Innovation is a source of competitiveness in an ever-increasingly complex world. This is what the Innovation and Knowledge Manager at our construction division from October 2021, Ana Esteban Mateos believes.
What kind of support does the Innovation department offer to the different projects?
Our department helps make other divisions’ initiatives come true and test them on site to disseminate those ideas, help develop them and scale them up to other project and business divisions. In addition, these pilot projects give us greater visibility and a competitive advantage in our tender processes.
Once we’re awarded a contract, we try to put those R&D developments into practice and disseminate the results, and that is what differentiates us from our competitors. From this innovation department, we help the different business divisions find solutions to their problems. Furthermore, we collaborate in developing the idea ad we coordinate and assume all the management decisions necessary to apply for the right tender processes.
What would you say is your department’s strong suit?
Its 360º business vision. There are many initiatives in the company that involve all kinds of infrastructure, such as tunnels, roads, bridges, all kinds of buildings: residential, hospitals, universities, etc. And our department needs to be a platform for all of them.
Sacyr Concesiones and Sacyr Services also have their own innovation departments, and we hold monthly meetings to exchange proposals and suggestions and make sure that they are completely aligned with the company strategy. A differentiating element is that this department has its own funding to finance initiatives that it may find necessary and beneficial for project development.
Tell us a little bit more about the projects your area manages.
Developing a new energy technology that supplies energy for air conditioning systems in buildings based on the hybridization of low enthalpy geothermal energy and electric energy storage with redox-flow batteries.
Building and commissioning a tech demo, consisting of a real energy generation unit for mobile and autonomous electric energy from the hybridization of renewable energies.
A new communications system in tunnels using LIFI (light fidelity) technology, based on light for data transmission.
Improving mobility of rubble loading and unloading vehicles from tunnel boring by replacing conventional manually driven trucks with autonomous vehicles, which are connected and managed from a control center.
Ecaryse provides an efficient and viable alternative to using lime in clay-rich soil, and it reuses tolerable, marginal, and inadequate waste. On the other hand, it minimizes the creation of new borrow pits and landfills.