Science as a driver of recovery

In his speech at the Wake Up Spain forum, the Professor of the Rafael del Pino Foundation invited us to design the future of Spain based on knowledge. "The fate of the country depends on our ability to create solutions from science".

Javier García

Javier García Martínez, professor at the Rafael del Pino Foundation, closed his speech at the Wake Up Spain forum with a call for science and knowledge to play a leading role in economic and social recovery. The president of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) also spoke at the round table dedicated to the transfer of knowledge at this forum which, over four days, brought together the main social, political and economic agents in Spain to debate the road to recovery and the country's strategy in view of the arrival of the NextGenerationEU funds.

García Martínez recalled that those countries that have produced the vaccines against Covid-19 "control their destiny". Something similar will happen, in the opinion of the head of the Rafael del Pino Foundation's Chair in Science and Society, with other major issues such as climate change or the country's economic recovery. "We are going to depend on scientists and the knowledge they create to create the conditions that will allow us to overcome these great challenges. If we don't generate that knowledge here, we will have to buy it from others," he added.

The Spanish economy has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic, according to all indicators. This fact means that the arrival of European recovery funds was the subject of most of the speeches that took place during the Wake Up Spain forum, organised by El Español, Invertia and D+I. Javier García, professor and member of the World Economic Forum (WEF), also alluded to this opportunity coming from Europe, but characterised it as a race because many of the priority areas are framed in an area of global competition, where China is going to grow at 19%.


For this reason, he defended the opportunity to generate foresight and strategic definition work, such as that carried out by the WEF or that which the Rafael del Pino Foundation's Chair in Science and Society has been developing for the last two years through the report "Science and Society". Ten emerging technologies to boost Spain. "While 300 metres away, in the Congress of Deputies, the debate on European funds consists of throwing them at their heads, we must use our heads to find the best use for these funds," he said from the headquarters of Wake Up Spain, in Madrid's Casa América.

García also praised the work carried out by the Technology Centres, whose representatives spoke at the table, and the Spanish research fabric in general. As an example of these research and production strengths, the president of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry recalled the role of chemistry and its industry in exports and in the leap towards a circular economy.

Green hydrogen and new batteries beyond lithium were the disruptive technologies that García pointed out as potentially transforming the scenario of many sectors. He also recalled Spain's weight in chemical research, an area in which it ranks ninth in the world in terms of the number of scientific publications.

The professor of Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Alicante also recalled the importance of education as a pillar of the future for the innovative ecosystem. An education characterised by the teaching of technological skills from childhood and in which university students not only seek employability, but also develop their entrepreneurial spirit.