|President of the Association of the Tecnocampus Mataró-Maresme Foundation, Councillor for Economic Promotion and Innovation of Mataró City Hall and President of the IMPEM (Municipal Institute of Economic Promotion of Mataró). ESADE Business School, Graduate and Master in Administration and Company Management (Degree&MBA)|
One of Mataró’s
strongest investments undoubtedly lies in the health sector. The
results include the Maresme Healthcare Corporation and the
Tecnocampus Mataró-Maresme itself, which is presented as
an institution working in the Healthcare and Welfare sector and
more specifically in applying ICTs in these areas. What strategies
is the municipal government adopting to develop and get the most
out of this investment?
First of all, I want to make it clear that for the city's present council, especially in the current economic and social context, the role of the Maresme Healthcare Corporation, the role of the Fundació Tecnocampus Mataró-Maresme and their interactions are very well regarded. The Maresme Health Corporation is a very important healthcare centre for the region which must play an important role in seeking and developing solutions to improve this care. Our strategy is based on enhancing the synergies that can be produced through its collaboration with three players brought in by the Fundació Tecnocampus: the university colleges with high-level training and their research groups; the transfer groups and the companies located there. And amongst these companies, the role of the Fundació TicSalut must be stressed as a promoter of ICT application to healthcare attention in Catalonia.
The results to be achieved with this strategy will not only be directly applied in Mataró, but may be exported and will generate wealth everywhere.
To make it easier to understand the importance of the synergies, I will give three significant example of actions already under way: the collaboration of professionals from the hospital and students of the Higher School of Health Sciences on training programs and placements; the joint work of professionals from the hospital with the Signal Treatment Research Group of the Polytechnic School in the early detection of Alzheimer's disease using writing analysis; the projects being developed by the company OtherSideMirrow in the area of rehabilitation and the projects of integration and interoperability between healthcare information devices and systems, which are key for telemedicine, being carried out by the Centre for Integration Competencies of the Tecnocampus Transfer Project Unit.
The Fundació TicSalut and the Fundació Tecnocampus Mataró–Maresme in 2009 created the Centre for Integration Competencies, how has the work done by the CCI-TCM been assessed? And how do you think it should be enhanced?
First of all, the creation of this centre must be viewed positively as it is a joint initiative of the Fundació Tecnocampus on commission by the Government of Catalonia to promote the application of ICTs to the Catalan health system, and of the Fundació TicSalut whose missions include creating a cluster of ICTs applied to health and welfare in Mataró. Therefore, throughout the world, the governments and health systems clearly realise that the application of ICTs in this area will revolutionise healthcare. This is being done, but there is still a long way to go, not only because new technological developments will appear, but because standards will be established and we will be able to integrate mechanisms and systems, home care and hospital attention in a single network. Therefore we will all be better attended at a lower cost. The interoperability between systems will provide us with better and more efficient healthcare environments.
It is therefore right that in Tecnocampus we should have this Centre for Integration Competencies that works closely with the TicSalut Office of Standards and Interoperability. The activity over these two and a half years has grown clearly with specific, well-defined lines of work.
The City Hall will do everything it can to enhance the joint work of the CCI-TCM and the TCM Schools with the Maresme Healthcare Consortium and Fundació TIC SALUT: research agreements, masters in chronic illness and other initiatives that we will develop.
The Higher School of Health Sciences has been around for little more than one year, and the Centre for Integration Competencies for little more than two. When will we be ready to talk about the transfer of technology and knowledge between university and enterprise in the Tecnocampus science and technology park?
Although the Fundació Tecnocampus has been running for very few years, the Mataró Polytechnical School has been working for 29 and the Maresme School for 17. This means that the research groups working in the schools were created years ago and have a strong background of research activity. What is also true is that the drive towards transfer is something that has started in recent years, and we want to enhance it still further. Our companies, our health centres, our institutions must receive a drive thanks to knowledge transfer between University and Enterprise.
We are therefore encouraging support policies for doctorates and seek to bring existing research groups to companies and centres in the territory. We are also pushing other initiatives in this sense, such as the creation of groups within Tecnocampus that are particularly aimed at transfer, such as NetLab and the Centre for Integration Competencies, which also help to revalue the work done by researchers in the Schools.
There are already collaboration agreements between companies and these groups, and if we look at their evolution, we are sure to find that the number and importance of these contracts will increase significantly in a very short time.