Approximately 70 representatives of Spanish and Portuguese Science and Technology Parks and firms met in Huelva to debate about the common strategy that the parks can adopt in European aid programmes. Espaitec was represented by its CEO, Paco Negre, who is also the Chair of APTE’s Financial Committee.

On this occasion, the slogan of the 7th Iberian Encounter of Science and Technology Parks was "adoption of the business cooperation strategy to manage future community funds". For this reason, forthcoming European aid programmes were analysed during the encounter, and special attention was paid to Horizon 2020 and the Regional Intelligent Specialisation Strategies (RIS3), which allow advances to be made in financing opportunities via community funds and the promotion of collaboration of Spanish and Portuguese Science and Technology Parks in European projects.

During this encounter, various activities were carried out, including speeches, round tables, examining practical cases and free networking.

During the opening ceremony, Maria Luisa Castaño, the General Director of Innovation and Competitiveness of the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO) took part, who congratulated the Spanish and Portuguese Parks for their initiative of forming this Alliance between the two Spanish and Portugese Park Associations, for their decision to promote the internationalization of their firms and, finally, for associating the park concept with the RIS3 design.

Jaime del Castillo, President of the firm Información y Desarrollo S.L. (INFYDE), gave a talk about the parks’ role as instruments of support to the specialisation and diversification relating to RIS3 as a preliminary condition for Cohesion Funds. During his talk, he used examples to explain the terminology being used to design RIS3; for example, the KETs technologies, intelligent specialisation and related diversity. Similarly, the INFYDE President stressed the relation between the GDP per capita and investments in R&D and demonstrated that those countries which invest more in R&D obtain more wealth. This fact presently becomes quite important, thus access to structural funds is a necessity, and the parks have to work with regions to develop RIS3 as an exante condition to access these funds.

Luís Sanz, President of the International Association of Technology Parks and Areas of Innovation (IASP), stressed in his talk that parks are becoming an increasingly urban phenomenon, and not necessarily for bringing parks physically closer, but their involvement in municipal activities.
Javier García Serrano, Head of the Industrial Leadership Department in the EU Programmes Division of the Industrial Technological Development Centre (CDTI), explained the different formulae to participate in the Horizon 2020 projects of excellence, among which he stressed the possibility that SMEs can participate individually as a novel aspect.
The talk by Francisco Jaime Quesado, a member of the Portuguese Clusters Group, was about the new value challenges in intelligent economy by analysing concepts with specific examples of the new collaborative networks, new intermediary process, dynamic flows management and new institutional marketing.

The Iberian Encounters have been held since 2002 and are one the activities that the Spanish and Portugese Parks associations carry out as part of the agreement signed between both the institutions to promote the innovation and internationalisation of Science and Technology Parks in the Iberian Peninsula.