The University of Minho School of Engineering was the chosen venue for the Business Talks, which on the afternoon of October 16 brought together some of the biggest brands to operate in the national market. IKEA, Toyota, Samsung, TSF and Salsa were some of them and were present in debates about business, innovation and entrepreneurship.
Nearly 200 people attended the Business Talks parallel sessions, having been welcomed by Fibrenamics coordinator Professor Raul Fangueiro and getting to know the development model of the University of Minho International Platform. For the coordinator, one of the biggest challenges facing the platform is the transfer of knowledge generated at the university to companies and society and the Business Talks are one of the initiatives designed to combat this distance.
The market in digital times
ECommerce and eBusiness were central themes in a discussion that featured many futuristic elements and projections of consumer behavior, a topic that Elisabete Bandola – People & Culture Manager, Silvia Oliveira – Customer Relations Manager and Rute Monteiro – Shopping Experience Manager from IKEA well know. For IKEA people are the core element of the business and are trying to demystify some industrial processes by putting the consumer at the center of these processes: “Knowing their needs before developing solutions is the key,” they add.
Paulo Cunha, Toyota’s Digital Marketing Manager, argues that “Consumers need clear information, they don’t want surprises when buying a product, even if it is a product of innovation” and that digital media promote ease of reach to the public as never seeing before. Although some care is still needed and the brand still maintains investments in the so-called ‘traditional sector’ of communication. The key is in balancing the media and knowing the target audience.
New Fibrenamics Products
The Business Talks also presented to the business community the three new Fibrenamics demonstration models: FiberShield, a green composite with electromagnetic shielding capabilities for military, medical and aeronautical applications; BCR – Braided Composite Rods, braided rods for reinforcement and structural monitoring; and Smart_Chair, sustainable armchair with heating capacity embedded in the material.
Business Talks have made its name by ‘talking about business’ and bringing the examples of successful companies to SMEs that are focusing on innovation for the first time. A moment of excellence networking and training that should now be repeated in 2020.