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Start arrow Agenda arrow 22@Breakfast arrow Past Events arrow 22@Update Breakfast May 2008
22@Update Breakfast May 2008
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Financing, a key element to developing innovative projects.

Innovation is fundamental to a company.s competitiveness in this ever more global market. However, in order for these projects to become reality, financing is needed. Public administrations play a fundamental role in designing policies that provide economic support for developing ideas and bringing them to fruition.




At the May 22@ Update Breakfast, David Esteban, CEO of Techforte, stressed the importance of resources in undertaking innovative projects.

.Innovation is doing things, not trying but doing,. affirmed Esteban. For this reason he believes that projects must always be the starting point. However, sufficient resources are needed to make these projects a reality and for them to become, not just what their mentor wants them to be, but also everything the project itself, intrinsically, can be. .Sometimes it.s the project that decides what it wants to be,. commented Esteban.

Currently there are different financing possibilities in this country, because there are not only the resources but also the will and national provisions for the various steps a project must take: creation, innovation, development, research, and internationalization.

It is important to remember that creation must always occur before applying for aid, because once aid schemes are announced it is too late to come up with new ideas. The project must have a strong base in order to apply for aid, which is crucial to it becoming reality.

Albert Pèlach, general director of Catalan Encyclopedia, and Alessandro Rancati, founder and director of Dirección Creativa participated as Innovators of the Month.

The Catalan Encyclopedia Group is made up of the Catalan Encyclopedia and La Galera publishers and DIGEC and Àgora distributors, as well as a group of investors like Edicions 62, Geoestel, Tàndem Edicions and Educionline (distance learning).

In the beginning, Catalan Encyclopedia centered on one product but, over time, has diversified and, currently, is in the middle of an overhaul, which is the result of the digital revolution affecting the publishing sector as a whole. However, the real change is not in the product itself but in the publishing process and in the generation of contents. In 2007, the company produced 2.5 million books, two of which were published using digital techniques and not the traditional methods.

In February of this year, the on-line version of Catalan Encyclopedia .which up to then had only been available to subscribers. was made available to the general public. .It.s an effort to explain Catalonia to the world and to explain the world to Catalans in our own language,. said Pèlach, since not being on the web means that you don.t exist.

This important change in the concept of their publishing product implies taking on new challenges: incorporating Web 2.0, looking for new business models and internationalizing the company. Regarding this final aspect, they are looking to create links to other encyclopedias from countries in the European Union, with Catalan Encyclopedia leading the project.

Alessandro Rancati also introduced his company. Dirección Creativa is a consulting company that advises businesses on developing innovative, design-based projects.

This company integrates work carried out by the globally known Future Concept Lab, a Milà institution, which studies market trends and develops anthologies of information obtained from society itself: they observe how people relate to their needs and the solutions offered by designers and products. .Essentially we produce reports that explain and help companies focus their projects so they can be introduced in social contexts that are not just the result of the designer.s mental process,. affirms Rancati.

Dirección Creativa aims to carry out projects that have a social impact and benefit everyone involved: companies, institutions and, above all, the end user. This way, Rancati specifies, benefit does not refer only to making money, but also to development.

The idea to create this company arose in November of 2007 through an analysis of the very limited impact of Design Week in Barcelona and the need to open design to society. Although there were many cases of design excellence, there wasn.t a common base of interpretation. What was needed were trend research, individualized products and a better understanding of whether or not the design in question really met the company.s needs.

Dirección Creativa is a small company, so an idea was not enough. They needed financing. .Our project has a social focus, it will have a positive impact on society, and this is normally one of the requirements for public financing,. said Rancati. Thanks to 22@ NetWorking, the company has found the following collaborators: divu*Ciencia, Barcelona Digital Foundation and Elisava School.

To finish up April.s breakfast, Miquel Piqué spoke of the news in the district:
  • The WIST Barcelona Conference, which will take place in June.
  • The meeting with the Consular Body in order to promote relationships between Catalonia and other European countries.

KEY IDEAS


Although the starting point must always be the project, resources are essential to making ideas become reality.

Dirección Creativa offers consulting on broadening study methodology and identifying trends for innovation and development projects.

Catalan Encyclopedia has opened an online edition in order to introduce Catalan culture to the world and, therefore, is looking for new business and financing models.


PARTICIPANTS. OPINIONS


.I.m part of the UGAP and I think that there are a lot of financing opportunities out there right now that companies should take advantage of, because we don.t know what will happen after 2012..

.Just the right length; just the right ideas. And the final presentation, aesthetically exquisite.. 

.They did a good job of explaining the current financing situation in Catalonia and Spain .above all here in Barcelona. And now all companies should go to 22@ to look into this type of public financing, which I think is very interesting..


EXTRA
INFORMATION
  • The Project Aids Management Unit (UGAP) is an organization created by 22@ to support research and innovation in order to improve competitiveness. It offers the following services: information, help finding strategic partners, help creating proposals, project management support, and aid in augmenting a company.s presence in the large European consortiums and technological platforms.
  • Barcelona Digital Foundation (FBD) is a private not-for-profit organization that seeks to catalyze and promote ICT needs in companies, administrations, universities and society in order to join forces in developing and innovating in the digital economy to promote social well-being, competitiveness of companies, generate economic activity, retain talent and attract foreign investment.
  • Àgora 22@ is a program of activities made up of all events that take place in the district that are organized by the different members: UB, FBD, UOC, UPF, 22@Network and 22@Barcelona. Their aim is to project the district.s activities and consolidate innovation culture.

To download David Esteban's corporate portfolio, please click here 






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