Hewlett Packard (HP) Spain’s chief executive Santiago Cortés knows that the only way to improve a country’s track record in innovation is to create the right intellectual and business framework in order to incubate innovation; it is a long-range strategy that requires staying the course.

As president of the newly created non-governmental body Innovación España, Mr Cortés is overseeing collaboration between seven multinationals, which have all created centres of excellence in Spain.

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Following the wisdom of the cluster theory, the ultimate aim of Innovación España is to promote R&D in Spain and encourage other multinationals to set up their R&D facilities there.

The companies of the foundation together invest $312.54m in R&D a year in Spain, contributing to the country’s competitive position for foreign investors and as a destination for high value-added investments. This is important because Spain cannot base its competitiveness on labour costs, instead it must offer the ability to generate ideas provided by R&D.

The R&D foundation, made up of HP, Alstom, ArcelorMittal, Hero, Sony, Ericsson and ThyssenKrupp Elevator, aims to share practical experience in the field of R&D with public administrations and other multinationals.