Interview to Francisco Luque Cañones leads the innovation project of Ferrovial at the Ci3 division (Centro de Innovación de Infraestructuras Inteligentes) and one of the experts at RobotUnion
Ferrovial is most active in the Civil Engineering vertical. Can you tell us how robotics can disrupt this vertical?
Robotics will disrupt this vertical due to their potential to increase efficiency and safety at work. For instance, drones could help us to perform maintenance and inspection protocols more efficiently, while communicating observations and important empirical data to other machines or to individuals along with other IoT data from the infrastructures.
What type of startups are you looking to target in this program?
At Ferrovial, we are targeting startups that are involved with innovative solutions not only to facility maintenance but to industrial and urban services. Companies that will allow for optimization of productivity and efficiency in a new and technological way, while increasing the safety and security of our worker, while minimizing costs and related expenses within the field.
Why should startups apply to the program? What will Ferrovial be offering them?
From our point of view, startups obtain two main benefits applying to the program and collaborating with Ferrovial. The first one is that we can provide access to real environments for testing their solutions and validate them, getting a valuable data feedback from the PoC and our conclusions. Moreover, participating in RobotUnion can open the doors to new markets and new business opportunities, something crucial in startups’ growth and development.
Have you been involved in an acceleration program before? If so, any success cases to talk about?
This is our third European acceleration program together with Funding Box, the project coordinator, a partner we trust in. Participating in IMPACT Growth and IMPACT Connected Car, we have increase our broad contact network, meeting incredible people with breakthrough ideas and forecasting their future success. For instance, recently, we cooperated with Gymcraft, from the 1st Open Call of IMPACT Growth, which uses virtual reality to simulate racing on a static bicycle. We took its solution to INACUA, our gyms brand, and had clients test the product to receive feedback regarding marketability and overall appeal. The feedback we received was entirely positive on the VR bike, and thus we believe that the relationship between Ferrovial and Gymcraft, created by the IMPACT initiative, has been mutually advantageous thus far.
How did Ferrovial get involved with the initiative?
At Ferrovial, innovation is integral to our very functionality. With startups, we are able to surpass the long process of innovation implementation we face within the company. Therefore, collaborating with these startups is a dynamic operation in regard to the development of innovations, and give us refreshing ideas that may revolutionize the way we provide services. Moreover, we have a great previous experience of our participation in the IMPACT programs aforementioned.