Computer Vision, a strategic technology for Catalonia

The Telecommunications, Cybersecurity and Digital Society Secretary, Jordi Puigneró, closed last Thursday, 13th of July, the presentation act of the study of the state of Computer Vision in Catalonia, carried out by Cluster Development. The study clearly concluded that there is a strong and innovative ecosystem within Artificial Intelligence applied to vision and that Computer vision has become a strategic technology within Catalonia.

The study presented a mapping of the sector and defined key actors, discovering that there are more than 67 businesses dedicated to this technology and 70M€ of aggregated income only in 2016. The study was presented at the Computer Vision Center, in Barcelona, in an event that was introduced by Dr. Josep Llados, CVC director, and continued by Eduard Riba, responsible for the study at Cluster Development. Within the attendees, there were more than 50 representatives of businesses and Catalan research groups dedicated to computer vision.

During his speech, Jordi Puignero reiterated the commitment of the Catalan government with the TIC sector, and the solid support in Catalonia of disruptive technologies such as computer vision through the research and innovation in advanced digital technologies  that the government approved some months ago within the #SmartCAT framework, which has the aim of turning Catalonia into an internationally recognised smart country.

This study has been the first step to identify a chain of value which goes from the generation of knowledge up until innovation, implementing products in various markets. According to the study, within Catalonia there is the opportunity to be highly competitive at an international scale, with more than 70 pure players (businesses that base their work in productos and/or services related to this technology), more than 250 high impact articles and more than 130 competitive national and international projects.

The classification of the study has identified 4 big types of actors: those associated to knowledge and research (R+D centers, Universities, Research groups, tech transfer platforms and incubators), pure players (businesses developers of product, consulting services and engineering), integrators (businesses which incorporate technology as a key performance factor within the product of service) and, finally, end users (big businesses demanding this technology).

With last week’s session, the intention was to establish a first contact and thus set the ground for an ecosystem which shares a same common denominator (research in computer vision), and from that, define an action plan with a public-private dynamic and so work towards strengthening competitiveness of businesses in Catalonia within this area.