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Belén Goñi Alegre, General Director of the Think tank Institución Futuro, University of Navarra.

Building new deposits of employment

Fri, 23 Mar 2012 17:08:11 +0000 Published in Navarra Newspaper

Moderna was a different plan, not only because it aimed at generating a new long-term economic model deadline , but also because of the way in which it was done. More than 250 people, grouped in different forums and from very different fields and ideologies, contributed their grain of sand and their best knowledge and understanding to write it. It was a plan conceived by many working in an orchestrated and coordinated way in Navarra and outside Navarra. As result, Moderna left many opportunities outlined, many "threads" to pull. With some of them we have already begun to weave but there is still a long way to go work . If we really want it to bear fruit, we will have to start pulling much more decisively and with as many as we can. And this, using that model with which the plan was built with so much success and to which I alluded above, counting on many people, each one in their field and working from their possibilities and interests. And among all of them, the Moderna Foundation as a promoter, catalyst, coordinator of efforts, facilitator and never as a controller or paralyzer of initiatives.

But what are these threads? Let me mention a few. Moderna spoke, for example, of generating new opportunities in the field of Education by setting up high-level international training programs in the fields of agriculture and renewables. Does this sound far-fetched? The truth is that there is a great need for training worldwide in these fields and there will be few regions that bring together all the factors and actors that we have in Navarra: universities and specialized training centers, research and development, successful companies... Let's not forget that Education can also be a business in itself, Massachusetts or Cambridge are clear examples of this.

The plan also proposed generating business by attracting patients from outside Navarra. The idea was to specialize in a field in which Navarre already excelled in order to become a "Mecca" for curing these diseases. It also pointed out business opportunities at specialization in the field of healthy food to take advantage of an undeniable market trend through the convergence of two powerful sectors in Navarre: agriculture and health.

So far, I have only mentioned three opportunities, three threads, but the warp and weft that we can visualize goes far beyond the specific business they generate. Because without a doubt, if we make them a success, this will immediately result in an increase in activity in areas such as the hotel and catering industry, the real estate sector, commerce... And we can make our fabric even more dense, because logically, this would lead us to hold international congresses on these subjects in Navarre, with what this would mean in terms of income for the regional Economics .

Many other projects of a very diverse nature were outlined at the Moderna tables, from the reduction of side effects of medicines to the creation of renewable "kits" for energy self-sufficiency, including the research in maintaining the properties of food once it has been treated. I do not have enough space or knowledge to talk about all of them, so I will limit myself to sharing with you some of the many ideas that emerged from these 250 agents, the real architects of the plan.

But how do we implement these projects? We should distinguish between two different typologies. Some of them are purely entrepreneurial and would need an entrepreneur who wants to start them up. Undoubtedly, in this case, European Investment Bank (EIB) funds will be very useful to help launch them, as these are bank loans at a time when liquidity is scarce. In other cases, they are more complex projects that involve many agents and would need a larger initial start-up work to end up generating wealth. In these cases, what is needed, in my opinion, is a good launching leader capable of bringing together all the agents and interests and coordinating them towards the success of project. This subject of projects would be difficult to finance in their initial phase with EIB funds, but surely we could look for another way to do it (even crowdfunding, why not?).

In summary, there are many opportunities in greater or lesser Degree of execution. At a time like the present of hardship and grayness, it will not be the cutbacks that will make us improve, but the exploitation of these promising deposits. Let us not waste this great collective force that built the plan. It is in our hands to put it into action. We are sure that we will be right in some things and wrong in others, but if we want the "picture of 2030" we have to start fighting for it today. Let's get organized, let's share out the threads and weave together a much brighter future for Navarre.