1. What is an Innovation Challenge? 
"Without challenges there is no innovation"
We talk about the conscious search of both problems to solve as well as the identification of opportunities for improvement within the company. Solving them will directly improve its competitiveness. In this way, the company can formulate the needs of today (problem) or anticipate to the needs that will arise tomorrow (opportunities).
That is why the challenges are the spark that initiates the processes of innovation and will be by definition where solutions that can be exploited will grow. Identifying these challenges enables you to become more aware of what you want to learn and achieve in this process.
The innovation challenges related to the company's activity require technical, creative and knowledge solutions always under the ability to integrate it into the company and turn it into an innovative instrument.
Generating the habit of proposing challenges to progress guarantees improvement results, so we invite you to ask yourself when it was the last time you made a challenge and start a new one today.
The OPEN INNOVATION FORUM program can provide some guidelines to help you define your challenges with the most relevant information needed and draft a proposal. You can request this document to openinnovationforum@biocat.cat
What is not considered a Challenge?
Needs that do not include the key component of innovation through the knowledge and technology that universities, research centers, technology or other Innovation Agents can generate will not be considered as a challenge.
Therefore, international business plans or distribution plans would be examples of challenges that would be out of the competition, given that there are other public agents already offering these services.
2. Why innovating with Catalan universities?
Nowadays business innovation requires an ecosystem of external collaborators to help reach answers to increasingly more sophisticated challenges. Our proposal is to choose the technique of Catalan research entities.
The universities, research centers and technology parks of Catalonia hold the leading positions among the Spanish and European universities, with a top scientific impact production compared to the world average and more investigation concessions than France or Germany.
This means that if you decide to invest your effort in identifying and describing a challenge, you will have universities, research centers and technology parks working to offer solutions and new ideas to your stated need.
3. What are the benefits of participating in this project?
  • Answers and solutions developed ad hoc based on your expressed need.
  • Knowledge of a variety of approaches and different proposals to solutions.
  • In the same day and space you will obtain for your company customized and useful quality projects, to improve your competitiveness.
  • Find partners for future collaborative R & D projects.
  • It is intended to offer later support for the development of projects.
4. What sectors do you target?
The sectors included in the project, according to the categorization of RIS3CAT, are: Food Industries and Health Industries.
  • Food: Includes the agro-food industry and the entire value chain as the primary sectors, the packaging industry, machinery for food, additives and gastronomy.
  • Industries of the health and sciences of life: Fine chemistry, pharmaceutical preparations, medical technologies.
  • Biotechnology.
  • These sectors understood in their broadest sense:
  • Logistics.
  • Process and manufacturing systems: new products, reductions in time, costs, energy and materials in processes, increase the parameters of precision, quality, safety, waste management and reduction of environmental impacts.
  • Machinery, technology, equipment, robotics ...
5. How, when and to whom do I tell my challenge?
For the companies to elaborate the description of the challenge, we provide in this web, a simple form that will serve as a guide to record all the basic information.
Understanding the difficulties that can arise in the identification and description of the challenge, the universities offer specialist accompaniment through interviews.

The Challenge Collection period is open throughout the program.
6. Is the confidentiality of my challenges guaranteed?
The organization that will receive, guide and work on your challenges, is formed only by assigned university personnel, committed to treat this information with strict confidentiality. In order to secure this data protection, the Problem-Solvers organizations have agreed to the Confidentiality Commitments set by the OIF organizers. See confidentiality section on the web.

 The company may specifically agree with Problem-Solvers to address their challenges that sign an additional confidentiality agreement if deemed appropriate.
7. If I am a company can I launch more than a challenge?
It is possible. Just add, in the same virtual profile of the company, another challenge filling a new form of description.
8. What involvement does my company require?
It will be you who will decide who of your organization is involved in this process and if this referent is changing in later stages. However, this project has been designed in such a way that the participation of companies does not involve a great investment of time.
In broad outline, the commitments that will have to be assumed from the companies will be:
  1. Identification and description of the challenge
  2. Evaluate the different solutions proposed by the Universities and accept or deny the meeting call received to know more thoroughly the solutions that interest you most.
  3. Attend bilateral meetings on the days of the Open Innovation Forum.
The contact details (e-mail and mobile phone) of the persons attending the day of the day in the Organization must be recorded, in order to be informed directly about the registration, the agendas and the changes, if any. This information will not be publicly available on the web.
9. What can I do if I have registered but have not received any solutions to my challenge?
The organization will assess in each specific case the particular procedure to follow, contact the contact person of this website.
10. If the activity of my company is not within the sectors can I participate?
The available Problem-Solvers from different universities and research centers can deal with the challenges of most business sectors.


1. What involvement does my company / research group require?
It will be you who will decide who is involved in this process or if this referent can change in later stages. However, this project has been designed in such a way that the participation of the researchers does not involve a great investment of time and can concentrate mainly on the solutions.
Broadly speaking, the commitments to be undertaken will be:
  1. Work on the proposal of solution-innovation for the company (brief summary).
  2. Request a face-to-face session with the companies they are interested in meeting with.
  3. Attend the Open Innovation Forum event, where you can discuss and give details about the proposed solution. 
The contact details (email and mobile phone) of the attendees to the fair must be handed to the Organization, in order to be informed directly about the registration, the agendas and last sec changes, if any.
2. As research groups, can we ask questions about the challenge in the company?
In order to make the solutions as accurate and useful as possible, there's a space where research groups (through the OTRIS of their universities) can ask questions, in case there is any, to the organization who then will transmit the list to the company.
In addition, the web platform allows you to send specific queries to the companies through the option "SEND MESSAGE" in each participant's profile.
3. If we are a research group what descriptive information do I include in the profile?
In the case of research groups, record relevant group information on a virtual presentation card: research areas, group consolidation, membership profiles, etc.
4. When and how do I present the proposed solution to the challenges?
The solution proposals can be presented through the platform starting March 15. The organization can provide a short solution proposal form to guide you through the content to be submitted. The proposal should be sent to the companies via text message. Afterwards, a meeting can be requested. The company will review the content of the proposal and will accept to meet you on the following the Open Innovation Forum event (June 2020).


1. Why do I receive no or few meeting requests?
You need to have "I want to participate in B2B networking and meetings" box checked and you need to mark your availability slots for the event. You will find all these settings in your profile.
2. How can I register for the event?
Click the blue "Register" button on the home page on the right to start the registration process.
3. Why is it necessary to publish a high-quality profile?
The profiles give you the opportunity to publish and promote your collaboration offers before and after the event. Not only the participants to the event but also any other user can enter the web and read the details of your organization as well as the cooperation opportunities.
4. What information do I need to fill out the registration form?
  1. Registration form: selection of the sessions you will attend (opening, bilateral meetings in the morning, bilateral meetings in the afternoon, lunch and coffee break) / Payment details / NIF (in the case of companies).
  2. Fill profile: contact information (person, organization) / Information about your company/group/search your specialty and areas of activity.
  3. Challenges form / Solutions form: This is the space where companies will enter a description of their challenge, which will be picked up by researchers. It is also the space for researchers to describe their solution. 
Remember that it is very important to provide a good description to receive proposals for possible solutions with the highest rigorousness.
All this information can be found in your account registration.
5. Password?
You will need to enter a password during registration. This will need to log into your account.
6. Forgot your password?
Click the Sign button where you will find the link "Forgot your password". Use this link to receive an email with instructions.
PS: The log messages contain a link to "automatic login". This link leads you directly to your personal account (My acount) and enter the password. We recommend NOT DELETE THIS EMAIL.
7. How to change your password?
Going to the link auto sign that appears in the mail that you received after your registration and go to "change password"


Bilateral Talks

  • Participants150
  • Meetings Requested216
  • Meetings Accepted67


  • Spain.pngSpain 150
  • United_States_of_America_USA.pngUSA 1
  • Total of Participants151

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