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19 junio 2024

Aragón catalyzes a strategic initiative in Deep Science and Deep Tech

The Government of Aragón has launched a comprehensive strategy to advance Deep Science and Deep Tech, aiming to bridge cutting-edge scientific research conducted in the region’s research centers with its industrial sectors. This move is poised to cement the strategic role these technologies are anticipated to play in the future.

Today marked the inaugural meeting of a multidisciplinary working group, involving key stakeholders from the regional government, including the Directorate Generals of Science and Research, Universities, Industrial Promotion and Innovation, the Aragonese Institute of Development, and the Aragon Technological Institute. The group also includes participants from the scientific and technological ecosystem of Aragón, as well as representatives from industry, clusters, and universities.

Pilar Gayán, the Director General of Science and Research, emphasized that Deep Tech encompasses groundbreaking technologies rooted in profound scientific knowledge. The development of these technologies can spur new advancements in R&D, driving societal development and private sector productivity. The European Commission has recently identified Deep Tech as critical due to its transformative nature and potential to drive radical change, despite the associated risks and dependencies. Strategic areas highlighted include artificial intelligence, quantum technologies, biotechnologies, and semiconductors. Additionally, scientific research in Aragón is poised to offer solutions in nanomaterials, advanced materials, and robotics, among others.

“Aragón must commit to future challenges,” Gayán asserted at the meeting’s outset, highlighting the region’s potential to lead given its strengths in biotech and ICT sectors. She pointed to the region’s “excellent position of advantage,” underscored by robust research infrastructures like the newly designated Severo Ochoa Center of Excellence and five Unique Scientific and Technical Infrastructures (ICTS). Aragón also boasts a European Digital Innovation Hub, a strong international reputation in technology, proven efficiency in securing European funding, and a governmental commitment to enhancing its standing in Deep Science & Tech.

The strategy will coordinate the necessary instruments to propel these emerging and disruptive knowledge areas, aligning with European trends and responding to the demand for greater public sector professionalization in these fields. It will also identify the community’s potential in these areas and design actions to bring innovations to market—a step identified by Gayán as the “main bottleneck.” Knowledge transfer will play a crucial role in the strategy’s success.

To this end, the working group will conduct a SWOT analysis of Deep Tech in Aragón. This strategic reflection will lead to proposals to strengthen the identified research ecosystem, interlink technology with the market, and apply solutions to local challenges. The plan will integrate with existing regional planning instruments such as the III Aragonese Plan for Research, Development, and Innovation 2021-2027, the Aragonese Artificial Intelligence Strategy, and the Smart Specialization Strategy S3.

The first meeting saw attendance from representatives of the Departments of Education, Science and Universities; Economy, Employment and Industry; Treasury and Public Administration; the Aragonese Agency for Telematic Services; as well as the University of Zaragoza and the University of San Jorge, CSIC, the Institute of Nanoscience and Materials of Aragón (INMA), the Institute of Biocomputation and Physics of Complex Systems (BIFI), the University Research Institute of Engineering of Aragón (I3A), the CIRCE Foundation, the AITIIP Foundation, the Aragón Association for Research, Development, and Innovation (IDIA), and ARABIOTECH, the regional biotechnology business cluster.

This initiative underscores Aragón’s ambition to be at the forefront of scientific and technological innovation, leveraging its existing strengths and collaborative efforts to shape a future where Deep Science and Deep Tech play a pivotal role in societal and economic transformation.

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