Now that the end of the Pandemic seems closer and closer and the future is glimpsed, it is very different from the world we knew before our customs, affections and ways of doing business changed forever. In this post-pandemic world, digital floods everything and everyone. Innovation in this field is exceeding all expectations, and the great catalyst that these last two years have been is unprecedented in a globalized economy. The impact on certain areas of the economy is revolutionary and inexorable.
Trade in goods and services has been one of the most affected by this pandemic. The forced creation of communication channels by companies to reach their consumers and the development of digital skills by them have fueled the great growth in this area. Companies must adapt faster than ever to this new environment, since the mass of consumers who direct their consumption through this channel is enormous and growing at an unprecedented speed. This not only happens with the end consumer, it is also having a very significant impact on the purchasing decisions of organizations. Companies increasingly demand more digital services from their suppliers; digital invoice, geolocation… seeking greater convenience and immediacy, which allows them to take advantage of this digital environment.
One of the most significant impacts that organizations have suffered is associated with the mobility restrictions of the pandemic, resulting in the total or partial digitalization of our commercial networks, opening great possibilities for innovation in the way we communicate with our clients and the market.
The consolidation of digital communication tools, the normalization of teleworking and empirical proof of the increase in work productivity in these circumstances will revolutionize work environments. New variables have to be considered to increase the attraction of talent to our organizations; configuration of work environments, location, flexible schedules, teleworking days, family conciliation. Variables that new generations already elevate to the same category as remuneration when selecting a job. Likewise, we will also have to face great challenges, such as the continuous training of our collaborators and the problems associated with those who are not able to develop the necessary skills to adapt to this new environment. Increasing productive efficiencies and optimizing business processes is an absolute priority for companies. The increase in competitiveness of digital technologies, such as mobile applications or Big Data, has opened a world of possibilities for process optimization and improvement. The elimination of repetitive tasks with little added value and obtaining the best information for decision making becomes a necessity in this super competitive world. Only organizations that are able to take advantage of this technological development will be able to achieve a predominant position in this new environment.
In this post-pandemic world, Extremadura has 3 great opportunities, which we must know how to take advantage of; Digitalization is driving a new agricultural and livestock revolution, with impact at all levels; varieties, nutrition, farm management, equipment, management efficiency, conservation, the list is endless. It will soon be common to see autonomous vehicles carrying out harvesting, grazing tasks, or artificial intelligence deciding which crop is optimal in each area. Being Extremadura an agricultural power, with an abundance of fundamental resources such as sun, land and water, we have the obligation to be one of the leaders in that field. We must promote the creation of an innovation ecosystem in the countryside and in the product transformation industry, and invest in the development of skills of our farmers and ranchers and enhance the education system in these fields, to have the appropriate human capital. for this new environment.
The development of digital infrastructure, the high costs of living, the decrease in the average size of homes and the implementation of teleworking is making large cities less attractive. These circumstances increase the attractiveness of regions such as Extremadura, which offers competitive costs of living and a high quality of life. This advantage must be taken advantage of to attract talented entrepreneurs and professionals that will allow us to create an abundant and innovative business fabric.
Coordination at the European level to confront this crisis has been more forceful than in past crises, and they have launched a powerful investment plan with the aim of modernizing the continental economy. Spain will be one of the largest recipients of this fund, and although there is still uncertainty about the mechanisms and criteria for project selection, this is a great opportunity for the country as a whole and for Extremadura in particular.
Extremadura must be attractive for investment by local and external companies, with stable environments and sufficient digital and analog infrastructures so that companies can develop in this new environment. Promoting innovation towards a more industrialized and innovative economy, with products and services with greater added value is desirable. Extremadura has to take advantage of the opportunities that are presented to us in this new economic and social environment that is increasingly digitalized. The challenge is great in a world without borders where the only permanent variable is change, but I am sure that the business fabric, which has already demonstrated great resilience during this pandemic, is prepared to face this challenge.
There is no need to remember how telecommunications have managed to relocate talent. That is why the streets of Tijuana, in Mexico, are monitored from Extremadura using an advanced video system. It is no longer necessary to resort to the garage figure. From any office located in the region, you contribute your grain of sand to the latest aeronautical project with an innovative ticket sales system, or take another step in the hotel sector thanks to a new check-in mode through the retina. All the previous examples are real and have been thought of by Extremadurans in Extremadura.
But this community is above all rural and that is why more than 40% of scientific activities are related to bioinnovation. The University of Extremadura, the Scientific and Technological Research Center of Extremadura (Cicytex), on which the Agricultural Research Institute depends, or the Agri-Food Technology of Extremadura, among others, are a great green laboratory and explain how our agricultural production seeks excellence and surrounds itself with R&D&I; just like the Technological Institute of Ornamental Rocks and Construction Materials (Intromac), which improves the competitiveness of SMEs; or the Extremadura Science and Technology Park (Fundecyt-PCTEx), a private foundation in the public sector that promotes the brightest ideas and pursues better use of research and innovation by mobilizing resources from civil society.
The Turgalium supercomputer and the Extremadura Center for Research, Technological Innovation and Supercomputing, in addition to specific advice and consultancies, give strength to the infrastructure necessary to be at the forefront of innovation from a region that enjoys a privileged environment.