Cristina Garmendia

Minister of Science and Innovation of the Spanish Government (2008-2011). Expert in business strategy and technology.

Innovation requires creativity and willingness to take risks. Without new ideas, talented people, resources and time to develop them, there's no innovation.

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Cristina Garmendia was Minister of Science and Innovation in Spain from 2008 to 2011. Under her leadership, some of the major reforms in R & D + I were launched in Spain: the University Strategy 2015, the Spanish Strategy for Innovation and the Law of Science, Technology and Innovation. She also managed the process of modernizing the main instruments of the state in order to foster and fund R & D.

During her tenure, the ministry also launched a major fiscal stimulus plan and a package of anti-crisis measures aimed at SMEs and entrepreneurs, and forged important international agreements, especially during the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2010.

“Innovation requires creativity and willingness to take risks. Without new ideas, talented people, resources and time to develop them, there's no innovation”

Garmendia has also excelled in the field of business. In 2001 she developed a successful business model that gave rise to the biotechnology group Genetrix (with a private funding of €90M), composed of 9 companies and Inbiomed Foundation.

She was also a founding member of Ysios Capital Partners, leading the fundraising of the first fund. Ysios manages a fund of €69M specializing in life science & healthcare and has launched several investments as a leading investor, attracting international specialized funds to Spain. Previously, she also served as Executive Vice President and CFO of the Amasua Group.

Garmendia holds a degree in Biology wi th a specialization in genetics, as well as a PhD in molecular biology in the laboratory of Margarita Salas, at the Severo Ochoa Center for Molecular Biology. She later completed her education with an MBA at IESE Business School, University of Navarra.

She has also excelled at the institutional level as President of the Association of Biotechnology Companies (ASEBIO) and she has been a member of several scientific committees, advisory councils —such as the Women Foundation for Africa— and boards of directors. Additionally, she has served on the board of the Spanish Confederation of Business Organizations (CEOE). Now she is a member of the Program for the Productive Transformation develop by the Colombian government lead by President Santos. Her work and entrepreneurial vision has been recognized several times with awards for research and business innovation.

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