Interview with Ms. Emma Fau
Ms. Emma Fau
Business Development Consultant
Emma has over 15 years of professional experience in Brussels, with 12 years experience in carrying out political advocacy work on behalf of the private equity and venture capital industry before the EU Institutions and other international organizations such as the OECD, the World Bank and UNECE. Areas of expertise include small and medium size enterprise (SME) policy, entrepreneurship, access to finance, private equity and venture capital, EU funds and programmes, research and innovation.
Prior to joining the European Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (EVCA), Emma worked for over three years at the Spanish bank Banco Bilbao Vizcaya-Argentaria (BBVA), dealing with the financial management of European funds, following up EU public tenders and advising the bank and main clients on EU budget lines, grants and subsidies of interest for them in a wide variety of sectors.
Over her career Emma has developed a strong knowledge of the EU Institutions, a large network of contacts and a powerful ability identifying business opportunities, building strong alliances and opening doors for clients.
Emma graduated from University of Zaragoza with a degree in law and afterwards obtained a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) at the European University in Brussels.
INSME: Can you give us a wrong and a right definition of innovation?
Ms. Fau: Wrong: Innovation is any change.
Right: A change that brings improvement — in products, or in the way those products are marketed and sold — and increases customer or client satisfaction, therefore creating value.
INSME: Do you think that nowadays economic players are conscious enough of the opportunity that the international dimension represents for being innovative and of the benefits they could get back? If they are not, which is the main obstacle?
Ms. Fau: No, if they were conscious getting access to finance for knowledge intensive companies (KICs) would be easier. KICs are few numerically but playing a fundamental role in the economy. The problem is that their value (assets) is mainly represented by Intangibles: research(ers) capabilities, human capital, the technology embedded, the possession of “IP products” etc. Economic players do not always have the expertise to value those assets and therefore do not recognize the importance of those companies. Those companies need significant amount of money to grow.
INSME: How worldwide networks like INSME can help public bodies, stakeholders and intermediaries to foster innovation in favour of SMEs?
Ms. Fau: Exchanging best practices and facilitating discussion.
INSME: What is, according to your experience the most effective way to help SMEs and entrepreneurs to be innovative?
Ms. Fau: Through education and fiscal incentives.
INSME: Let’s play a game:
If I say Cooperation you say...
Ms. Fau: Trust
If I say Network you say…
Ms. Fau: Opportunities
If I say Internationalization you say…
Ms. Fau: Growth
If I say Intercultural Communication you say...
Ms. Fau: Open mind
If I say Innovation you say…
Ms. Fau: Change
If I say change you say…
Ms. Fau: Improvement
INSME: Your Innovation Motto
Ms. Fau: Do not look at things the way they are and ask why? Dream of things that are not and ask why not!