CatLabs Manresa
CatLabs Manresa. Author: Oficina Tècnica de la Xarxa PuntTIC. 2017. License: BY-NC-SA.

The delegate of the Government in Central Catalonia, Laura Vilagrà, has been in charge of welcoming those attending the meeting, which took place at the Palau Firal of Manresa. Then Ricard Faura, Chief of Digital Inclusion and Training of the Government, presented the Catlab Programme, which aims to strengthen the existing potential in the territory in digital and collaborative social innovation and provide visibility.

Representatives of vocational training centers, companies and innovation centers as well as entrepreneurs and facilitators of ICT Punt attended the session. They are the agents that make digital social innovation and often do not know each other. In fact, one of the objectives is marked Catlabs is to seek complicities and promote collaboration between these local actors. This meeting has therefore meant a first contact with agents of innovation in the regions of Anoia, Bages, Berguedà, Moianès, Osona and Solsonès.

Attendees have shown interest in knowing what kind of projects have been detected in the meetings held in other territories (Lleida, Tremp and Girona), as well as the advantages and considerations of joining the open innovation system proposes Catlabs.

They have even discussed the concept of digital social innovation. Following the question of why one should specify that innovation is social and digital, they have talked about how historically there are periods in which technical advances, even cause serious crises are made, but ultimately end up coming to citizenship, just they democratizing. Thus, social innovation does not emphasize technology, in the apparatus or device, but in the social uses that can be made.

They have also highlighted the low attendance of women in this meeting and wanted to know if the same thing happened to the others. Ricard Faura explained that in other territories other found more women, but, still, women are still a minority in vocations STEM (acronym for science, technology, engineering and math) and this is seen in the field digital social innovation.

Next week will be presented Catlabs program in the Ebro (Tortosa) and later in Tarragona and Barcelona. These sessions are taking the first steps to create a network of agents that make innovation in Catalonia. Those entities, organizations or governments who wish to join the Red CatLab can apply for membership via the form available on the Internet.