In the period from 10th to 13th of October, over 30 people gathered in Barcelona to continue work on the SUCCESS Project which is funded by European Union under the Erasmus + Capacity Building in Higher Education Program. The event included participation from 11 institutional partners. This study visit was planned for the purpose of getting to know the entrepreneurial culture and several institutions that are relevant for the Start up process.
We heard an inspiring keynote address by the President of Obreal Global (who was our host), Dr. Ramon Torrent. His 10 years of experience as legal councilor to the European Commission as well as his program management experience on a large HE Policy Projects in Africa helped us to grasp the importance of the challenge we have taken on in the SUCCESS capacity building project. He advised us to recognize the “preconditions” in each of our Western Balkan countries and work together to implement the learning from our European partners.
Next was a presentation by Jaume Fortuny about the CTI Platform and their efforts to help graduate students collaborate with corporations during their research and dissertation writing. This is one of the models presented to illustrate the successful cooperation of the university with the enterprises.
On Day 2 we visited the Startup Center at University of Barcelona. We heard presentations from their technology transfer office and incubator program manager. We had a tour of the incubator and a chance to network.
The high light of Day 2 was our site visit to the MareNostrum 4 at the Barcelona Super Computer Center. The super computer is housed in a decommissioned church due to the size and height requirements. There are seven super computers in Europe and the Barcelona Center has been continuously upgrading the computing power over the years. Next year they will complete MareNostrum 5 in the new building. The speed of calculation will increase 300 times but the power consumption will increase by a factor of 6. You can find out more at www.bsc.es
On Day 3 the consortium worked on the interim reports for the project and heard a presentation about the upcoming work package which creates materials for training Western Balkan HEIs in the area of startup services. We also hear about the progress of the shared platform Kalcess.net which acts as a regional hub for collaboration on research projects, corporate challenges as well as a job board for students to find internships or individuals to find job opportunities. Although the platform is still in the beta testing phase the consortium discuss communication strategy for increasing awareness of the platform within different communities and networks as we prepare the launch of the open platform.
On Day 4 we heard a presentation of the Economic Development Agency of the AMB by Ferran BaizanTechnician Officer in Industry & Territory at AMB. We visited the AMB's flagship centre in the area.
The study visit was beneficial for all participants to get new insights and knowledge, as well as to network with colleagues from other countries and universities. This contributes to the activities of the SUCCESS project which soon enters its third and final year of implementation. If you are interested in SUCCESS project visit https://success-project.ba/