Caixanova, a Spanish savings bank, and INSA, a Madrid-based IBM affiliate, announced last week that they have teamed up to promote technology innovation in Galicia, Spain. Under the agreement, signed in late June 2009, Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM will create a Technology Innovation Centre (CENIT) in Orense, a city in Galicia.
According to a press release, the center is due to open later this year and will initially focus on the development and management of applications for Caixanova in areas such as core banking, Internet banking and branch network applications. Going forward, it is expected that the Orense CENIT will develop technology projects for other Spanish and international financial institutions, focusing on productivity improvement through design, development and maintenance of applications on diverse technology platforms.
In addition, the Orense center will collaborate with two other Spain-based centers, as well as IBM's international network of innovation centers. "The world is changing. It is becoming smaller and flatter, as well as more interconnected, technologically well-informed and, in short, smarter," Juan Antonio Zufiria, IBM general manager for Spain, Portugal, Greece and Israel, said in the press release. "The creation of this new CENIT Centre and the agreement with Caixanova is a new way of doing things and will guide IBM towards new innovation, helping to generate more competitive and sustainable development in Galicia."
INSA, IBM and Caixanova say that another aim of the initiative is to help retain existing (and attract new) technology talent in the Galicia region while also creating a center of excellence for the banking sector technology. "This agreement will have a very positive social economic impact in Galicia, as it involves the generation of employment and wealth in the area. It will also provide a major boost for the Information Technology industry, offering new IT services for businesses in the region," Caixanova chairman Julio Fernandez Gayoso said in the release.