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Sustainability, resilience, collaboration and innovation will be key to transforming the future of the economy

The Cluster of the Efficient Energy of Catalonia (CEEC), the Cluster Foodservice, the Cluster of the Catalan wine sector, INNOVI, and the Packaging Cluster have organized the Strategic Immersion 2020, where has been created a disruptive space with live presentations. During the event were taken more than a hundred B2B meetings between the participating professionals.

The first day of the Strategic Immersion 2020, virtual intercluster meeting, held on Thursday 19th of November and online concluded that to transform the future of the economy, taking into account the current framework marked by the economic crisis caused by the pandemic of the Covid- 19, it will be necessary to keep in mind sustainability, resilience, collaboration and innovation. The mayor of Granollers, Josep Mayoral, during his welcome agreed with this idea: “Together we can transform the future through collaboration, knowledge and joint work. Today is a good example of this exchange of synergies between very different sectors. "

The event began with the intervention of the presidents of the four clusters organizers.

In a first speech, Artur Costa, President of the Packaging Cluster warned that "from now on we must work on B2C relations, with the aim of being able to put the client in the center ”. Then, Álvaro Bailo, President of the Cluster of the Catalan wine sector INNOVI, has shown his interest in making "Strategic Immersion days a good tool to inspire attendees and help them to extract new business opportunities." Raimon Bagó, President of the Foodservice Cluster, highlighted "a cluster must adapt to the needs of its members. This allows the clusters to be at the forefront of the trends that are emerging in its market ". Finally, Esther Izquierdo, President of the Energy Efficient Cluster of Catalonia (CEEC), said that it is important to work together among the different sectors present today, and creating links between the four fields will make the partners of each cluster become stronger and will allow more business opportunities ”.

The first presentation was given by Jaume Giró, President & Chief Executive Officer of Giró Consultants, who reflected on the most important changes in recent history and their impacts on our way of life and the welfare society we have achieved: "Among the keys to this transforming society, we must prioritize how to solve the health crisis as well as the economic one with positivity, justice, democracy, education and proven information."

Next, Emili Rousaud, Founder of Factor Energia, defended that sustainability must be a key point in the business strategy and made an analysis of the energy horizon: “We must keep in mind how to use the own resources to manage energy consumption, with new available technologies and with the minimum environmental impact. Currently, we have the opportunity to reindustrialize Catalonia, we can have the cheapest energy in Europe, as Spain has an important photovoltaic and wind potential due to its privileged geographical position”.

Afterwards, Santi Aliaga, Controller of the Vall Companys Group and CEO of Zyrcular Foods, explained that "there are three sustainable challenges: creating alternative proteins, improving production methods and driving the change of people's habits" and he added that to achieve this we need to collaborate, work on innovation, be close to the start-up ecosystem and be proactive about change.

Right after the last talk, Joana Barbany, General Director of the Digital Society of the Catalan Government, defended the need to work on the empowerment of women in the technology sector, “it is necessary to fight against the digital gap between women and men. There are more women studying, finishing their studies and getting higher grades than men, and despite that females underrate themselves. Only 7.9% of women hold executive positions in the ICT sector ”.  

The day concluded with the round table ‘What strategies we should follow once the pandemic is over’. In this chat, Cristina Alonso, Merchandising Manager of Areas, explained that the clusters have 360º vision and are the first who detect opportunities and help to carry out business strategies or policies of their partners. They (clusters) have the ability to connect large, medium or small companies”. Maria José Cristòfol, Marketing Director of the Europe Gourmet Division WE, explained that "in a time of crisis you cannot be inefficient, the situation is now critical for the sector of foodservice, it is necessary to define the priorities and figure out what you can contribute to the value chain".  

According to Manel Xifra, CEO of Comexi, "telework in hybrid format has come to stay. We will be more efficient since we won’t spent time moving from one place to another to appointment". Eva Plazas, Technical Director of Caves Vilarnau, has shown that “it is necessary to think in the global of the product, this means to ask ourselves if the packaging and its label are sustainable and also if the product is made nearby". Finally, Meritxell Arús, Marketing and Communication Director of Schneider Electric, has detailed "the financial aid that comes from governments must be used to invest in projects oriented towards sustainability."  

The closing was given by Ramon Tremosa, Minister of Business and Knowledge of the Catalan Government, saying that “clusters allow us to observe new business opportunities, work collaboratively, network and help to get out of the current crisis ”.