Accelerating the knowledge transfer from academia into industry is of great importance to overcome the challenges our society faces. With this goal in mind, the ICIQ project ELECTRA has joined the 2021 Call for Technologies of The Collider, an innovation programme of the Mobile World Capital Barcelona that brings together scientific and entrepreneurial talent to create technological start-ups.
For the last years Alberto Bucci, postdoctoral researcherand formerly in the Lloret-Fillol group and now at CSOL, together with group leader and ICREA Prof. Julio Lloret-Fillol have been developing the ELECTRA project, an innovative production method to increase the efficiency and performance of electrodes for water electrolysers while lowering the production costs.
Now, the project is on the first of four stages of The Collider entrepreneurship programme, which provides an MBA-style formation tailored to the project to be developed. Each of the stages of the programme provides new understanding of the development of business ideas, getting them one step closer to their Minimum Viable Product (MVP). But as Bucci puts it “the programme offers a strong support: it’s a powerful networking platform that provides a lot of contacts to develop and validate your project. Even if you don’t make it to the end, there’s a lot of positive things you can take from it.”
At the end of each stage, the development of the projects is assessed by a business pitch. By the end of the programme, the remaining projects will deliver a final pitch to convince the evaluation committee to invest in the project, create a spin-off company based on the technology and start looking for partners. “The business world is full of possibilities: if you have an idea, you can develop it in many different ways that, as a scientist, you are not accustomed to see.” claims Bucci.
Bridging the gap between science and business, the end purpose of The Collider programme is to provide a response to the challenges of industry and society by means of deep-tech innovation. To this end, The Collider awards € 2,000 to each of the 15 selected projects, thanks to the collaboration with the Department of Business and Knowledge of the Generalitat de Catalunya, to promote the validation of science with the market. This edition of The Collider programme received 260 proposals of which 39 were qualified projects in the Health, Industry, Agri-Food, Energy & Utilities, and Mobility sectors; 54% of the projects came from Catalan institutions, with 38% from the Spanish research ecosystem and 8% from abroad.