CIAC’s Product Innovation area gets going


This November, CIAC started one of the new areas included in the Strategic Plan 2020-2024. The Product Innovation area will be tasked with supervising and validating incoming projects, set out a vision and a strategy to promote innovation and, like the cluster’s other areas, it will be made available to members. Furthermore, the cluster has already announced that the area’s focus will be on what has been called CESS (Connected, Electric, Share & Safe)

Moreover, four basic strategic lines have been defined: 1) Improving the innovation ecosystem; 2) Raising awareness; 3) Competitive projects; and 4) Product R&D projects.

The first meeting of this new work area took place on November 13th. Cluster Manager Josep Nadal served as host, welcoming the participants and introducing the area’s leaders: Jaume Prat, Director of the Electromobility business unit and Director of Intellectual Property at Ficosa; Ignacio Martín, R&D General Director BiW at Gestamp; and Imma Domínguez, R&D BiW Black Box Manager at Gestamp.

The goal of the meeting was to delineate the structure, protocols, and work methodology of the area. On that regard, the project has been given a catalyst role, setting off the rest of the structure. The Project Manager will then step in, moving the project proposal to CIAC’s Project Platform. At that point, the Area Leaders and Subarea Managers will become involved. This is a new approach when compared to the previous methodology, and a product of the goal set out in the Strategic Plan 2020-2024 of creating a new governance within the cluster.

The last three steps are the involvement of the Cluster Manager, the industry participants, and finally the Board, which will have the last word on whether projects are greenlit.

Two engaging projects were already put forward in this first meeting. One was applying VR to collaborative part design in the automotive industry, and another was the installation of a fuel cell plant in Catalonia. Both projects were well received by the participants. The production plant was deemed to be key in order to successfully complete the transformation process the industry is going through.

To close the meeting of CIAC’s new Product Innovation area, two new members were introduced: QEV Technologies & SisTeam.