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Start arrow Agenda arrow 22@Breakfast arrow Past Events arrow Summary of the November 2011 22@Update Breakfast
Summary of the November 2011 22@Update Breakfast
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Innovation concepts and models in the 22@Network

22@ has a local system, the Innovation Committee of the 22@Network Association of Businesses, where cutting-edge companies in the district generate synergies that lead to a series of lines of actions to encourage the district’s development. The goal is for a group of companies, of different sizes, sectors, and people, to share knowledge.

The November 22@Update coincided with the publication of one of the projects the Innovation Committee is currently working on: a book entitled ‘Innovation concepts and models in the 22@Network’, which is a collection of benchmark articles from the various companies that participate in the Committee dealing with a variety of innovation models. Xavier Monzó, director of GRUPO ICA in Catalonia and president of the Innovation Committee of the 22@Network Association of Businesses and Institutions, as well as a member of the Barcelona Digital ICT Cluster Advisory Board, AEI, spoke about the Committee, its future and the book it has published. Afterwards, José Miguel Solans, head of Innovation at Schneider Electric and vice-president of the Committee, explained the innovation model used at Schneider Electric.

The session was opened by Josep Maria Vilà, president of the 22@Network Association, who thanked the team that created the book for their work and expressed his satisfaction with this initiative, as one of the many carried out by the Innovation Committee. José Emilio Serra, director of Marketing and Communication at Schneider Electric finished the opening of the event, also commenting on the Committee’s initiatives and describing innovation as a very powerful field.

During his speech, Xavier Monzó described the Innovation Committee as a group of companies in the district that make up “a local system that aims to generate procedures, best practices, experiences and all types of knowledge.” Monzó stressed two concepts in defining the Committee: System and Locality, which –he explained- are two concepts that also define an innovation cluster. He also spoke about the international panorama for this type of clusters, which work on innovation in a wide variety of fields with the aim of addressing many arenas.

The Innovation Committee aims to create joint projects with a number of different companies, in a transparent climate

The Committee is made up of 29 organizations, including universities, businesses and other types of bodies. The main objectives of this group of companies are, on one hand, to carry out a series of projects. They also create committees in the companies themselves in order to generate “a climate of trust and transparency.” On the other hand, they seek out external connections, “generating trust” and “generating cooperation”.

Communication tools are important to building a solid network, and this is why the Innovation Committee has created new paths for information and exchange like the blog, newsletter and book presented at yesterday’s event.

Entitled “Innovation concepts and models in the 22@Network”, this publication is a collection of 15 articles by experts in innovation at a number of companies, in which, as Monzó explained, “each person contributed what they felt was most important” from their point of view, in order to raise awareness of this local system, presenting conceptual values and practical experiences.

Xavier Monzó finished his speech by calling for increased participation in this group of companies, explaining that “the Committee is an open group available to everyone. The more people participate and the stronger we each are, the better the Committee will be.”

Without backing, an innovation project can’t work

José Miguel Solans, vice-president of the Committee, explained the innovation model used at Scneider Electric in his speech “Innovation management at Schneider Electric”.
Solans explained that innovation must have a strategic focus, and it must be “supported by management, otherwise it won’t work.”

In the case of Schneider Electric, Solans explained that innovation is focusing on renewable energy, electric vehicles, remote monitoring, smart metering and smart cities, all of which are managed as demand. He also explained the different stages of DCP (Demand Creation Process) and PMP (Project Management Process), and stressed that products exceeding the customer’s expectations must be put on the market.

To finish up, Solans reiterated the importance of management’s backing for any innovation project, as without this support “the project won’t work.”

Josep M. Piqué, Barcelona City Council, closed the speeches praising these local innovation systems, which lead to transversality among companies and institutions that share best practices and congratulated the Innovation Committee once again for their book. He also spoke about the two “I”s that must be strengthened in this post-crisis situation: Innovation and Internationalization.

To finish up, he gave a preview of some activities that will be carried out in December in 22@, including the Symposium of the Association of Economists, the Smart City Expo, which consolidates Barcelona’s position as the leading capital of the Smart Cities, and the Fem Talent Forum, to activate feminine talent, which will be held for the first time this year.

Schneider Electric conference

Key ideas

-    Trust, cooperation and transparency among companies are key to building an efficient innovation cluster that, at the same time, strengthens companies. Local exchange of knowledge and best practices is key to the success of these clusters, which are born local but have international projection.
-    Innovation must be backed by management in companies for it to work.

Attendees speak

-    We must be aware of international innovation clusters to see what we can and can’t apply here. Looking at other examples always helps improve our own model.
-    We must invest in innovation, even though many companies are reluctant because they don’t see it as productive, innovation is a great middle and long-term value.

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