The Minister for Economy, Innovation, Science and Employment, José Sánchez Maldonado, today described research and development as the “accelerator” of the changes which Andalusia must tackle in its production model and defended scientific research as an “essential tool” for providing greater added value to the economy of the community.
The Minister for Economy of the Government of Andalusia visited the installations of Deretil in Villaricos (Almería), a company devoted to the manufacture of raw materials for antibiotics.
Sánchez Maldonado made these statements in Villaricos (Cuevas del Almanzora, Almería), where he visited the installations of Deretil, a company devoted to research, development, manufacturing and the sale of raw materials for the production of semisythetic antibiotics, such as penicillins and cephalosporins.
According to the minister, it is a “priority” for the Government of Andalusia to help companies advance with R&D&i. “We need to increase private investment in this field, which currently represents a third of the total in Andalusia,” he remarked. In this regard, he explained what instruments are available to the Andalusian Government to back business R&D&i, such as repayable funds, incentives for innovation, advanced services for enterprise, internationalisation or capturing investment, and scientific and technological infrastructure through the 11 technological parks and centres distributed throughout the region of Andalusia.
In this respect, he believes that “abandoning R&D&i is equivalent to mortgaging our future and wasting all of the achievements reached in recent decades.” Over the past 20 years, Andalusia has achieved a structural change in this field and R&D contracts with companies have multiplied tenfold, scientific production eightfold and patents fourfold. Furthermore, the region has a nationally and internationally significant scientific community with over 2,000 research groups and almost 30,000 researchers.
Likewise, he underscored the “leading role” of the 10 public universities in Andalusia and the “drive” which Andalusia is experiencing in R&D&i. Almost half of the researchers work at academic institutions – more than 12,000 –, and over the past decade they have managed to double the number of collaborative R&D projects between the Research Results Transfer Offices of the universities and companies.
Visit to the company
The minister took a tour of Deretil’s installations, a company founded in Barcelona in 1961 with its production centre in Villaricos (Cuevas del Almanzora) and a sales network in Europe, America and Asia. The most important antibiotics consumed in the world are produced with the raw materials which are manufactured in these installations. The firm has pursued a continuous strategy of diversification with the goal of broadening its product portfolio, leading to the creation of a number of affiliates: Deretil Agronutritional, Deretil Nature and Deretil Vitatech. Deretil offers development services for the manufacture of chemical ingredients and active pharmaceuticals, such as in the intermediate phases of the production chain. It is also a leader in the integration of production processes from raw materials through to final products: products derived from Phenylglycine.