The Bankinter Innovation Foundation adds the finishing touch to its 20th anniversary with a great event in Madrid featuring António Damásio and Vaclav Smil
The renowned neuroscientist António Damásio and the energy and climate change expert Vaclav Smil led the session and participated in two panels focused on artificial intelligence and on energy and energy transition.
Bankinter's chairman, Pedro Guerrero, closed the event, which was also attended by María Dolores Dancausa, the bank's CEO, and which brought together 400 guests from the corporate world and the Spanish entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The Bankinter Innovation Foundation commemorated its 20-year history with a special celebration that took over Plaza de Callao in Madrid with a giant screen at Callao City Lights, where an event took place that focused on the two main trends of today that will mark the way of tomorrow: artificial intelligence and energy.
The Bankinter Innovation Foundation held a very unique event last Thursday to celebrate its 20 years of history, during which time it has fulfilled, and continues to fulfil, its goal of promoting innovation and knowledge in Spanish society. The institution commemorated a journey over the course of which it has been recognised as one of the leading innovation think tanks in the world, having successfully anticipated future trends decades in advance including, most notably, the energy challenge, the digitalisation of finance, the commercialisation of space and digital medicine.
As a celebration of its work, focused on innovation and promoting entrepreneurship, the Bankinter Innovation Foundation organised a big event in the Plaza de Callao in Madrid, where it was the start, with the giant screen at Callao City Lights displaying milestones achieved and showing what is to come in the near future.
To provide a deeper look at the disciplines of today that are going to determine the progress of the future, the Bankinter Innovation Foundation held an evening knowledge session in this space in the centre of Madrid. It was opened by the director of the Foundation, Juan Moreno Bau, who underlined the institution's important contribution to society through the diffusion of trends, mainly in the areas of science and technology, in addition to driving startup growth and entrepreneurship, which has intensified in Spain over recent decades, through a range of programmes.
The event was chaired by the science and technology journalist Marta del Amo, editorial coordinator of the specialist publication Retina. The invited guests were António Damásio, Trustee of the Bankinter Innovation Foundation, member of the Foundation's think tank and one of the most renowned neuroscientists in the world, together with the scientist, author of essays and expert on climate change and energy Vaclav Smil, who also forms part of the think tank. The former focused his presentation on human-machine interaction in the current context of big advances in artificial intelligence.
Then, Marta del Amo invited António Damásio to provide further clarification about artificial intelligence on a panel with two experts from the think tank: Ana Maiques, CEO of Neuroelectrics, a company that develops solutions for improving brain function and treating neurological disorders; and Nuria Oliver, Director of ELLIS Alicante, a foundation dedicated to research into ethical, responsible artificial intelligence for social good.
The second presentation was given by the major expert in climate change and energy Vaclav Smil, who presented his vision of the future of global energy, a topic that was complemented by a subsequent panel that addressed the role of Spain and the European Union in the energy transition. Also participating in the panel were Rosa Sanz, a board member at EirGrid and a former member of the management committee at Naturgy and chairperson of the Spanish Gas Association SEDIGAS; and Alejandro Micó, entrepreneur and founder of Sunalizer, a company focused on clean energy.
The event was closed by Bankinter's chairman, Pedro Guerrero, who praised the Bankinter Innovation Foundation's contributions and recalled that it was created 20 years ago by the bank, which has always sought to be a pioneer, "to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in society".
The event, which was attended by Maria Dolores Dancausa, Bankinter's CEO, was attended by 400 guests from the business world and the Spanish innovative ecosystem. This anniversary celebration was also streamed and shared via the Foundation and Bankinter's social media profiles.
With this event, the Bankinter Innovation Foundation added the finishing touch to a series of actions it has carried out in recent months to share its anniversary, including the online publication of Foundation milestones and testimonials from members and collaborators who have been part of the institution's ecosystem of innovators over recent years.
Since its creation in 2023, the Foundation has run several programmes to fulfil its purpose of promoting innovation in society:- Future Trends Forum: the think tank that has been bringing together prestigious international and national experts in different areas of knowledge since 2003. It meets twice a year at two forums, where it seeks to anticipate future trends through the knowledge of experts. The think tank is currently made up of more than 700 people.
-Akademia: a programme that has been sharing the knowledge of the think tank experts with students from the best universities in Spain since 2006. More than 2,000 students from 12 different universities have already participated in the programme.
-Startups: in 2013, the Foundation launched the Startups Programme, which supports the Spanish entrepreneurial ecosystem through innovation by selecting technology startups for Bankinter to invest in. The Startups Observatory was also launched and has developed, in collaboration with Wayra and Endevour, the Scaleup Spain Network programme, which helps startups on their way to becoming scaleups. Bankinter has already invested in 47 startups. The Observatory collects data from more than 1,500 registered startups and Scaleup Spain Network has already been held twice, with the participation of 37 companies.
-In 2014, the Cre100do programme was created to promote the Spanish middle market through innovation. The initiative was established as an independent foundation in 2019.
The Bankinter Innovation Foundation has been ahead of the future for 20 years, working to help innovation transform society, and it will continue to persevere with this goal.