Aerospace research, development of robots for industrial plants, or the launch in record time of a massive test to combat COVID-19. These are just some of the activities that, from its foundation more than 15 years agodevelop in Arquimea Group, a company specialized in the development of innovative solutions in a large number of sectors and that recently has the objective of supporting all kinds of R&D projects through what they have called “technological patronage”
As he tells us Sofia Alfaro, director of communication at Arquimea Group, one of the main hallmarks of the organization’s identity is a vision “very much aimed at technology reaching society, capable of solving challenges and problems; that brings new solutions and innovation to any area in which technology can generate value”.
Founded and led by Diego Fernandezthe company’s activity began when they developed their own technology for rotating actuators in satellites and spacecraft, so as to improve the deployment of solar panels, antenna pointing or optical instruments.
Since then, as Alfaro comments, Arquimea’s activity in the aerospace sector has not stopped, being one of the companies that has obtained the greatest international recognition in this industry, which has led it to collaborate on a stable basis with the European Space Agency. (ESA) or with the Japanese Space Agency. Right now, he says, “we are developing BeetleSAT, a next-generation Ka-band LEO (Low Earth Orbit) satellite constellation to extend global connectivity services.”
Industry, biotechnology and COVID-19
Although it is in its origin, space is not the only sector in which they are innovating. In the industrial field, for example, they have reached agreements with companies such as Siemens to develop road electrification projects, so that, as the company’s communication manager explains, “we make it easier for heavy trucks to connect to an electric rail when they are close to a big city and, in this way, pollute less».
“In the area of biotechnology, we work with the agricultural sector to implement robotic solutions that make it easier for farms to optimize their production while improving the quality of life of animals. And then we are in the health sector. There we have developed genetic diagnostic capabilities »he adds.
Alfaro explains that a few weeks after the start of the pandemic they identified that one of the ways to control its expansion was to carry out a large number of PCR tests, but that at that time, there were not enough resources in Spain to do so. “We started working on this objective with the genetics laboratories with which we collaborate, providing them with robots that would allow a greater diagnostic capacity in the shortest possible time. In four weeks we were able to develop a 70,000 weekly tests, which I think at the time was a great help in fighting the pandemic.” Subsequently, they began to work in different airports to carry out diagnostic tests on travelers who did not have or could not have a vaccination certificate and needed to take a test at destination.
Support for technological and R+D+i projects
The area in which they are growing the most in recent years, however, is in their new fintech division, from which they support innovation in other companies.»Through an instrument that we call technological patronage, we promote R&D incentives +i in those companies that do a lot of R&D but do not have the possibility of deducting it» indicates the head of Arquimea Group.
“Through this instrument we allow an external investor to invest directly in that project, in exchange for a tax return. We review the projects, their technical quality and the social impact they may have, and once analyzed, we pass them on to our partners so that they can choose the ones they think may be more interesting »he adds.
The idea, therefore, is not so much that Arquimea invests directly in innovative projects, but rather to serve as an intermediary between companies that have the capacity to innovate and those that are willing to invest in interesting projects. «Investors want to approach innovative projects, either because they have a CSR policy in this sense or because they want to dedicate part of their profits here and, like us, promote R&D in Spain. We know that there is a lot of science, a lot of innovation in SMEs, startups… but they are often projects that have not just come out of universities. We want to accompany them, that they manage to reach the end and have a real impact on society, that they reach the market »he clarifies.
In the last three years, Arquimea Group has managed the investment of €200 million in about 155 different projectsyes “We have also launched the Orbita.k initiative, a call that goes in this direction and whose objective is that more SMEs, startups and small companies can access this technological patronage. This year we hope to continue obtaining projects that we can support with private capital » highlights the person in charge of the company.
As we say goodbye, Alfaro tells us about his latest project; a technological center in the Canary Islands in which 60 people already work and whose objective is to investigate technologies for the medium and long term, developing innovative solutions in artificial intelligence projects, sensors and IoT, drones, biotechnology, etc.
«We have the challenge of attracting and retaining the best talent in all these areas, because as you know there has been an explosion in the need to digitize ourselves, and it has reached all industries, not just those that traditionally made technology. This is the great challenge that Spanish companies face »he concludes.