Domingo Asuero is head of Innovation Promotion of the GNF group. He is a Mining Engineer, specialized in Energy and Fuels. Also, he has a Master in Advanced Structural Materials from UPM (Madrid), and MBA from IE Business School. With more than 25 years of experience in the electrical sector, he has held positions of responsibility in operation, maintenance, licensing and construction.
He has launched power generation plants of different technologies (nuclear, wind, combined cycle, coal and hydraulic). Currently, as head of fostering innovation in Gas Natural Fenosa group, he is developing new tools, initiatives, innovative processes and making them available to the organization to make it more valuable. For that, he encourages the development of new processes, new products and new business models that serve as a catalyst for the future growth of the group.
“Cleantech Camp brings Gas Natural Fenosa closer to new technologies and ideas in special interest areas”
For the second year, Gas Natural Fenosa promotes the Cleantech Camp programme. What led you to join this project?
It is a new initiative, geared towards exploring novel ideas or products at an early stage of development. Cleantech Camp brings Gas Natural Fenosa closer to new technologies and ideas in special interest areas that were not covered by the usual Innoenergy programmes. It is a project addressed to entrepreneurs, universities and start-ups in Iberia (Spain and Portugal), in line with our vocation that favours this environment.
What is the contribution of Gas Natural Fenosa to the programme?
In addition to our contribution as a Global Partner, we collaborate with work spaces. Also, people in our organization participate in the selection of proposals and in mentoring sessions with the selected entrepreneurs.
“The proposals received give us interesting ideas about the priorities of the participants and trends in clean energy.”
What does a company like Gas Natural Fenosa assess from the projects submitted to the programme?
We are interested in developing an impulse to the innovative and entrepreneurial ecosystem of Spain and Portugal, given our presence in these markets. Furthermore , the proposals received (whether or not selected for the Camp) give us interesting ideas about the priorities of the participants and trends in clean energy. All this is useful as a radar of new opportunities and proposals that we can follow and pilot. It is a good complement to other ongoing initiatives aimed at detecting new developments in this sector.
What solutions are you looking for in the current edition of Cleantech Camp?
In general, we are interested in any solution that is within our priority lines of innovation and that provides value to our customers. On our corporate website, there is information about what we are doing and in what areas we are interested. In principle, all value proposals that fit into our areas of interest are welcome. Regarding the Camp, all its thematic areas interest us, so we analyse all the proposals received in detail.
“We are interested in any solution that is within our priority lines of innovation and that provides value to our customers.”
What advice would you give to any entrepreneur who wants to develop his or her company in the field of energy and clean technologies?
There is currently an explosion of ideas in almost all areas, from 3D printers to space travels. This is positive, but we should be realistic and clear. While the ideas are very good, they have to materialize in something concrete.
For this, they must add value for someone or advantageously replace another existing product. There are many people working on interesting things, but without having a clear idea of what to do with them. This is when failure and disappointment come. I would recommend to entrepreneurs that the important thing, more than the ideas, even though they also are, is how to make them reality.
Moreover, landing ideas is something complex. It requires effort, lot of work and not a few disappointments, it is not an easy way at all. Fortunately, today there are multiple aids (financing, accelerators, mentors, etc.) to support you to go from an idea to a final product or service in the market. Despite this, they have to work hard. And always keep in mind who is interested in their product, their technology or whatever they are developing. They have to be clear that it is essential to add value to those people who will be their clients. Without them, they have nothing.
” We are developing, little by little, digitization initiatives in many of our activities.”
Digital transformation is a process in which most companies are immersed. How does Gas Natural Fenosa approach this process?
Like many large corporations, we are trying to do things as well as possible. We are developing, little by little, digitization initiatives in many of our activities. We learn from mistakes and see how we can improve the next initiative. It is a complex issue, because it implies a change of mentality in the way of thinking and working. That is why we are carrying out initiatives in many areas: innovation, human resources, training, etc.
By the time, we are immersed in several projects. From the simple test of gadgets for the Smart Home, electric mobility or Smart Client, to complex storage projects, Smart Cities and others. Additionally and obviously, we are working on a comprehensive programme of data evaluation and artificial intelligence quite ambitious. We are even testing wearables for our plant operators, to make their lives easier and, above all, safer.