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Atlantic Copper’s Encounters”: A discussion of the role of innovation in business and society

The President of COTEC, the Foundation for Innovation, Cristina Garmendia, and the Director of Twitter España, José Luis Pérez de Ayala, participated in the first edition of this event at the University of Huelva

Huelva, 13 April 2016. Under the title of “Innovation and Society: Business Decision or Social Demand?”, the first edition of Atlantic Copper’s Encounters was held today at the University of Huelva, a new forum for dialogue open to the public that is intended to share experiences, reflect and draw practical conclusions for different professional and personal applications. This was the first in a series of sessions, each one of which will take an in-depth look at a current topic of interest to business and society, always from the perspective of innovation.

The event was inaugurated by the CEO of Atlantic Copper, Javier Targhetta and the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Huelva, Francisco Ruiz. Targhetta noted that at Atlantic Copper, innovation is associated with continuous improvement and competitiveness because the search for new ideas is indispensable in order to advance. That is why the company invests €12 million in innovation every year and another €200 million in environmental sustainability. Targhetta also thanked the University for hosting the workshop.

Also in attendance was the current President of COTEC – the Foundation for Innovation, who underscored the role played by innovation in productive processes and the way businesses are run nowadays. Garmendia, whose work and vision as an entrepreneur have been recognised on numerous occasions with awards for her research and business innovation efforts, noted Spain’s enormous capacity for innovation and emphasised the importance of the Spanish language as one of the country’s most valuable assets in the international community.

The Director of Twitter Spain, José Luis López de Ayala, discussed how innovation is the backbone of a company like Twitter, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, a social network that is used by about 13 million people in Spain. In this regard, he emphasised the importance of mobile devices in every aspect of people’s daily lives and the impact that Twitter has had on the creation of knowledge in society and in the Communications and Human Resources departments of companies.

The event concluded with a round table discussion moderated by the President of Europa Press, Asís Martín de Cabiedes, in which Garmendia and López de Ayala participated along with the CEO of Atlantic Copper, Javier Targhetta, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Huelva, Francisco Ruiz, and the Chairman of the Iturri Group, Juan Francisco Iturri, who noted that innovation is written into the DNA of his family-owned company, which has had to evolve to keep up with the times.

At the closing ceremony, the Mayor of Huelva, Gabriel Cruz, highlighted the importance of these kinds of events in an ever-changing world and the need to continue supporting these types of initiatives for Huelva’s development, which includes the support of the local government.

About Atlantic Copper

Atlantic Copper is a Spanish company whose majority shareholder is the North American company Freeport-McMoRan – the world’s second largest copper producer, number one molybdenum producer and a leading producer of cobalt, gold, oil and natural gas. It operates the third largest copper foundry and refinery in Europe and the only one in Spain. Its primary business is the production of high-purity refined copper from ore that come from mines in different parts of the world. Its metallurgy complex located in Huelva on the banks of the Odiel River and across from the Marismas del Odiel Nature Preserve transform more than a million tons of ore into 300,000 tons of refined copper each year. Other products obtained during the production process include sulphuric acid, precious metals and iron silicate.

The company employs around 1,000 people directly and provides an estimated 3,000 jobs in all (direct, indirect and induced) with an average turnover of €1.8 billion ($US 2 billion), placing it among the top 70 companies in Spain, the second largest headquartered in Andalucía in terms of turnover and the largest company in the province of Huelva. On average, the company contributes some €155 million to the economy of Andalucía each year.

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