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Start arrow Agenda arrow 22@Breakfast arrow Past Events arrow 22@Update Breakfast May 2009
22@Update Breakfast May 2009
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Leading Europe from Barcelona

The unique opportunities Barcelona can offer compared to other European cities, due to its geographical location and urban characteristics, make the Catalan capital an excellent base for expansion throughout Europe and the world.

The May 22@Update Breakfast began with a presentation from the secretary general of Ferrmed, Mr. Joan Amorós. The association Amorós leads is a multi-sector group that was created by the business sector to help improve European competitiveness. Their objectives include improving port and airport connections, driving the Scandinavia-Rhine-Rhone-Western Mediterranean freight railway axis, and a commitment to sustainable development. The Mediterranean corridor as a path for expansion for Catalan companies was the focus of the first presentation at this month’s breakfast.

According to Joan Amorós, the Euroregions must be seen as sources of territorial competitiveness. He believes that the value of companies in these territories can be measured according to six factors of excellence:
  1. Research
  2. Development
  3. Innovation
  4. Identity
  5. Impact
  6. Infrastructures

Of these, the Secretary General of Ferrmed pointed out the three most important aspects: identity, as an intellectual capital of new business culture; impact, where connectivity plays an important role; infrastructure, focused not only on logistics but also on education, science, technology, finance and civics.

Joan Amorós explained that these six factors used to evaluate business competitiveness are marked by technology, commercial strategy, logistics and business culture. “Currently, the knowledge society is moving forward and a culture of collaboration must be implemented, collaborating on each of these six factors of excellence”, explained Amorós.

The Ferrmed association is developing projects around the Mediterranean. Joan Amorós believes that in 25 or 30 years the Mediterranean will, once again, be the “center of the world” thanks to these projects.

“Currently, the knowledge society is moving forward and a culture of collaboration must be implemented”

The case of Schneider Electric in Spain, innovative example of the month
Innovator of the month at this 22@Update Breakfast was Mr. Julio Rodríguez, general director of Schneider Electric Europe and president of Schneider Electric Spain. With their European corporate headquarters in Barcelona, Schneider Electric is the leader in energy efficiency, with a 72% share of the worldwide energy market.

Julio Rodríguez’s presentation explained why a multinational company like Schneider Electric decided to establish their European corporate headquarters in Barcelona. He pointed out the added value Barcelona offers as a city and the aspects that can still be improved.
Schneider Electric is a global company with turnover of 18,300 million euros. They have 114,000 workers in over 100 countries and spend 5% of their turnover on R&D&i (900 million euros). They have 205 centers and their turnover in 2008 was 1,184 million euros.
Julio Rodríguez explained that Schneider Electric has a first-rate team in Barcelona “characterized by their talent, entrepreneurialism and results.” He also said that the team influences global decisions —international executive careers— and has a great asset in the Barcelona brand, which is allowing them to capitalize on their investment in the city.

“The Barcelona brand capitalizes investment in the city”

Referring to the aspects Barcelona must still improve, Rodríguez explained that the current infrastructures are both a threat to and an opportunity for the consolidation of the city as the center of the Mediterranean region.
The General Director of Schneider Electric Europe also gave strategies to help improve the Catalan capital as a business headquarters in the Mediterranean region. He pointed out that energy consumption will double over the next 30 years and that CO2 emissions will have to be halved in order to slow down global warming and suggested that an integrated solution of energy management and conservation would help reduce consumption by 30%. Julio Rodríguez took advantage of this opportunity to pose a challenge for the city of Barcelona: “If there is a fashion capital and a financial capital, why not make Barcelona the worldwide capital of energy efficiency?”

Before finishing his presentation, 22@ innovator of the month for May outlined the prospects for Barcelona to prosper in 10 points:
1. Develop the Barcelona brand. One option would be to make Barcelona the world capital of energy efficiency.

2. A strong impulse behind the policies necessary to achieve this.

3. Attracting and developing talent.
        - In the long term: an educational system that develops entrepreneurial spirit
        - First-rate business schools
        - Flexible and quick relationships between the University and Companies
        - Languages: English an absolute priority.

4. Make process easier for entrepreneurs. Simplify public administration.

5. Productivity, the biggest problem.

6. Essential reform of the labor market.

7. Airport: perfect connections with all of Europe plus 10 or 12 top business
centers around the world.

8. Mediterranean logistics: port and rail.

9. Logistics: availability of terrain.

10. Improve energy infrastructures.

Hit Barcelona to bring together over 2,500 business leaders in Barcelona
Managing director of 22@Barcelona, Josep Miquel Piqué, also participated in the 22@Update Breakfast, presenting the Hit Barcelona congress. HiT is a global conference focusing on innovation and will bring together over 2,500 business leaders in Barcelona from 17 to 19 June. Piqué stated that this will be an unequivocal contribution to making Barcelona a center of innovation.

“The Hit Barcelona congress will be an unequivocal contribution to making Barcelona a center of innovation”

The Managing Director of 22@ took advantage of this opportunity to announce that the next 22@Update Breakfast will take place under the umbrella of the HiT congress, with guests including Luis Arbulu, Finance and Investments lead at Google.org.
Before closing the event, the vice president of 22@Network, Agustí Ten, explained what is new in the association, which is about to celebrate its 5th anniversary. Ten explained that the 22@Network has just created a new committee, Talent, which will be a tool to develop initiatives in this field. This department will join those already working like Human Resources, Innovation and Environment. This last department has just launched a project to create a Manual of environmental best practices, in order to establish and implant these environmental best practices in businesses located in the 22@Barcelona district.


•    The Mediterranean corridor offers a great opportunity for Catalan companies to expand.

•    Six factors of excellence can be used to evaluate a company’s competitiveness: research, development, innovation, identity, impact and infrastructures.

•    “The Mediterranean will, once again, be the center of the world in 25 or 30 years with around 500,000 people in the northern Mediterranean and 500,000 in the south,” said Joan Amorós, secretary general of Ferrmed.

•    “The Barcelona brand capitalizes investment in the city”, explained Julio Rodríguez, general director of Schneider Electric Europe and President of Schneider Electric Spain.

•    Lack of infrastructures is Barcelona’s greatest challenge in becoming a central city in the Mediterranean region.

•    The Hit Barcelona congress will bring together 2,500 business leaders 17, 18 and 19 June. Hit Barcelona is a global convention on innovation that puts Barcelona up as an example of progress and modernity.

Documents linked:
Presentation of Joan Amorós,
Secretary General of Ferrmed.
Presentation of
Julio Rodríguez,  General Director of Schneider Electric Europe and Chairman of Schneider Electric Spain.

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