It’s all about people – InnoHEIs family gathered in Barcelona

Vanha historiallinen rakennus Barcelonassa, etu-alalla ihmisiä ja puita.
Casa de Convalescència (UAB), Hospital de Sant Pau i la Santa Creu. Kuva: Hanna-Greta Puurtinen

After a long online season full of travel restrictions, the InnoHEIs project partners finally met each other in the beautiful city of Barcelona in March 2022. The unfortunate and unpredictable pandemic had hit our project on full strength, as one the very first kick off meeting was held in Groningen in autumn 2019, just before the pandemic closed the world.

The essence of Interreg Europe projects lies in learning from others, translational dialogue and discourse, and peer reviews. Study visits to partner regions where best practices are shared and discussed among project partners and important stakeholders from various regions across Europe should facilitate scaling up of initiatives both at practical and policy levels. In InnoHEIs project, as likewise in many other projects, this human interaction and onsite transfer of knowledge and good practices has been limited to online meetings and presentation which barely have been able to replace the original targets.

In Barcelona, we were introduced to a variety of Catalan policies, strategies and instruments as well as physical infrastructures to enhance top-quality research and innovation both regionally and worldwide. The EURECAT Technology Center is certainly one of the leading organisations in Europe to implement and support Catalan research and innovation in several fields. On the other hand, the Institute for Photonic Sciences (ICFO) and Barcelona Super Computing Centre provide marvelous examples of technology-specific high-quality research and innovation infrastructures with excellence in both equipment and expertise.

As relates to policy-level approaches, the Digital policies in research and innovation in the Catalan guide the way towards the digital and green transition in the region. Supported by the Ministry for Universities and research in Catalonia, organisations such as Catalan Agency for Competitiveness ACCIÓ implement the S3 strategies with funding, guidance and support for various ecosystem stakeholders.

The 3-day visit was concluded by InnoHEIS Steering Group meeting paving the way to activities for the last three months of the Phase 1 of the project. The main takeaways from the site visits, presentations and the meetings gave an impressive overview on regional policies and their implementation in Barcelona, not forgetting the inspiring discussions as well as cultural and culinary art of Catalonia.

Eurecat Technology Centre – Innovating for businesess
ICFO – The Institute of Photonic Sciences BSC-CNS
Barcelona Supercomputing Center – Centro Nacional de Supercomputacion
Press release Ministry of Research and Universities (
ACCIÓ – Agency for Business Competitiveness. ACCIÓ – Agency for Business Competitiveness (

More information:
Hanna-Greta Puurtinen