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From left to right, Antonio Serra i Ramoneda, Andreu Mass-Colell and Antoni Maria Grau (Photo: CERCA).

Cooperating, innovating and growing in the Mediterranean Arc Euroregion

Cooperation among territories for innovation and knowledge transfer and business competitiveness was the core theme of a conference broken down into two sessions, one at the Ciutat Politécnica de la Innovació de Valencia and one at the Barcelona Science Park (PCB), gather the world´s research community  and business around the economic sectors that are today a strategic benchmark for the Euram (Euroregió de l’Arc Mediterrani–Mediterranean Arc Euroregion). The conference call is a joint initiative from ACCIÓ –the agency for business competitiveness of the Government of Catalonia (Generalitat)–, CERCA Institute, IIVEE (Ignasi Villalonga Institute of Business and Economics) and IVACE (Valencian Institute for Business Competitiveness).


This conference is the first collaboration between institutions committed to boosting business competitiveness in the Mediterranean Basin Euroregion, linked to the governments of the Generalitat Valenciana and the Generalitat de Catalunya.

The Barcelona conference, which took place on Thursday, 26th of November, under the theme ‘Cooperating, Innovating and Growing in the Mediterrean Basin Euroregion‘, was attended by Andreu Mas-Colell, Minister of Economy and Knowledge of Catalonia; Antoni Serra Ramoneda, President of the Ignasi Villalonga Institute; Lluís Rovira, Director of the CERCA Institute; Antoni M. Grau, Director General for Industry, and Júlia Company, Director General for Industry and Energy of the Regional Government of Valencia and General Director of IVACE.

Mas-Colell urged to increase private investment in research, stressing that business must be involved in the exporting trade from the very beginning. “In Germany, companies allocate 10 times more resources to research and innovation than Spanish companies. But the German economy is not 10 times that of Spain” he added. “A GDP of 18% is not the same as a c 25% GDP in a coordinated manner.”

For Antoni Maria Grau, The Mediterranean Arc is one of the major European regions not only from an economic point of view but also from a social and cultural point of view. “We are a region of reference for our vitality, creativity, boost, momentum and optimism.” In this sense, Lluis Rovira said “with the business fabric that we have, we are in a position to succeed together in many challenges.”

The work program was developed around three successive roundtables on health sciences and pharma-biomed; new materials; mobility and smart cities. During the course of the conference, over 20 professionals explained various cases and experiences on knowledge transfer in strategic, innovative and significant presence in the Catalan and Valencian economy sectors.

Representatives of institutes and public research centers and knowledge transfer from the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, CIMNE Technology, the Center for Computer Vision and Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) participated in the event, among others.

Other professionals from private research centers included: the Institute of Biomechanics of Valencia, the Valencia Infertility Institute, the Agrifood Technology Institute, the Institute of Textile Technology and the Toy Research Institute. In addition Mcrit, a Barcelona based consultancy firm dedicated to urban planning, transport and environment , and Urbiotica, one of the global leaders in the field of ‘Internet of things’ applied to smarts cities.

As regards technology campaigns, the conference was also attended by the Catalan business research group in mobility ETRA along with companies like Grífols, EQ Esteve, Rovalma and Aromics, all of which are based at the Barcelona Science Park.

Economic and territorial structure

The Mediterranean Arc Euroregion (Euram) is made up mainly by the territories of Catalonia, the Community of Valencia, the Balearic Isles and the French region of Languedoc-Roussillon with extensive trade and structural interdependence and common historical tradition.

Euram is an initiative of the Ignasi Villalonga Institute of Business and Economics –with headquarters in Barcelona, Valencia and Palma de Mallorca– and is backed up by public business institutions to ensure the region´s competitiveness in the current European map, and in a new global production stage.