- 120 scientific projects will be fostered annually from Barcelona with the aim of helping them transcend the limits of the laboratory and reach the market to become successful spin-offs.MWCapital and EurA will provide Venture
- Building support to innovative projects funded by the European Innovation Council (EIC) as part of the new Tech to Market program
Mobile World Capital Barcelona emerges as Europe’s leading scientific Venture Builder
Mobile World Capital Barcelona consolidates its position as Europe’s leading scientific venture builder with a new project that will identify, develop, and scale 120 projects per year related to technologies from cutting-edge research centres and universities across Europe.
MWCapital’s new Tech Transfer area grows from local to European level and has a budget of almost €4M in two years from the European Innovation Council (EIC). The new scale of the project is possible thanks to a consortium between MWCapital and EurA, a German innovation consultancy. The Tech to Market Program started earlier this year, with the first activities taking place in May 2023.
This evolution has also allowed MWCapital to become a strategic partner (ecosystem partnership) of the European Innovation Council (EIC), the most important innovation program in Europe to identify, develop, and expand cutting-edge technologies driven by the European Commission. This partnership will enable MWCapital to accompany and guide scientific projects from all over Europe in the process of becoming spin-offs, offering unique support and reinforcement in the transition from the laboratory to the market.
MWCapital’s commitment to tech transfer arises from the desire to address strategic, social, and common-interest challenges through the direct connection between the research and business worlds. For this reason, over the past 7 years, the Foundation has consolidated a cohesive deep-tech ecosystem of stakeholders to help and support the creation of scientific spin-offs.
So far, through its program The Collider, MWCapital has supported 224 scientific projects from 105 different research centres. With this approach, more than 130 pilot projects have been generated with corporations and institutions, and over 65 investors have shown interest and participated in various demo days and project stages. The initiative has also involved over 90 entrepreneurs in scientific projects to consolidate work teams that can transform these research projects into deep-tech startups.
According to Francesc Fajula, CEO of Mobile World Capital Barcelona: “Technology transfer within the European framework is and will be a priority to place ourselves within the global map. Therefore, we must maximize the innovative impact of scientific research and commit to Deep Tech technologies, which have the potential to address some of the major social challenges we face, such as sustainability, energy, or health, among many others.”
In presentation of this new project of Mobile World Capital Barcelona, Laia Arnal, Director General of Knowledge Society, Transfer, and Territory of the Government of Catalonia, Mariona Sanz, Head of Innovation and Business Development at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, Viorel Peca, Deputy Head of Unit for Transition Activities and Business Acceleration Services at the European Innovation Council, Leon Rizzi, Executive Director of Jolt – a start-up born from the MWCapital venture builder that has just raised €6 million in a series A round to develop its green hydrogen production proposal – and Pol Hortal, Director of Technology Transfer at MWCapital, also participated.
After Fajula’s speech and the connection with Peca from the European Innovation Council, which highlighted the community’s commitment to linking science and the market, Hortal highlighted the differential methodology promoted by MWCapital and the decisive involvement of various local stakeholders in fostering the project’s growth. In this regard, Arnal’s intervention allowed for the assessment of the territory’s potential in this field: “Initiatives like this undoubtedly position Catalonia as a country and Barcelona as a city on the international map, not only in Europe but far beyond. This means that in the coming years it will allow us to attract innovative and entrepreneurial talent, will help us to attract the attention of international investors and will allow us to generate collateral economic activity and generate knowledge directly, indirectly or induced. Therefore, it is an extraordinary asset that we have to play competitively for the coming years to get the maximum impact” said Arnal.
On the other hand, Sanz’s intervention has allowed to value the role of research centres in the whole process of technology transfer. For Sanz, the current challenges “BSC’s mission is not only to conduct research and manage a large scientific infrastructure such as the MareNostrum supercomputer, but also to transfer technology and knowledge generated through this indispensable tool for advancing science and responding to society’s major challenges. The objective is to facilitate, through computing and other services, innovation in business sectors. That is why we offer our research and HPC infrastructure capabilities to the 11 BSC spin-offs and the entire Deep Tech start-up ecosystem, accompanying them and facilitating their scaling to the market”.
Finally, with the case of Jolt, and Leon Rizzi in particular, it has been highlighted how the attraction of international talent can act as a catalyst for the creation of projects with an impact within the territory. Rizzi, explained in his speech how the founding team of Jolt has been built through the whole process of Venture Builder that they followed last year with MWCapital. “We want to promote a new economy based on green hydrogen and we want to do it from Barcelona with an international team that allows us to solve a global energy challenge. Since our passage through the MWCapital venture builder we have been able to attract the interest of funds from all over the world, and now we have just raised a Series A that will allow us to make the revolution we are aiming for a reality”.
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