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Interview with Alicia Asín

by | Jan 23, 2018 | Interviews,

Alicia Asín

Alicia Asín

CEO And Co-founder At Libelium

Key Topics:Internet of Things, Smart Cities, Smart Agriculture, Smart Water, Smart Parking, eHealth
Location:Zaragoza, Spain

Alicia Asín is CEO and co-founder of Libelium, a Spanish IT company which designs and manufactures technological  solutions for smart cities and the Internet of Things (IoT).

She is a computer engineer focusing on how the IoT can change our world, beginning with Smart Cities and Precision Agriculture, among many other applications. Libelium’s technology is present in more than 120 countries worldwide, developing projects to monitor and improve efficiency in agricultural crops, through environmental control systems that prevent climate change, or even through e-health control equipment which can universalize access to health services in developing countries.

This Spanish businesswoman was the first woman to receive the National Award for Young Entrepreneurs in 2014. In 2015 she was chosen by Marca España as “Española con Talento” to represent her country in an international campaign. In 2016 she received the ADEA award for ‘most outstanding director’ and in 2017 she has been recognized with the Rey Jaime I Award, Spain’s most prestigious award for researchers and entrepreneurs.

How did you get to become an expert in IoT?

Since we entered the age of information and telecommunications in the 70’s we have not seen anything similar to the Internet of Things in terms of its potential impact on process change and power to create a new business ecosystem. The IoT is more than a new generation of the Internet, it is the next technological revolution —horizontal and global— in which we will finally see the digital and physical world blend.

I am very proud to lead a company such as Libelium, whose technology leaves its mark on the world. Libelium’s intelligent sensor technology allows the monitoring of any object or environment and sends this information wirelessly, in real time to the Internet. This achieves greater efficiency and optimization of any process as well as decision making based on real data.

Libelium’s wireless sensor platform is present in projects of great economic and social impact and addresses the great challenges humanity faces in the coming century.  In the opening decades Libelium sensors are helping to prevent pests and improve productivity in agricultural crops, they are helping to reduce pollution and traffic in several smart cities, they have been employed in projects predicting volcanic activity, they are helping to universalize access to a health system for populations outside hospital zones, and have even voyaged into space aboard satellite to study solar storms.

I sincerely believe that the greatest legacy that the Internet of Things can provide is greater democracy and transparency so that citizens can value the decisions made by public administration managers.

In addition, I lead several educational projects to promote the vocations of young girls to engineering studies. By 2020, 4.5 million programmers will be needed worldwide for the 50 billion devices that we will connect to the Internet. We either bridge the digital gap between the knowledge that companies demand and practical knowledge of the workforce, or we will endanger the growth of innovative companies.

What areas of IoT are you most passionate about?

I am most passionate about projects that aim to put customer at the heart of the strategy and design products, services and processes around them, applying the latest media and technologies. I am data driven and love discovering new trends and patterns and translate into innovative solutions that enhance customer experience and accelerate business results.

Which IoT influencers influence you?

I have a deep respect for Russ Fadel (Thingworx co-founder) and how he grew Thingworx to it’s statusas a huge and successful cloud solutions company. What I think about ecosystems is directly influenced by him. I remember also Usman Haque, creator of Pachube (before it was Xively) and the vision he had a long time ago of data-sharing platforms. I also admire Nuria Oliver who talks about the future and the way she transmits the “big” future and also Mar Cabra, a data-journalist who speaks about the power of understanding data in Big Data age.

Outside of IoT who else influences you?

I prefer “inspire” in place of influence. On the tech side, I really admire Marc Benioff and his strong ecosystem approach for Salesforce (even the way they are approaching IoT from there); also Elon Musk as an example of defining really big goals and Ginni Rometty, for her example of getting to the top in an enormous company like IBM. Outside tech, I admire Spanish businessmen, such as Amancio Ortega and Juan Roig, because they personalize the example of what hard work can get you and how innovation is applicable to all sectors. Finally, I admire Indra Nooyi for her brutally honest picture of what it really takes to balance family and work.

What are going to be the key developments in the industry in the next 12 months?

The IoT and the smart cities industry are experiencing great development as many projects that began as small PoCs (proof of concepts) are now becoming a reality with wider deployments. So I really think that 2018 will be the year the IoT takes off and the worldwide investments will increase, particularly in solutions for smart parking, smart agriculture and environmental management.

Libelium is now keeping in mind the political climate of smart cities. For example, in the smart cities sector, air quality control sensors to reduce pollution, water quality solutions to improve public supply management, and new smart parking solutions to reduce traffic jams and also decrease gas emissions are the most demanded applications by municipalities.

If a brand wanted to work with you, what activities would you be most interested in collaborating on?

We are firmly convinced that the collaboration between our ecosystem partners are the key to broader coverage in the sector. Any case study that we publish as a success story has a boosted reputation and helps us and our partners to improve the awareness of our IoT solutions. Webinars and white papers are also useful tools to offer a good positioning of our company in the market to demonstrate the impressive portfolio of IoT solutions that we can implement. White papers are especially vital in promoting the importance of interoperability and the horizontal nature of our platform in order to integrate different solutions, optimising the investments to be made.

What would be the best way for a brand to contact you?

Contact our Marketing & Communications team whom are incredibly active in content creation, social media broadcasting and public relations.