Press Releases

05 September 2017

Joan Parra: 'The main objective of LEITAT, like Fira de Barcelona, is to help boost industry'

Interview with the general manager of the LEITAT technology centre

The general manager of LEITAT, Joan Parra, has a PhD in Chemical Sciences from Barcelona University and has undertaken various projects as a biochemical researcher. Since 2000 he has managed the LEITAT technology centre.
Question: LEITAT is the technology partner of Fira de Barcelona's Life Sciences and Chemistry business unit. What does this collaboration agreement between LEITAT and Fira consist of?
Answer: It means that both parties knowingly provide the resources necessary to define and carry out specific actions and activities that fulfil our shared objectives in relation to the development and competitiveness of the whole industrial sector, helping companies to develop their R&D&I policies from a market-based perspective.
The Life Sciences and Chemistry business unit looks after a large number of trade shows, ranging from Expoquimia through to IN(3D)USTRY, amongst others. What kind of role will LEITAT play at these trade fairs? 
At events of this size and impact, the role that LEITAT plays goes beyond its mere presence as an exhibitor, as our collaboration with Fira de Barcelona's business unit allows us to define, promote and undertake actions that multiply the impact of the event among participants and visitors alike. These actions even go beyond the actual dates of the show, guaranteeing a high level of activity in the periods between events and offering companies and their participants added value that sets it apart from other trade fairs or events. 
These actions range from the involvement of noteworthy speakers, to solving the technological challenges that arise during the event, to the gestation and start-up of high-impact industrial and technological R&D projects.    
In this respect, what does LEITAT expect to gain from its collaboration with Fira de Barcelona?
LEITAT hopes that this collaboration with Fira de Barcelona, aimed at articulating the management and execution of the projects as and when they are defined, will be an excellent complement to industrial development; specifically, development stemming from advanced technology, as well as being a strategic partner in the process of promoting industries at an international level, coming up with new formats and goals for markets that are not yet properly structured. 
In this respect, a whole range of completely cross-cutting scenarios and disciplines come into play, which can be applied to any sector, such as security, sustainability, biotechnology, advanced materials, and so on. 
Fira de Barcelona is hosting Barcelona Industry Week in the near future, which involves the joint organisation of various trade fairs whose goal is to promote the digitisation of industrial processes. Given LEITAT's experience in this field, is Spanish industry really making a commitment to digitising its processes?
Absolutely, and also, given the convergence between the general determination of industry as a whole to adapt to new production and management models and processes, plus the need that has arisen for markets to evolve and new digitally-driven segments to emerge, this technological adoption is evolving at a pace commensurate with the global scenario.
As a technology centre, how does LEITAT encourage companies in Spain to increase the digitisation of their processes?
For some years now, the technological solutions developed by LEITAT for the companies with which it collaborates have included digitisation as an inherent concept, so it is not a sudden process of technological adoption but rather a series of innovations which have been integrated by industry very rapidly. Innovating from the chemical base through to the development of industrial processes, going for new materials so digitisation can run through the layer of crosscutting knowledge that helps it to be visualised in trade fair scenarios such as the one we are presenting here.
Along the same lines, what are LEITAT's objectives as a technology centre?
LEITAT's main objective is in line with that of Fira de Barcelona: to help boost industry as a whole. More specifically, LEITAT hopes to be able to anticipate and develop the technologies that will contribute to this goal. An example of this is HYBRICK, an accelerator of advanced additive manufacturing processes that helps participants in IN(3D)USTRY to bring their projects to fruition. This is just one example of the many projects we are developing with Fira de Barcelona.
And finally, what future projects is LEITAT involved in?
Some of the ideas on which LEITAT is working with a view to the medium-term are: 
- Reducing time-to-market by adopting technologies that are useful to industry.
- The evolution of technological concepts through to their intelligent use.
- The capillarity of open innovation. 
- New materials
- New surfaces
And a wide and varied range of possibilities in which technology transfer is a key aspect of developing markets.
Barcelona, September 2017 
Eduard Pérez Moya
(+34) 93 233 21 66