Learning about innovation in the public sector in Sabadell (Spain)

To get to know more about the Catalan experiences concerning Innovation in the public sector, the CCIC partners visited the city of Sabadell, on the 24th and 25th of October. This visit focused on Publicly Owned Enterprises, Local Economic Development and ICT and Civil Society.

SABADELL_3_N6On the 24th and 25th of October the CCIC partners visited the Catalan city Sabadell to get to know more about their experiences concerning Innovation in the public sector. The study visit focused on three main topics:
1. Publicly Owned Enterprises,
2. Local Economic Development, and
3. ICT and Civil Society.
At the end of the morning, the study visit came to an end and partners had to write down their feedback and thoughts on how to transfer the cases of Sabadell to their own city or region.
During the first day in the morning the CCIC consortium visited the installations of the “Cal Molins” Training Center. Three presentations focused on supporting businesses. One example was the Business Support Office, a one-stop-shop offering businesses support, in order to avoid duplication, to maximize efficiency of resources and to unify and share information on the demands of the productive sector. The second case was about the Clustering Strategy, for the promotion of innovation in the private sector, which was successful because of the leading role of Promoció Econòmica of Sabadell (economic development agency) in the creation and consolidation process of the clusters, acting as a link between the public and the private sector. The third presentation was about the alumni business network called OniOn, a network consisting of private businessmen and –women and entrepreneurs, boosted by a local public economic development agency. Now it’s an independent network, that still gets advice from the public sector when needed. OniOn helps the reactivation of those companies which are weak in their productive, marketing or innovative capacity, by sharing their problems and looking together for a good solution.
The second part of the morning sessions focused on supporting people. Vapor Llonch was presented, a public-private cooperation that offers training and employment services targeting unemployed people experiencing socio-economic difficulties to improve their employability. Another two cases to support people were the Child care service, for the reconciliation of work and training or private life, and the Labour insertion office for people with mental health disorders.
The afternoon session took place at Vapor Llonch, the headquarters of the local development agency, where the study visit continued with a presentations about ACC10, the innovation agency of Catalonia. It is the Agency that provides support for the competitiveness of Catalan enterprise. It is attached to the Ministry for Business and Labour and to the Directorate General for Industry of the Government of Catalonia. It works to promote innovation and internationalisation, to attract investment and to encourage entrepreneurship and financing. It is the leading player in action aimed at increasing the competitiveness of the Catalan business fabric. Besides that, the agency also drives the business innovation strategy in Catalonia and works on enhancing business competitiveness through public policy evaluation.
The last part of the day focused on the Parc Taulí Hospital. The importance of public procurement in order to bring innovation to the public sector was showed through some concrete examples that have been employed in the public hospital Parc Taulí. The difficulties to write a tender were explained and the importance of public procurement for the economy of a country and its innovation capacity were discussed. Finally, the Innovation Unit of Parc Taulí Hospital was presented, which aims to be the benchmark in innovation in hospitals in Catalonia, as well as in the rest of Spain since 2012, being a pioneering unit in R+D+i promotion. It showed how to use a hospital as an economic development agency.
On the second day the CCIC partners met at the Business Promotion Center where they attended a presentation about the Municipal Informatics Agency, concerning Open Data and the integration of a database. A second presentation was about the XIP network, a public innovation network, which is SABADELL_3_N6_1composed of civil servants and works towards and with innovation in the public sector. One of the hot topics of this network is the implementation of Open Government practices across the Catalan public sector.
At the end of the morning, the study visit came to an end and partners had to write down their feedback and thoughts on how to transfer the cases of Sabadell to their own city or region.