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Crown Prince Felipe commemorates with Telefónica the 25th anniversary of I+D, the group’s innovation driver


- The company has consolidated its standing as a benchmark in the sector for research and development in all the countries where Telefónica operates.
- Also present at the event to mark the anniversary were the Minister of Industry, Tourism and Trade, José Manuel Soria, and the Mayor of Madrid, Ana Botella.
- Telefónica I+D, created in 1988, has been the laboratory for some of the most revolutionary products and services launched by Telefónica in the most intense 25 years in the history of telecommunications.

Madrid - It is now 25 years since Telefónica I+D, the driver of innovation for the Telefónica Group, was founded. In that quarter of a century, the company has consolidated its benchmark status in the sector for research and development both in Spain and internationally.

Telefónica celebrated the 25th anniversary of Telefónica I+D at an event held this morning at its headquarters in Madrid in the presence of His Royal Highness the Prince of Asturias, Crown Prince Felipe. Also present were representatives of other authorities including the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade, José Manuel Soria, the Mayor of Madrid, Ana Botella, in addition to the President of Telefónica, César Alierta, the COO of Telefónica, José María Álvarez-Pallete, and CEO of Telefónica I+D, Carlos Domingo.

The Prince of Asturias highlighted in his speech that, “it is a fact that the companies which best cope with the negative consequences of the crisis are innovators, because they are more competitive and less vulnerable. Today we celebrate the 25th anniversary of a company which has been committed to innovation and which is competing, from Spain, with industry giants”.

Once the official event had concluded Prince Felipe, accompanied by the senior management team at Telefónica I+D, visited several stands devoted to various milestones in the history of the company and to some of its most exceptional projects, which have positioned it as a pioneer in Spanish telecommunications, such as Tesys, MORE and, in more recent times, Firefox OS.

César Alierta urged Telefónica I+D to maintain its commitment to innovation and continue the task it began 25 years ago, stating, “Over this time, Telefónica I+D has succeeded in adapting to the considerable changes in the industry and in society in general, something which has allowed it to consolidate its standing as one of the drivers of innovation”.

The CEO of Telefónica I+D, Carlos Domingo, recalled that the company, together with the CSIC (Consejo Superior de Investigación Científica), leads the Spanish ranking for applications for international patents and is the largest private R&D establishment in Spain. He also stressed that, “innovation is a road leading in a single direction - towards the future - and our goal is to invent this future, benefitting the greatest possible number of people. That is why we at Telefónica I+D keep on dreaming”.

Telefónica I+D has been the laboratory where some of the most successful ideas have been born, ideas which later went on to become commercial products and services for Movistar, throughout what have been the most intense 25 years in the history of telecommunications in Spain.

Internationally, Telefónica I+D ranks second in investment by operators in research and development, beaten only by the Japanese operator NTT DoCoMo. It also ranks as the company which participates most in public R&D projects in Europe. These are very significant achievements, which have not decreased either as regards investment or in relation to number of projects in spite of the current, difficult environment in Europe. In fact, Telefónica I+D accounts for 9% of the total investments by Spanish firms in R&D and, together with CSIC, tops the Spanish league table for international patent applications.

Moreover, Telefónica I+D has been a pioneer in the methods of innovating, by incorporating at any stage the most cutting edge trends in the field. When it was created it imitated the standard for the time, which was Bell Labs, and therefore the first director chosen for the centre was a senior executive from the American lab. Later, TID (Telefónica I+D) paved the way for the introduction of the concept of open innovation. More recently, the company has once again been a pioneer, this time through applying to a large company “lean startup” innovation concepts used in small startups.

All the information on Telefónica I+D and its 25th anniversary is available here


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