This article was translated by John R. Bopp

About a month ago, we blogged about a BBC podcast that talked at length about the “Innova Fund” the Biscay Government is going to set in motion this spring, with the objective of providing economic support to research, development, and innovation.

We’re talking about that project again today, because thenextweb.com, a site specialized in new technologies, has written a great article, penned by Alice Bonasio, on this initiative and on the whole project for encouraging innovation that the Basque Autonomous Community is leading.

This digital publication is among the 3,000 most visited in the world according to Alexa.com. To give you an idea, in that same index, the most read Basque Country newspaper is in 10,000th place.  Our blog, aboutbasquecountry.eus, is in around 270,000th place (which is really good for a blog like ours).

So, this website is definitely a world reference in new technologies, and what this publication says about the Basques is going to be read around the world.

We can’t help but agree with what they describe in the article, even though some parts of it are still in the planning stages, requiring other parts to be working first.

We know, even from first-hand experience, that Basque society is not keen on believing in what doesn’t already exist (and even worse at recognizing the goals that have been achieved).  But experience tells us that this will help.  Thirty years ago, a significant part of the “living forces” of the Basque Country laughed at and even scorned the transformation projects Bilbao was setting up.  Today, that set of projects is a worldwide success, which doesn’t stop a few holdouts from hoping that it will stumble, to prove they weren’t wrong.

Fostering R&D the way this country is doing will not provide short-term results, just like the industrial reconversion projects set in motion by Basque institutions in the 1980s.  But just as they gave fruit, allowing us to continue living in a strong, advanced, industrialized society, these current projects will, too.

They will and they have!  Who would have thought that 25 years ago, Basque industry was going to have a relevant role in the aeronautics and aerospace industries?  Who would have thought that the Zamudio Technology Park, which was called “abject idiocy” that would never amount to anything, would become one of the main drivers of Basque industry?

So, yes, they’re looking at us from outside and they’re interested in what they see.  Curiously, those who always want things to go wrong, with their inconfessable dream of “saving us”, never stop saying what a disaster everything here is.

Of course we’re not perfect, but it’s also a good idea to see where we came from and how far we’ve come in the past forty years.

thenextweb.com – 15/3/2017 – USA

How investing in a startup can be safer than leaving money in the bank

Startups and SMEs often struggle to access traditional sources of financing. That happens because banks tend to favor security over risk and innovation, and technology companies mostly thrive on the latter. The alternative, therefore, is to seek visionary Angels or VC firms willing to take that risk and support startups on their journey, yet these can be difficult to access outside established hubs and tech ecosystems.

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