivan Bofarull, Chief Innovation Officer at the ESADE business school, who has lived in Altafulla (Tarragonès) for a little over a year, proposed, in the keynote speech at the award ceremony of these awards, "a law, five myths and a hack about innovation.

The law: "When my children play Lego and arrange the pieces in a new way," illustrated Ivan Bofarull, "they are innovating. When one of them knocks down the construction that the other is doing, turning it into small pieces, what it does is disrupt, leaving something that already worked obsolete to break it into different pieces ».

Examining a business model that works, mentally breaking it into small pieces and, from one of those pieces, creating a market in which to focus and grow is what companies like Uber, Google or Amazon have done, explained Ivan Bofarull. "What they've done is create a new pie out of an existing business model, instead of competing head-to-head."

The five myths about innovation. First myth: climbing. «The most important thing - said Ivan Bofarull - is not climbing, but the moment. And if we want to manage the momentwe have to survive, hold out for when the opportunity comes, because innovation is less and less linear”.

Second myth: take risks, be heroes. "Those who have been successful have been able to reduce risk," said Bofarull, who added that "an innovation is not innovation if it does not have a market, it is viable, it is defensible, and it is also executable." Third myth: being a genius. Faced with genius, "companies capable of creating a model, a system, automating its virtuous circle."

Fourth myth: Silcon Valley and the dazzle of technology and trends. "Access to technology, to trends, is the new abundance," said Bofarull. “What we have to manage is the ability to focus, the ability to simplify before multiplying. In a world of infinite opportunities, the key is to choose, to make concrete decisions”.

Fifth and last myth: decisions based on evidence, on data. «The path is not linear -Ivan Bofarull recalled-, and sometimes it cannot be based on data. Making decisions based on consensus can be a mistake, because we cling to what we know. It is about doing what is not obvious, looking for architectural innovation ».

And the hackthe little trick «In order to survive -Ivan Bofarull concluded-, companies must always go to the border, and you must make an effort to go there. You have to disrupt even the most successful products of your company, to stop thinking about growing by 10% and think about multiplying by ten”.

Companies on that border

The companies selected in this first edition of the BBVA Award for Business Innovation in Tarragona. Ramon Llorens, project manager of the finalist Autoescola Jordi and member of the second generation of this family business based in Tarragona, highlighted, during the reception of the recognition for this project, that his "is a very traditional sector, where in recent years large companies, for example in Barcelona», which have led them to seek those borders for their survival.

His conclusion to the challenges that were posed: "Let's not make a new web page, let's make new digital tools."

Juan Domingo, co-founder of the also finalist Magnore, based in Tarragona and with a technological proposal of gamified tourist itineraries by municipalities, said that, in his case, they sought that border in "a way that would allow cities or towns to become a small game, that was sustainable, easy and scalable».

Lastly, Núria Altés, co-owner of Celler Herència Altés, the company that won the first edition of this contest, explained that "we have always been clear that organic farming was key in our vineyard, but we wanted to go further: now, the challenge of future is to minimize our carbon footprint, a concern we've had from the start."

The event was closed by Àngel Xifré, delegate of the Government of the Generalitat de Catalunya in Tarragona, who recognized that "it is very important that those people who are committed to innovative projects be recognized", while recalling that "we do not have natural resources, with which our competitiveness must come from the talent that makes up the companies ».

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