Hit Barcelona, from Concept to Business

JUNE-SEPTEMBER 2010

02-02-01Innovation, ideas and investment; this is the HiT Barcelona concept, a unique two-day encounter at a worldwide level which brought together business leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs in the Montjuïc venue of the Fira de Barcelona for the sharing of ideas, project promotion and the redefinition of successful business strategies.

The concept is part of Bizbarcelona, an initiative to position the city of Barcelona as an area of entrepreneurship and innovation at a national and international level. Bizbarcelona involved conferences where experts and entrepreneurs gave advice on how to transform a good idea into a successful business, as well as the Symposium on Urban Clusters & Parks, and areas dedicated to business opportunities like Ideas & Investment Marketplaces, a meeting point for both entrepreneurs and international investors, not to mention the Global Entrepreneurship Competition, a contest in which some of the 23 best business plans in the world were given the chance to win cash prizes.

02-02-02Joan Bellavista (Scientific Park): Barcelona and the Development of the Innovation Ecosystem

The United Kingdom, Australia, Brazil, Indonesia, the Dominican Republic and Tunisia are some of the countries where Joan Bellavistahas worked in projects relating to the promotion of technology or the development of scientific and technological parks. He was recently nominated as the president of the International Association of Scientific and Technological Parks (the IASP), and is the Deputy of the President of the Scientific Park of Barcelona. He took part in HiT Barcelona as a speaker.

What is the situation of Barcelona today with respect to the international technological arena?

Over the last two decades Barcelona taken on a relevant role as a centre for investigative research, together with technology and innovation in an international context. The current geography of innovation can be represented as nodes of knowledge, which are reference points in the city’s immediate surroundings and key points in the operational networks of the economy.

Over the last few years infrastructures have been developed for technological and scientific development in the city and its area of influence, such as the PRBB, theScientific Park of Barcelona, the Mare Nostrum supercomputer and the Sincrotrón Alba.

What do we need to do to position ourselves in the technological first division?

The process of constructing and establishing scientific and technological infrastructures in the city is the basis for developing the system of innovation. In this light this process should continue in the future given that this is what the international innovation nodes will continue to develop. From here on the profitability of these infrastructures and the efficient use of their potential for the entire public and private system will be the mark of their success.

Could Barcelona become the Silicon Valley of Europe?

Barcelona is currently developing its own innovation ecosystem and it must focus on furthering this development even more in the future. This does not mean copying Silicon Valley, but rather creating suitable conditions in order to develop beyond those which currently exist and promote all elements towards the objectives of the economic and social development of the area with the characteristics of the local environment.

What role to initiatives like HiT Barcelona play in the development of triple helix networks?

Hit Barcelona brings together the three agents of the helix in both the local and international arenas. Universities, companies and governments come together, discuss and bring ideas and solutions in different innovation ecosystems which can be ratified during the conference. These elements are unified in scientific and technological parks, which for the last two decades have become the integral parts of innovation ecosystems in different areas.

F.L.