The Executive Chairman of Agbar, Angel Simón, stated that “we are a knowledge company” which, in the current environment, positions itself globally and provides added value based on the technology and the product. In this respect, he added that “we must be productive through knowledge and innovation”, and that the United States is a highly competitive, priority strategic objective where, moreover, important economic progress will be made.
These declarations were made in the closing of the ninth and inauguration of the tenth Master in Water Management organized by Aqualogy jointly with the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC), and the closing of the first postgraduate in Water Business Development, organized together with EADA business school.
During the event, which was held today in the Auditorium of the Agbar Tower, and which was attended by around 300 people, Angel Simón reviewed the Group’s achievements over the last year, which include especially the creation of the new company, Aguas de Barcelona; Agbar’s leadership in Spain in sewerage, highlighting the new services in San Sebastián and Zaragoza; the tender offer for Aguas de Sabadell; the ATLL case, where the courts vindicated Agbar, and the action in the Canal de Navarra. He likewise referred to the new structures of Bristol Water and Canaragua, which follow a model based on the investment of external capital which trusts in the Group’s management and which allows the commitment to knowledge to be deepened. Angel Simón indicated that this strategy is one of the challenges for 2014.
Among the future challenges, he pointed out the importance of making progress with the incorporation of sustainable development into knowledge, and the need for us to “be disruptive in innovation”. For this, he emphasized cooperation as the key element, and that “we must be open to external knowledge and promote alliances”. He furthermore announced that one of the main objectives is to “integrate the entirety of our water technology into the offers”.
Angel Simón moreover stated that corporate services will be transferred to a new building to be built soon which will be eco-efficient, sustainable, transparent (that is, open to the citizens) and efficient.
The Master in Water Management, a start-up
After thanking and congratulating the students and lecturers who participated in the 2013 master’s degree and postgraduate programme, Angel Simón indicated that the master’s degree can be compared with “a start-up which is launched, in operation and which has all the internal transformation elements necessary to improve”.
During the event, the Director General of Aqualogy S&T, Manuel Cermerón, highlighted innovation and knowledge as the lever for business development, which should be focused on customer-orientation, efficiency and growth.
He likewise pointed out that, in the current environment, “it is no longer viable to think of a water solution which just considers a technical and economic vision in order to meet society’s needs, but rather the social and environmental spheres should be integrated as part of the solution, which must meet the criterion of a circular economy”.
For her part, the Director of Aqua Development Network, Maria Salamero, maintained that, for Aqualogy, “knowledge is like the economy: it must be circular and generate value for the company and for society in general”.
Three of the projects that were carried out in the 2013 edition were presented during the event: Aquacycle, on the evolution toward a model of sustainable development, using the circular economy as a lever; COALIM, based on business models for the recovery of by-products from the food and agriculture industry by means of co-digestion, and Aquapred, a drinking water fraud prediction service.
The Director General of Aqualogy S&T, Manuel Cermerón; the Director of Aqua Development Network, Maria Salamero; the Vice-Rector for University Policy of the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, Sisco Vallverdú, and the General Director of EADA, Miquel Espinosa, presented the professional qualifications for the 22 projects which were carried out, 7 on the master’s degree, with the participation of 28 professionals, and 15 on the postgraduate programme, with 24 professionals.