Patricia Tato is one of the most important figures in the renewable energy sector and energy transition in Latin America. In her professional career, she has mainly focused on promoting and advising the development of activities and businesses around new energy sources. She is president and founder of Women in Renewable Energy of Mexico, Vice President of ATA Renewables America, Co-founder of the Latin American Women’s Network in Renewable Energy, Delegate of W20 and according to Forbes magazine, one of the 100 most powerful women in Mexico in 2022.
Patricia has visited Madrid to understand the reality of Madrid’s ecosystem, meeting with prominent local agents and getting to know the strengths and opportunities that Madrid offers to investors, companies and entrepreneurs in the field of energy transition and circular economy models.
- What do you think of Madrid in terms of its initiatives and projects around new energy sources, the energy transition and the circular economy? I have had a very good impression of the level achieved by Madrid and its leadership in these areas, with a very positive impact, and have seen that its reach is invaluable not only for Madrid, but throughout Spain and abroad. The initiatives being developed here are undoubtedly of a high level. It is very motivating and definitely an interesting ecosystem to attract investment with a triple purpose.
- Which ones have particularly caught your attention and why?
- La Nave, I thought it was an incredible place, where the use of space has been designed to favour the entrepreneurial ecosystem and new technologies. Undoubtedly, exceptional management by the people who run the space and great curatorship of the projects we could see there.
- Unlimited Spain is definitely one of the initiatives that motivated me the most on account of its commitment to social enterprise, and its support of issues that I think are super important to address through companies, and synergies were generated between our activities immediately, certainly a very productive and interesting meeting.
- Red Eléctrica. It was very interesting to find out about the projects they are involved with and learn about their strategies and the powerful women who are leading such a specialised and technical area.
- Have you had the opportunity to meet any start-ups with outstanding projects within the circular economy in Madrid? We did see several examples in La Nave and Unlimited Spain and Repsol in various areas, software for solar and wind projects, green hydrogen, health, rescue of villages, etc-
- How do you think the initiatives you have learned about could impact the energy industry or circular economy models? Have you identified trends or innovation opportunities in the circular economy that entrepreneurs and companies can take advantage of in the short term? All the initiatives we visited I think have a triple purpose impact, impact on the economic, social and environmental side, and the circular economy. We have seen some wonderful examples in the circular economy centre we visited; these centres help communities to approach all these issues and open up endless opportunities for development. Innovation is undoubtedly the key to prosperous and developed economies; these trends are easy to replicate and finance, I believe.
- Do you think that legislative initiatives such as the Circular Economy Law of Madrid -which seeks to promote the efficient use of resources, extend their useful life and reduce waste generation – effectively favour and accelerate the development of enterprises and new business models in this environment? Yes, I don’t know that law specifically but if there is already a regulation that is favourable to it, I think that’s the first step that must be taken in any change made in society.
- What role do you think the Circular Economy Innovation Centre (CIEC) in Madrid plays in supporting entrepreneurs and start-ups seeking to implement sustainable and circular business models? It’s a key agent and a meeting point for talent. I think it is a wonderful initiative that can be replicated.
- Do you feel there is firm support from the City Council and other public or private institutions in promoting and supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem around the energy transition and circular economy in Madrid? Yes, you can feel that there’s interest in doing things well, and growing the ecosystem, you can see a plan.
- From your perspective, what other qualities does Madrid have to attract companies and talent with projects around the energy transition and the circular economy? It is a diverse, stable place, which is conducive to attracting capital from other countries, as well as being a beautiful city with easy access to all of Spain. It’s a city that has it all.
- Do you think Madrid offers advantages as an investment destination over other European cities? Do you think Madrid is a good choice as a gateway to the EU Single Market for American companies? I think so, with Latin America I’m sure that it’s very attractive and there is a similar cultural identity that draws them to Spain.
- What facilities or factors can Latin American companies find here in terms of international expansion that could persuade them to choose Madrid? I believe that there are facilities, I have been told about some of them, although I don’t know in depth about fiscal matters, etc.
- From which sectors or areas of Mexico or other countries in the Americas do you perceive the strongest interest at this moment with regard to expanding their activities to Europe or Spain? Everything related to innovation, the circular economy, real estate, tourism, food.
- After your recent round of meetings, how would you rate your visit? How would you assess the current moment that Madrid is experiencing as an environment conducive to business development and attracting companies from other countries? I loved the visit, the meetings were definitely the best, with the best people. I learned a lot and I am taking lots of ideas with me, good contacts and plans to organise an event in Madrid in Energy for the coming year, a possible alliance with Unlimited Spain to develop a project and also the possibility of linking the circular economy centre with our Latin American networks, as well as an alliance with Spain’s association of women in energy.
- Do you believe that the support and guidance provided by a municipal office – in this case Madrid Investment Attraction – is important to investors and companies considering setting up here to persuade them to do so? Yes, very important, they do an excellent job of introducing us to the key players and analysing the investment ecosystem.
- Finally, as a place to live, which aspects of the social, cultural and economic life of Madrid particularly stand out to you? The good atmosphere out on the streets, the good public transport, and there’s so much culture here.