June 2014.- Internationalising technology is more complicated than doing the same for commercial products or services, given that we are not talking about specific products or a service package, but technological capacity for complex projects. ACCIO’s International Innovation Programme defines the priorities and guidelines to internationalise Catalan innovation and technology, while creating a calendar to coordinate support and sales actions. One of its primary goals is to accompany Catalan companies and technological centres so they can internationalise their offer, as well as identifying opportunities in technological transfer existing in different markets.
The programme establishes two kinds of markets: those where it is possible to sell technological capacity to industry in specific destinations (directly, via intermediaries or to local companies), and those in other regions – with a rich innovation ecosystem – where it is more convenient to look for partnerships for companies and the TECNIO centres with the goal of knowledge and capacity transfer and to contribute in joint projects development.
In order to make international technology opportunities available to companies, some geographical-technological priority areas have been established. ACCIÓ is present in all countries potentially active in areas of technological innovation, via some of its Business Promotion centres and the new technological Antennas.
Israel is a rich innovation ecosystem and is pushing the boundaries in sectors such as telecommunication and computing, media, defence and agro-technology. It is noteworthy for its specialisation in advanced technology, with some 4,000 firms working in this area: in biotech research where the government is investing heavily, and in electronics and manufacturing of safety systems or food transformation, among others. It is considered an international point of reference in terms of technology sectors, with some of the highest ratios of patents per person in the world and with the highest concentration of advanced technology companies outside the United States. Furthermore, it represents the third most important tech centre in the world, after Silicon and Boston Valley.
In order to help Catalan firms wishing to take advantage of Israel’s technological opportunities and collaborate in R&D and innovation projects an innovation manager has been located in Tel Aviv since April this year. From here, collaboration will be organised with MATIMOP, the globally prestigious Israeli research and development agency. In fact, ACCIO and MATIMOP have already been collaborating since 2011, exchanging knowhow while both identifying and working on mutually beneficial projects, which have led to different agreements between firms on both sides.
Services for companies and technological centres
The establishment of the Tel Aviv Antenna represents one more step in Catalonia and Israel’s bilateral relationships. The different tasks include: detect opportunities Israel for Catalan companies, advise Catalan companies on grant possibilities or partnerships with Israeli firms, locating Israeli companies wishing to collaborate with Catalan companies, organising tailor-made technological missions, offering personalised help to Tecnio Centres, forging links with European programmes (Horizon 2020), working in entrepreneurship areas and agreements with universities and also capturing investment from Israeli firms for Catalonia.
As well as Tel Aviv, there are other places where technological services are being planned: in Chile, New York-Massachusetts, Silicon Valley, Germany, Brussels, Paris, South Korea, Colombia, Hong-Kong...
In fact, since February 2014, the ACCIÓ office in Chile (where, unlike in Tel Aviv, in Santiago de Chile there already is an ACCIÓ office) has had an innovation manager to support and actively promote the internationalisation of Catalan innovation and its network of companies and centres that perform R&D, and that are aiming to carry out technical and technological cooperation and transfer with Chile.
The Antennas offer Catalan companies and technological centres a personalised packet of services depending on the company’s tech capacity and market opportunities.