The third Catalan stakeholder meeting of the InnoHEIs project took place online on the 2nd of December 2020. The meeting was co-organised by the Autonomous University of Barcelona, InnoHEIs project partner, and the Competitiveness Agency of the Catalan Government (ACCIÓ), which manages the financial support schemes to promote business innovation, including instruments co-financed with ERDF, as managing authority.
In this edition, 22 participants from 16 institutions joined a debate around challenges and opportunities for collaboration university-business around science and technology services and infrastructures. The 9 largest Catalan universities were represented in the meeting (by staff/officers in charge of these services/infrastructures) as well as representatives from 4 large singular infrastructures in Catalonia, which are very relevant when it comes to attracting companies’ interest in making use of these facilities, given the large added-value R&D services they provide.
Two main axes were discussed throughout the meeting. The first part was devoted to discuss the common challenges HEIs and large R&D centres face when aiming at increasing the demand of their services by companies and institutions. Three main points were raised as key aspects to be considered on this regard: the need for new funding mechanisms (not just by public funds but also larger investments form companies, which requires incentives), the objective to promote communication and awareness regarding the services HEIs and R&D centres can offer, and the need to reduce the gap between this offer and other potential interests firms may have when it comes to innovation.
In the second part of the meeting, stakeholders shared points of view and ideas on how policy instruments (especially those co-funded by ERDF, but also from other sources of funding) could provide support and be a complement when aiming at overcoming these challenges. Possibilities around the new EU funds 2021-2027 (including the opportunities under the NextGenerationEU were also discussed).