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King Felipe supports Malaga's bid to become one of Spain's key cities in the field of innovation

Felipe VI talks to the managing director of Aertec Tarsis 75.
Felipe VI talks to the managing director of Aertec Tarsis 75. / Á.Cabrera
  • At this week’s Transfiere conference the king called for “precise regulations” so as not to squander scientific progress as well as greater recognition for researchers

The king’s presence at the 6th Transfiere conference in Malaga this week served to highlight the city’s position as a benchmark inSpain for technological innovation.

Felipe VI arrived in Malaga onWednesday morning and inaugurated the conference attended by leading firms in the fields of technology and innovation as well as numerous authorities.

In his speech the king described Malaga as a “dynamic” city, whose initiatives, along with more in other Andalusian cities, link this “much-loved” region “clearly and solidly with technological development and innovation”.

In a packed theatre in the city’s congress centre, the king’s inaugural speech was attended by authorities including the Spanish minister for Education and Culture, Íñigo Méndez de Vigo; the president of the Junta de Andalucía, Susana Díaz, the secretary of state for Research, Development and Innovation, Carmen Vela; the mayor of Malaga, Francisco de la Torre, and the president of Malaga’s provincial government, Elías Bendodo.

With this captive audience the king seized the opportunity to urge the public administrations to create “precise regulations” so that the great advances made in scientific development and research “are not squandered or lost due to a lack of necessary and sustained support”.

The Transfiere conference took place in the city's congress centre.

The Transfiere conference took place in the city's congress centre. / Á.C.

The head of state pointed out that Wednesday’s was the fourth event he had taken part in recently related to innovation, science and technology, which, in his opinion, proves that these fields are “elements that permeate our lives and condition our future”.

He praised the progress already achieved but warned that this is not the time to “rest on laurels” as there are more challenges ahead.

The king stressed the “key role” of the education system and universities in acting as catalysts for young scientific talent.

After the opening ceremony, the king toured the stands at the conference. He paid special attention to the display put on by the Malaga-based aeronautical multinational Aertec, including its Tarsis 75 unmanned aircraft model, which is already being used in some countries for defence applications.

“The king asked about the technical features, above all, and showed that he is very knowledgeable about everything to do with aviation,” said the company’s managing director, Antonio Gómez-Guillamón.

María de los Ángeles Martín Prats, an expert in aeronautical engineering at the University of Seville, spoke on behalf of the research community at the inauguration of the event. She called for the authorities to develop programmes to prevent “brain drain” out of Spain, and invited the financial sector to invest in research and development “to support new discoveries”.

“The time is now,” she said.