On November 28-29th, the Barcelona Deep Tech Summit unfolded as part of the Deep Tech Node initiative, a collaborative effort facilitating market access for technological and scientific startups. Supported by the Barcelona City Council through Barcelona Activa and five universities (UB, UAB, UPC, UPF, and UOC), the event provided an exceptional platform for the EU-LAC Digital Accelerator team to engage in its second edition through IESE Business School, a key Ecosystem Partner.

Gathering more than 1,300 international attendees, the summit brought together startups, spin-offs, researchers, investors, and corporate entities, collectively aiming to find groundbreaking solutions to the most complex global challenges. Leveraging this opportunity to engage with the local innovation ecosystem, several IESE team members took part in panel discussions. Notably, Josemaria Siota, Executive Director of IESE Business School’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center moderated the session titled “How do corporations develop deep-tech products?”.

In this session, industry leaders and innovation strategists shared their experiences, best practices, and case studies on the successful integration of deep tech into large organisations. Covering aspects from ideation and research to funding and market adoption, the +1,300 attendees were keen to absorb strategies, challenges, and opportunities associated with corporate innovation. The EU-LAC Digital Accelerator, enhancing open innovation and fostering business partnerships in Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean, supported this initiative.

The panel discussion, moderated by Josemaria, featured engaging conversations with key industry players: Camila Tomas, VP of Innovation & Technology at Puig; Pere Camprovin, Open Innovation Head at Fluidra, Laura Pellise, Head of Policy & Government Affairs at Amgen, and Ana Gonzalez, Director of Strategic Partnerships at Iphronics. “Since 2016, the number of corporate investments in innovative startups (including those in deep-tech), globally, has grown at speed”, according to Josemaria Siota and Mª Julia Prats articles coauthored at Harvard Business Review and MIT Management Sloan Review.

The Catalan deep-tech innovation ecosystem is on a robust growth trajectory, a context that  emphasises the significance of initiatives like the EU-LAC Digital Accelerator. According to ACCIO’s latest report, there are now 320 deep-tech companies in Catalonia, marking a 10% increase from the previous year. These companies collectively employ 2,340 individuals and generate €161 million in revenue. Most significantly, 2022 saw the highest volume of investment in Catalan deep-tech startups, reaching a total of €183 million.

Having participated in this inspiring event, the EU-LAC Digital Accelerator looks forward to the third edition, scheduled for the last quarter of 2024, to continue building partnerships, supporting open innovation, and connecting corporates and startups to boost digital transformation in Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean.


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