Mapfre inaugurated yesterday its new startup accelerator insur_space, a physical space in Madrid with the aim of promoting new solutions of the "insurtech" environment (technologies of the insurance sector) to meet the needs of different types of customers and with the that the insurer aspires to be "one of the world leaders in innovation", according to its president, Antonio Huertas. This strategic enclave, which will serve as a reference for the different spaces promoted by the company, is part of Mapfre Open Innovation (MOi), a platform to promote innovation in the insurance sector that began operating this year. With this project, Mapfre "departs from the traditional way of innovation" and seeks to connect the "best innovation capabilities" with the "insurtech" environment. For this, the company annually allocates 100 million euros in the development of these solutions linked to its activity and another 600 million in technology.
Insur_space, coordinated by the global director of transformation, Josep Celaya, already promotes 19 projects within its two development programs: acceleration and adoption. The first one is aimed at those ideas that need to start their way with the right business model, while the second one is for the "startups" with a more mature proposal and who need support to consolidate in the market. The mission with which it was born is to facilitate the interaction between innovative projects and Mapfre.
The Mapfre Open Innovation "was born to feed Mapfre's leadership capacity," said José Antonio Arias, head of technological innovation at the insurer and in charge of directing the MOi. This platform integrates two main elements, which are disruptive innovation and strategic innovation. The disruptive, of which insur_space is part, also includes a collaborative model with universities and business schools to jointly develop innovative projects. On the other hand, the strategic works on short-term solutions and includes an intra-enterprise program aimed at Mapfre employees. Since the MOI began, the workers of the insurer have proposed around 450 ideas, according to Antonio Huertas. The strategic innovation also integrates its Experimentation and Road Safety Center, an important operation for Mapfre, since 40% of the company's business comes from the automotive sector.