For i2CAT, 2013 has been a year of consolidation for our 10 year history in order to move forward to face the new challenges in the coming years.
From a research funding point of view, 2013 represented the last year of the Seventh Framework Programme (2007-2013) of the European Commission, before the start of the new Horizon 2020 programme (2014-2020), and from a Catalan and Spanish perspective, 2013 has been under funded, with a few limited research calls for funding. Furthermore, on the economic side, the reduction of the i2CAT public based funding has been another point to overcome.
Despite these difficulties, in terms of activity, in 2013 i2CAT carried out a total of 78 R+D+i projects, 30 of which were at an international/European level, and we achieved our first Marie Curie grant, which provides funding for post-doctoral researchers.
As a member of the CERCA Institution, which combines the Research Centres of Catalonia, the scientific production and productivity of i2CAT has been evaluated by an international committee during 2013 and has recognised that i2CAT has a great level of prestige in its field and is well positioned in the international scenario. It also highlighted the significant effort that i2CAT is making to obtain funding from European projects, some of which are coordinated by the Institute. In this regard, i2CAT presented more than 35 new project proposals to several European research calls during 2013.
With regards the Board of Trustees, by the end of the year both the President and Vice-President of i2CAT had changed due to the changes experienced in the General Directorate of Telecommunications and Information Society of the Catalan Government as well as at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. The former President, Mr. Carles Flamerich was replaced by Mr. Jordi Puigneró, and the former Vice-President Mr. Antoni Giró was replaced by Mr. Enric Fossas.
From an organisational structure point of view, in April 2013 we made some changes to the management staff, due to the departure of the former managing director, Xavier Peiró, who was replaced by Joan Manel Martín, and the creation of the role of Chief Technology and Innovation Officer, occupied by Sergi Figuerola. As a result of these changes, Joan Antoni Garcia-Espín was appointed as Director of the Distributed Applications and Networks Area.
Although in 2013 we have experienced a decline in income from the private sector, the i2CAT organisation is being reoriented in order to increase technology transfer activities, work closely with real customer and business needs, and try to transform the expertise in research activities into value for companies. Due to the economic constraints, we delayed the creation of the Software Engineering area, which should centralise the development of all the market-oriented applications and services.