The Catalonia Impacta awards, presented by the Cercle Tecnològic, select the technology that transforms society.
Applus+ IDIADA, IGP Poma de Girona and Elem Biotech received the first awards of an initiative led by the Technology Circle that seeks to highlight technology-based projects with the capacity to shape a more sustainable, fair and resilient economy and society.
The Technology Circle has awarded the first Catalonia Impacts awards to the projects of Applus+ IDIADA, the Protected Geographical Indication Poma de Girona, and Elem Biotech. The awards, part of the Barometer of the technology sector in Catalonia, which is compiled annually to illustrate the state of the ICT ecosystem, seek visibility of the best initiatives for economic and social transformation through technology. The three selected projects represent each of the three productive sectors - primary, secondary and tertiary - and show how technology can be the driving force behind a resilient, value-added economy.
Representing the secondary sector, Applus+ IDIADA was awarded for the creation of a connected vehicle hub offering specialised engineering services in the automotive sector. Through collaboration with Orange and Ericsson, they are working on a virtual private network with capacity over the mobile spectrum, from 2G to 5G connectivity, to exploit the potential of in-vehicle technologies. The proposal should enable manufacturers to research the capabilities of connectivity in the various functionalities of the connected car. The concentration of research at this facility in the Baix Penedès enables cost and time reductions in the design, implementation and testing of the systems. Applus+ IDIADA’s clients include Nissan, Seat, McLaren and Hankook, some of which have set up subsidiaries in Catalonia to be in constant contact with the Applus+ IDIADA team. The company employs 3,000 people in 22 countries, 1,500 of whom are in Catalonia. In the words of Applus+ IDIADA’s CEO, Josep Maria Farran, "the award recognises the team's effort and capacity in a world as demanding, complex and competitive as the automotive industry".
The PGI Manzana de Girona, in collaboration with IRTA, has received recognition for the initiative of the primary sector with Giroreg. The tool offers an irrigation recommendation based on the Watercrop platform that helps producers to optimise water and energy resources without spoiling the harvest.
Representing the service sector, Elem Biotech, a spin-off from the Barcelona Supercomputing Center - Centro Nacional de Supercomputació that creates digital twins of the heart through the Virtual Heart platform, has been selected. In collaboration with Oráculo, they have developed a system capable of generating an identical avatar of a person's heart from the medical data collected, so that the simulation makes it possible to check how the organ might react to certain treatments.
Towards a sustainable, social and fair future
The event, hosted by TV3 journalist Lidia Heredia, took place in the Orfeón Rehearsal Hall, a magnificent space in the Palau de la Música Catalana.
The jury that chose the winning projects was made up of independent people who, under strict evaluation criteria and with a final consensus, chose the winners. The members are the Secretary for Digital Policies of the Department of the Vice-Presidency and Digital Policies and Territory, David Ferrer; the President of the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, Mònica Roca; the Vice-President of Foment del Treball, Mar Alarcón; the Head of Innovation at PIMEC, Josep Barbel; and the Director of the Internet of Things Solutions World Congress at Fira de Barcelona, Roger Bou. The jury was chaired by the director of Círculo Tecnológico, Xavier Sellarès.