The Collider is proud to count with a representation of influential experts in its advisory board, including institutional, scientific and business profiles. The main goal of such committee is to offer advice on the big scale, resolving the future of projects and investment decisions, as well as expanding the program’s frontiers on the higher level.
Today, we present one of The Collider’s expert advisors, director of Catalunya Emprén (Generalitat de Catalunya), Pere Condom-Vilà. Pere brings together 20 years experience in technology transfer, technological entrepreneurship and management of large public research infrastructures. In this post, he shares with us his views on the challenges and rewards of tech-transfer and the opportunities offered to entrepreneurs on the public scope.
How did you first hear about The Collider and what is your role in the program?
The Collider is a well-known initiative here in the ecosystem of Barcelona. Being part of that ecosystem I was aware of the program since its very first moment, since its conception. MWCapital, promoter of The Collider, is a strong dynamizer of our ecosystem. So, we are always aware of them and of their projects. My role in the program is being a member of the expert committee.
Considering your experience collaborating with universities and the entrepreneur ecosystem, which would you say is the major challenge for Tech-Transfer Offices?
Tech Transfer Offices deal with research results which may be converted into technology and market opportunities. So, those offices deal with a very early stage of those opportunities. It is so early that it is extremely difficult to see and evaluate the potential of those technologies. This is more accentuated when the route to the market it is not a traditional license but a spinoff or a startup. So, devoting efforts and money to the right opportunities is the major challenge of the Tech Transfer Units.
As Director of Catalunya Emprèn, how do your organization support high-tech early-stage startups?
The Catalan Government devotes many efforts to entrepreneurship, to all kinds of entrepreneurs: small business and self-occupation, startups, spinoffs, social entrepreneurship, corporate entrepreneurship, etc. But we are aware that high-tech startups are today the best chance for promoting economic development. So we focus on several elements that support this kind of ventures: financing, acceleration and internationalization. We have several programs that focus on them; Startup Capital in Acció, missions to other global ecosystems, grants, participative loans, corporate venturing initiatives, the network of international offices of Acció, and so on. Catalunya Emprèn makes emphasis in extending (through the Primer Pre-Accelerator Program) the effect of Barcelona as an international hub of tech startup to other Catalan small and medium cities.
Which are the pros and cons of public incubation and acceleration programs like The Collider?
They only have pros. Public incubation has sense in risky early-stages. In those times, the private initiative has no incentives. Acting and devoting resources there is too risky. So the public initiative clears the way and prepares the right opportunities for the private sector to act later. It is a win-win situation. The society doesn’t lose good technologies that without that public incubation wouldn’t have overcome their initial moments.