Rural Digital: How to make innovation the engine of change in the rural environment

The term innovation is often less valued than research and development, but undoubtedly it is the sum of small great advances that has driven the evolution of our society. The redefinition of innovation as the ability to establish connections between previously unrelated experiences and searching for original solutions that bring value to people. It will be the engine to change rural areas as the result of disruptive thinking between previously unconnected agents.

The rural areas have always innovated, maintaining a vision of long-term sustainability in its advances. Thus its essence, as an added value, has been preserved. Taking advantage of these differential aspects and strengthening them through the transfer of knowledge from more technified fields is a mission that involves all stakeholders: managers, companies, associations and thematic specialists. This workshop will explore the definition of innovation itself, as well as its deployment at territorial level and the presentation of possible lines of action that make the rural areas a real option for life and sustainable socio-economic development.

Leader / Speaker

Pablo Coca, Chemical Engineer in Bioprocesses and Master-DEA in Project Management by the University of Oviedo. He is AENOR auditor of Innovation Management Systems and external evaluator of the European Commission in the Innovation Programmes Horizon 2020 and COSME, and has 18 years of experience in innovation management, gained through different responsibilities in technology centres and companies at national level. In 2014, he joined CTIC Technology Centre as Director of Business Development and Operations. CTIC is currently one of the main actors in Spain in terms of innovation in technologies for the digital transformation of companies and territories.


Martín Álvarez-Espinar is the W3C Head for Spain and consultant at CTIC Centro Tecnológico, host of the W3C in Spain, located in Asturias.

He has a degree in Computer Science from the University of Oviedo, with extensive experience in the development of Web applications based on standards. The work of the W3C Office is combined with consulting work on Electronic Administration, specifically helping Spanish public administrations in the development and promotion of Open Data initiatives and reuse of public sector information using Semantic Web mechanisms. He actively participates in working groups of the W3C and the ISA (Interoperability Solutions for the European Public Administrations) programme of the European Commission.

In 2010 he was named as one of the 25 most influential people on the Internet in Spain (El Mundo).