Regional Minister Borja Sánchez says that it will facilitate the deployment of a modern scientific policy and the attraction of talent and investment
The entity, which will be associated with the name Sekuens, has been created with the aim of reducing bureaucracy and establishing a calendar of calls for proposals
The Government of Asturias has formed this morning the Governing Council of the Agency for Science, Business Competitiveness and Innovation. With this step ends the process of transformation of the Institute for Economic Development of Asturias (Idepa) into the new entity.
Among its objectives, the new Agency has the deployment of a modern scientific policy and the transformation of the productive fabric through the promotion of research, technological development and innovation (R+D+i).
The Governing Council is chaired by the Regional Minister of Science, Innovation and University, Borja Sánchez, and will have fourteen members: eight from different ministries of Asturias, three trade union representatives, two members of the Asturian Federation of Employers (FADE) and one member appointed by the Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Services, and Navigation of Asturias.
From today, the agency replaces Idepa and will be associated with the Sekuens brand, a name created by the studio “El nombre de las cosas”, led by the Asturian poet and name-giver Fernando Beltrán. The name Sekuens appeals to the sequence and consequence of knowledge, innovation, research, and creativity. The brand also evokes progress, projection, future and vanguard, key objectives of the new body.
Sekuens will play a key role in reducing bureaucracy and establishing a calendar of calls for proposals, both for research and innovation, as well as creating new channels for public-private collaboration. The agency will assume the functions linked to economic transformation, the promotion of research and entrepreneurship. It will also manage all aid programmes and will include a distinguished researcher in the management of research centres, facilities, and teams to facilitate the attraction of talent.
Eva Pando, proposed for the executive management
At the first meeting of the Governing Board, the Minister of Science proposed the appointment of Eva Pando, currently in charge of Idepa, as Executive Director of the agency. From now on, the statutes of organization and operation will be drawn up. The council is the collegiate governing body of the agency, which is chaired by the Regional Minister of Science and vice-chaired by the Regional Minister of Industry, Employment and Economic Promotion, Enrique Fernández.
Borja Sánchez defended the agency as a necessary governmental tool for the deployment of a modern science policy. “It will be the one-stop shop for science and innovation in Asturias, a fundamental instrument for building a more agile, modern and efficient model, which will place Asturias among the most active and attractive regions for investing in R&D&I, for research and for developing highly innovative projects”, said the Regional Minister of Science.
According to Sánchez, the new body will be the key element to reorganize the Asturian Science and Innovation System (SACI) and manage the actions derived from the Smart Specialization Strategy (S3) and the Science, Technology and Innovation Plan (PCTI), as well as to “continue building the Asturias of the future, which is greener, more digital and more inclusive”.
The Agency for Science, Business Competitiveness and Innovation of Asturias Sekuens will be supported by other entities, such as the Foundation for the Promotion of Applied Scientific Research and Technology in Asturias (Ficyt).
The approval of the Law of the Principality of Asturias 9/2022, of 30 November, which regulates the agency, incorporated measures to reorganize the scientific and technological ecosystem initiated with the assignment of the Agri-Food Research and Development Service (Serida) to the Regional Ministry of Science, and the reinforcement of coordination in research and innovation policies in the field of health. These policies are now making decisive progress with the constitution of the Governing Council. The aforementioned law was published in the Official Gazette of the Principality (BOPA) on 23 December 2022 and can be consulted at https://sede.asturias.es/bopa/2022/12/23/2022-09752.pdf.