I2CAT is a Research and Innovation centre, which over the last 10 years has been able to position itself as a national and international key partner in the development of R+D+i projects and activities within the field of Internet Technologies and ICT.
Throughout this decade, i2CAT has achieved a significant number of its goals associated with its original objectives (i) leading and executing a large number of R+D+i projects, among which more than 35 have been at international level, including our participation in Future Internet projects, (ii) promoting network collaboration under the innovation rings paradigm, with successful cases such as the Cultural Ring or the Industrial Ring in the automotive industry, (iii) participating in innovative and pioneering initiatives in the Health sector, such as sharing medical imaging projects or the Teleictus Project, which have been tested as proof of concept of solutions that have been further incorporated into the SITIC strategic plan of the Health plan, (iv) investing in co-creation methodologies and user-centred innovation as a mechanism to develop technological innovation projects.
During 2013, i2CAT scientific and technological activity has been evaluated by an international committee coordinated by the Institute of Research Centres of Catalonia (CERCA), which has recognised the international prestige and position that i2CAT has in its field, and has highlighted not only the volume of generated R+D+i activity but also the success in achieving European projects.
As a result of this international prestige and of the effort to get European funding, i2CAT has participated in a total of 30 European R+D+i projects during 2013, which has partially offset the lowering activity at a local level.
Cooperation with local and international companies has been another basic pillar of the R+D+i activity conducted by i2CAT in 2013, with the establishment of more than 37 research and development agreements with the goal to turn existing knowledge into innovative products and services that improve competitiveness and add value to businesses.
From a technological and strategic point of view, in 2013, i2CAT began to drive new initiatives to introduce Internet technologies in new economic sectors, such as cities / regions, industry or creativity, where new opportunities can be generated in the medium term.
In this sense, and in the line with the RIS3CAT (Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation) strategy, i2CAT is participating in the definition of driving projects within the Catalan strategy of Smart Region, with the aim to innovate in public services by taking advantage of the potential offered by Internet technologies and by increasing the participation and commitment of citizens. i2CAT is also defining initiatives in the field of Smart Factories, which will allow the creation of new production systems and where there are European initiatives such as the Factories of the Future (FoF), that would allow access to funding, which will help our industry to improve its competitiveness.
To sum up, 2013 represents the culmination of a 10 year period in which i2CAT has become a key leader within the R+D+i system locally and internationally, and has acquired the knowledge and the necessary strategic alliances to confidently face the new challenges set out in Horizon 2020.
I would like to share this success with all the people, companies and institutions that have made this achievement possible during this time, and also appreciate their talent, support and commitment.
Jordi Puigneró i Ferrer
President of i2CAT Foundation