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FPdGi Awards

Aeronautical engineer José Miguel Bermúdez, 2018 Princess of Girona Foundation Business Award

The winner was chosen for his business and research career which is currently focused on developing a revolutionary propulsion system for maritime transport that harnesses the wind.


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Aeronautical engineer José Miguel Bermúdez has won the 2018 Princess of Girona Foundation (FPdGi) Business Award. The winner’s name was announced on 7 March at an event held in the ‘Adán Martín’ Tenerife Auditorium in Santa Cruz de Tenerife and presided over by H.M. the King. The jury highlighted the award winner’s “business and research career leading industrial projects with great social impact linked to highly competitive sectors that are very difficult to break into”.

Entrepreneur Bernardo Hernández, chairman of the jury, praised the projects developed by the winner who is currently leading the company bound4blue, in which he seeks to revolutionise maritime transport by using an innovative rigid sail system to harness the wind as additional propulsion. This technology enables the sails to generate part of the power needed by large transport vessels, reducing their fuel consumption and emissions by 40%.

With this in mind, the jury considered that José Miguel Bermúdez demonstrates the capacity for exemplariness, differentiation, impact on society and excellence in business management that this award recognises”. The award winner, who was among the guests at the event as a nominee, thanked the jury for this recognition and wanted to share it with the rest of his team, without whom, he said, “it would not have been possible”.

In addition to Bernardo Hernández, the jury was formed of entrepreneur and 2016 FPdGi Business Award winner Sergio Álvarez; country manager of Facebook Spain, Irene Cano; economist Fernando Fernández; managing director of Endeavor Spain, Adrián García-Aranyos; regional managing director of Twitter in Spanish-speaking countries, Pepe López de Ayala, and mathematician and economist César Molinas.

The event, organised by the FPdGi in collaboration with the Council of Tenerife and Tenerife 2030, was presided over by H.M. the King of Spain, and attended by the Treasury minister, Cristóbal Montoro; the president of the FPdGi, Francisco Belil; the chairman of the Council of Tenerife, Carlos Alonso Rodríguez; the president of the Government of the Canary Islands, Fernando Clavijo Batlle; the president of the Canary Islands Parliament, Carolina Darias Sansebastián, and the Spanish Government delegate in the Canary Islands, Mercedes Roldós Caballero, among other authorities and important figures from the Canary Islands’ civil society and business community. 

The announcement of the 2018 FPdGi Business Award was presented by journalist and humourist Juan Carlos Ortega with the participation of Ignasi Belda (2014 FPdGi Business Award) and Javier Agüera (2012 FPdGi Business Award).

To close the event, the president of the FPdGi, Francisco Belil, said he considered the Princess of Girona Foundation Business Award as “very special” because, quoting the late member of the Foundation’s Advisory Council Jorge Wagensberg, “while science serves to understand the world, technology and business are for changing it”. “You, young people, are going to change our world for the better” because, he concluded, our young people “have enough talent and potential to be competitive”.

The Princess of Girona Foundation chose the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife as one of the stops on its winner announcement tour joining, on this occasion, the Council of Tenerife’s Tenerife 2030 strategy which aims to prepare Tenerife’s society and the island in general to face future challenges and build a creative, innovative, entrepreneurial society to lead the business world. The Princess of Girona Foundation and Tenerife 2030 also share the common goal of fostering children’s and young people’s talent, as Francisco Belil pointed out during his talk.

Challenge in Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Before the public announcement of the 2018 FPdGi Business Award, the ‘Adán Martín’ Tenerife Auditorium hosted an entrepreneurial challenge in which almost 200 of Tenerife’s young people were given 180 minutes to come up with innovative ideas to resolve the challenge: ‘I don’t like Mondays. Ideas to improve workplace motivation’. This activity, which took place between 9 am and 12 midday, forms part of the special programme designed by the FPdGi for the announcement of the 2018 FPdGi Business Award. Entrepreneur Xavier Verdaguer from Imagine Creativity Center – a company specialising in promoting innovation projects for other businesses – ran this creative innovation workshop using the Lombard method, a system he designed himself which consists of going through different phases in order to turn a problem into an opportunity. The phases in this methodology include formulating the problem, brainstorming, creating a prototype and learning to publicise the project. 

In teams, the participants worked against the clock to design a project that would successfully resolve the problem they had been presented with. The winning team in this workshop challenge was B2B Exchange, who presented a business initiative with the idea of replacing monotony with motivation in the workplace. The objective would be achieved by promoting the exchange of workers among companies in different sectors but with similar interests who could develop common projects that would motivate their staff.

Winner’s biography
José Miguel Bermúdez Miquel is an aeronautical engineer specialising in space vehicles. He graduated from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) and has worked for the private technology group GMV Aerospace & Defence, developing software for simulating aircraft trajectories.

After this, he joined in the founding of zero2infinity (z2i), a start-up in the space sector, working in business development and engineering. In parallel, Bermúdez cofounded Marvelmat, which provides services for the hotel sector. In 2014 he set up bound4blue (b4b) with the goal of revolutionising maritime transport as we currently know it by returning to the use of wind as complementary propulsion through an innovative rigid sail system. The technology developed allows the sails to generate part of the power needed, thereby reducing fuel consumption and emissions.



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