Startup Europe Awards

Celebrated the second webinar of the LATAM-EU Generation series on the occasion of World Health Day: Challenges and opportunities for tourism in the current context of COVID-19 health crisis

Celebrated the second webinar of the LATAM-EU Generation series on the occasion of World Health Day: Challenges and opportunities for tourism in the current context of COVID-19 health crisis

  • The main objective of the series is to promote business cooperation between European Union countries and Latin America

  • It was discussed about Next Generation EU funds, with a total of 1.8 trillion euros earmarked to rebuild a post-COVID-19 Europe

  • At the end of this year, a meeting will be held in Colombia to celebrate the LATAM Startup Europe Awards

Banner of the second webinar of the LATAM-EU Generation series

Brussels, 07.04.2021 – Tuesday 6th April, on the occasion of World Health Day, Finnova Foundation and Startup Europe Awards in collaboration with Red Business Market and the Ibero-American Congress on Family Businesses and SMEs, launched the second webinar of the Next LATAM-EU Generation series: Challenges and opportunities for tourism in the current context of COVID-19 health crisis, whose main objectives are to transfer knowledge, raise awareness of the financing mechanisms available between the two continents and build projects between different countries in Latin America and Europe in order to create business partnerships on both sides of the Atlantic.

The second event, held from 16h30 to 18h00 (CET) on Tuesday 6th April and broadcasted from the El Plantío Golf Resort (Alicante), was divided into three blocks moderated by Juanma Revuelta, CEO of the Finnova Foundation, who insisted throughout the webinar that “tourism is a driving force for job creation“.

The first block, entitled “Challenges and opportunities for tourism“, was attended by Manuel Vegas, President of the Association of Hotel Managers (AEDH), Antonio López de Ávila, Co-founder and CEO of Tourism Data Driven Solutions (TDDS), José García Padernilla, Manager at Ditecpesa (Ferrovial) and leader of the CD CLEAN COVID-19 New desinfection formulation and Víctor Badorrey, Director of Institutional Relations at SEGITTUR.

Vegas, who was the first to take part, stated that “due to the delay in the pace of vaccination and the COVID-19 measures taken during this Easter, the results of the tourism sector have been rather limited, so it would be necessary to speak of a reconquest of the tourism ecosystem: both customers and teams”. López de Ávila, for his part, spoke of “intelligent tourism and the need to rethink the mass tourism model, which is so badly conceived in Spain, and to focus it on real sustainability in which new technologies play a much more important role“, he also recalled the fundamental role of European funds.

Manuel Vegas, President of the Association of Hotel Managers (AEDH)

García Padernilla referred to his project CD CLEAN URBAN MOBILITY COVID-19 new desinfection formulation and spoke of this “new surface disinfection technology for places where ventilation is more difficult, such as airports or metro stations”.

Finally, Víctor Badorrey reviewed the main axes on which tourism is based: “governance, innovation, technology, sustainability and accessibility” and affirmed that “the destinations that have undergone a DTI diagnostic process have been more prepared to react to an unforeseen situation such as the pandemic”. In addition, the Director of Institutional Relations of SEGITTUR presented the manual of good practices for smart destinations in Spain and Latin America.

In this first block, the audience was also reminded of the new call for the LIFE Programme and talked about the Erasmus Mundus programme and the Next Generation EU funds, the largest economic and social recovery plan to date, with a total of 1.8 trillion euros, aimed at rebuilding the post-COVID-19 Europe: “a greener, digital and more resilient Europe“. Juanma Revuelta, the moderator, encouraged the use of these financial instruments and stated that “governments need to modernise their public policies and be aware of the amount of resources at their disposal”.

The second block, “Health and tourism in the context of COVID-19“, was opened by Irene Sanchez, Business Creation Manager at the health area of EIT Health Spain, who reported on a new call that the EIT and the European Commission are launching jointly for industry and the cultural and creative sector, which could easily be linked to tourism. Irene Sánchez recalled that “EIT Health supports entrepreneurship, education and innovation projects” and spoke of the already well-known “digital certificate” to “prove the immune status of the population when travelling, which would help, above all, the tourism sector by avoiding quarantines and without having to restrict mobility in the Schengen area“.

Irene Sánchez, Business Creation Manager EIT Health Spain

Marta Gómez, Programme Manager at the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI), Health Sector – Horizon 2020 / Horizon Europe, spoke about “the need to boost tourism, innovation, competitiveness and job creation in Europe as well as to strengthen the scientific and technological bases of the EU and the European Research Area (ERA)“. She also highlighted the need to “respond to citizens’ priorities” and talked about how Horizon Europe can support projects from both Europe and LATAM countries.

Marta Gómez, Programme Manager at Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI), Health Sector – Horizon 2020 / Horizon Europe

The Finnova Foundation took the opportunity to remind that the European Commission has recently presented a proposal for a Green Digital Passport as a tool to reactivate tourism. Therefore, on 20th April, the Finnova Foundation will organise a webinar to talk about this vaccination passport.

The third and last block before the round of questions, “New developments and opportunities“, was opened by Ainhoa Raso, Vice-President of Innovation, New Developments and Project of Hi Card, who presented this project “whose objective is none other than to be able to travel safely and in any language by having all our medical information digitised at hand: on our mobile phone”. Raso stated that “health and tourism nowadays have to be more united than ever and, for this, digitalisation is essential“. Raso indicó que “la salud y el turismo ahora mismo tienen que estar más unidos que nunca y para ello la digitalización es esencial”.

Ainhoa Raso, Vice-President of Innovation, New Developments and Project of Hi Card

The last speaker, Paola Gutiérrez, young Next Talent Generation, insisted on the importance of “the tourism sector and the health sector joining forces and creating synergies in favour of mobility and the creation of opportunities for young people” and spoke about Next Talent and all the job and training opportunities it offers.

Finally, a questionnaire was carried out, from which most of the webinar participants agreed that tourism is the sector most affected by COVID-19, followed by the health sector.

Couldn’t make it to the event? You can watch it here.

What is Next LATAM-EU Generation?

Next LATAM-EU Generation was born after the success of the Ibero-American Congress on Family Businesses and SMEs, organised by Red Business Market, which took place last January. With the participation of 558 companies, more than 60 national and international speakers and almost 9000 companies attending, the Congress reflected the need for transatlantic collaboration to face common challenges in the two continents, such as digitalisation or sustainability after COVID-19.

The Next LATAM-EU Generation days are divided into nine online events that will take place on the second Monday of each month referring to an international day celebrated during the same month. In these training spaces, different support tools, challenges and opportunities will be presented to promote entrepreneurship and innovation through business and public-private collaboration, with an emphasis on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – Agenda 2030, prioritising one or the other depending on the region.

As culmination, at the end of this year, if the health situation allows it, an in-person meeting will be held in Medellin (Colombia) where the final of the LATAM Startup Europe Awards will be held. Startup Europe Awards (SEUA) is a methodology of European Commission DG-CONNECT implemented by Finnova Foundation since 2016, whose main mission is to help StartUps and ScaleUps to be more efficient, intelligent and successful, to promote innovation and the exchange of experiences and to influence the ScaleUps process, all from a sustainable approach.


About Finnova Foundation

The European foundation for innovation funding. It is a European foundation based in Brussels whose objectives are to promote public-private cooperation through innovation to address social challenges such as employment, training, entrepreneurship, the United Nations SDGs, the circular economy, etc. Finnova organises the Startup EuropeAwards, an initiative of the European Commission and the Finnova Foundation, to recognise the best European startups in the social field.

About Startup Europe Awards

It is a methodology of the European Commission DG CONNECT, implemented by the Finnova Foundation since 2016. The SEUAs are an open innovation tool for identifying disruptive startups that promotes public-private collaboration and raises awareness of the importance of self-entrepreneurship as a driver of employment. In addition to generating alliances that help to meet the SDGs of the United Nations and the actions of the European Green Deal, thus contributing to the circular economy, the fight against climate change and sustainable tourism.

About Red Business Market 

Business Market is a connection forum between investors, companies, entrepreneurs and startups in Ciudad Real whose objectives are the generation of a business network, financing and support for the development of economic and business projects in the territory. All this, hand in hand with the possibility of being able to have a direct relationship with venture capital funds, business angels, family investment assets and corporate or financial funds addressed to innovative, disruptive and value-added initiatives that need an economic boost to its development.