The Audiovisual Sector and the Digital World Meet Again in Sonar+D 2015

The Catalan Audio-visual Cluster, together with Barcelona Tech City and Sónar+D, organized the second edition of the Digital&Media Summit, a meeting between audio-visual companies and the technological and digital world.

Around fifteen companies from each sector shared their experiences and explored new ways of collaborating on projects of mutual interest. The session was moderated by Josep Lluis Sanchez Brugarola, from Infonomia team.

Collaboration Agreement with the Associated Scriptwriters of Catalonia

The Catalan Audio-visual Cluster and the Associated Scriptwriters of Catalonia (GAC) signed a collaboration agreement through which they commit to work together on the promotion, knowledge base, distribution and strengthening of the Catalan audio-visual sector.

This agreement, signed by Xavier Guitart, president of the Cluster, and Marçal Cebrián, president of GAC, seeks to create areas of collaboration points between scriptwriters and audio-visual companies, and to ensure the participation of both in activities and projects of mutual interest.

The Cluster Collaborates on InterDocsBarcelona

This year, the Catalan Audio-visual Cluster participated in InterDocsBarcelona 2015, a section of the DocsBarcelona Internacional Festival, focussed exclusively on interactive and transmedia documentaries.

The association contributed to InterDocs by bringing in three speakers from the UK  who also participated as financers for Interactive Pitch: Adam Gee, Commissioning Editor of Multiplatform & Online Video for Channel 4; and Alex Nelson and Robin Cramp, two of the driving forces behind BBC Connected Studio.

The conference  also forms part of the Digital & Media Forum, an event organized by the Cluster, which was inaugurated on May 12 in the Blanquerna auditorium.

The Cluster Signs a Collaboration Agreement with the UPC

The Cluster and the Polytechnic University of Catalonia have signed a collaboration framework agreement aimed at working together in teaching, innovation and technology transfer in the audio-visual and information and communications technology field, as well as in activities related to the promotion and diffusion of the Catalan audio-visual sector.

The agreement, signed by UPC rector Enric Fossas and Catalan Audio-visual Cluster president Xavier Guitart, commits to establishing permanent collaboration channels, providing new opportunities in the field, and promoting the exchange of projects between the Cluster’s companies and the university, through the Barcelona School of Telecommunications Engineering (ETSETB), the Barcelona School of Informatics (FIB) and the Terrassa School of Engineering (EET).

This agreement allows the organization of conferences and round-tables, the adaptation of ideas and technological projects coming from the UPC students and researchers to business models, the collaboration in the design of academic programs, the participation of companies in teaching activities, as well as the organization of seminars and courses. It also allows the students to take on internship positions in the companies associated with the Cluster and gives the personnel of those companies access to additional training.

Talk on New Trends in Audio-visual Innovation

Television, cinema, production companies, advertising agencies…, the audio-visual world is adapting to new consumption patterns in which users are playing an increasingly active role. Building on this assumption, Ferran Clavell, head of innovation and future media at CCMA (Catalan Broadcasting Corporation), presented more than a hundred initiatives during his talk “Audio-visual Innovation Trends” organized by the Catalan Audio-visual Cluster.

Clavell expounded upon some of the diverse innovations that focus directly on content, such as Gogglebox, a TV program based on filming the audience while they watch television, or the format of Slow TV, which covers the real-time length of ordinary events (such as a seven hour train trip in Norway), or DogTv, a television program aimed at dogs.

Furthermore, he gave some examples of projects designed to give the user an active role in determining the content, such as the web documentary (ex. Alma), interactive music videos (ex. Bob Dylan), and video games that function as informational programming (ex: Fort McMoney) or investigative reporting (ex. Immersive Journalism).

Clavell also referred to initiatives aimed at the synchronized interaction between mobile phones and television (second screen), to simultaneously offer features across both platforms ranging from complementary information about content to the opportunity to participate in it (in the case of game shows and other programs). This kind of interaction is also beginning to be used in movie theatres.

Finally, he illustrated some of the strategies that the audio-visual sector is using to gain a larger presence on the internet, and particularly on social networks. “Television is no longer waiting for the user to seek it out anymore, but it is going to where the user is, such as Twitter, WhatsApp, Facebook or Youtube”, noted Ferran Clavell.


Audio-visual Cluster Meeting in Barcelona

The representatives of different audio-visual clusters met today in the Mobile World Center of Barcelona, in a meeting organized by the Catalan Audio-visual Cluster. Clusters from Galicia, Basque Country, Madrid, Valencia, Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, Andalusia and Catalonia attended the meeting, as well as representatives of Twist Cluster of Wallonia, Barcelona Media, Audio-visual SGR, the British Council and the Spanish Ministry of Culture.

During the event, the possibility of collaborating in joint projects and of promoting the contact between audio-visual companies from the different regions was discussed. To that end, it is agreed to take on the recovery of the coordination mechanisms established for the Red Cave, a network of audio-visual Spanish clusters built up some years ago which is no longer in operation. It was also agreed to organize a meeting with the Walloon audio-visual companies during the World Mobile Congress, and to participate in the European Creative Hub Forum that will be celebrated next January in Lisbon

World Television Day in Catalonia

The Catalan Audio-visual Cluster and the Tecnocampus of Mataró celebrated the World Television Day in Catalonia in a discussion series that brought together critics, journalists, media managers and producers.

The event consisted of three round-tables, gathering participants from different sectors that invited the audience to think about the evolution of the world of television, the changes in consumption patterns, and the transformations and new challenges that the sector has to face with the emergence of the internet and new technologies.

Fernando de Felipe (La Vanguardia), Manuel de Luna (El Periódico) and Paula Hernández (, who sat together in the first round-table, “What television we have. The critics talk”, all agreed that more innovation is required in the TV industry in order to attract new audiences, and especially the youth audience.

In the second round-table, “What kind of television can we do in Catalonia”, participants Antoni Pemán (CCMA), Oscar Nogueira (8TV), Ángel Casas (Barcelona TV) and Joan Foguet (XAL), highlighted the difficulties that the sector faces, with the reduction of Catalan audio-visual productions due to the decrease of public resources and the concentration of the advertisement market in the hands of only two large corporations.

The debate in the third round-table, “The coming TV”,focused on the challenges that stem from interactivity, the rise of the live broadcasting, new online content operators and business models that respond to new patterns of consumption. The participants were Xavier Fisa (Lavinia Interactiva), Ferran Clavell (CCMA), Xavier Redón (Abertis Telecom), Jaume Ripoll (Filmin) and Álex del Olmo (Tecnocampus).

Collaboration Agreement with the University of Lleida (UdL)

The Catalan Audio-visual Cluster, represented by its president, Xavier Guitart, and the University of Lleida (UdL), represented by its rector, Roberto Fernández, have signed a collaboration agreement in which both institutions commit to establish channels for the exchange of information, training, dissemination, innovation and research in the audio-visual, communication technologies and cultural fields.

Moreover, this agreement allows the University of Lleida to participate in the “Audio-visual Pitching” project promoted by the Cluster, which seeks to establish contact between students involved in quality audio-visual production projects and companies from the sector which could potentially be interested in them, and would also allow students from the Audio-visual Journalism and Communication and the Master of Audio-visual Business and Digital Convergence programs of the UdL to take on internship positions in the companies associated with the Cluster.

Through this agreement, the UdL joins those Catalan universities that already collaborate with the Cluster, such as the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), Pompeu Fabra University (UPF), the University of Vic (UVIC) and Ramon Llull University (URL). “Maintaining a close relationship with the universities is essential for the Cluster”, Guitart states, and stressed that the Audio-visual sector is the sector with the highest proportion of young, highly-trained workers.

In turn, Roberto Fernández stressed the importance that a collaboration with the Cluster will have for the Audio-visual Journalism and Communication program, as a Catalan institution aiming to have an international presence.

Collaborative Innovation Session with Eccomerce, BCD Design and Barcelona Media

In order to stimulate the exchange of knowledge between companies from the audio-visual, internet and design sectors, and to promote the (co)creation of  joint projects, the Catalan Audio-visual Cluster, together with the Barcelona Design Innovation ClusterCluster Ecommerce & Tech Barcelona and Barcelona Media, organized the session, “Collaborative Innovation. Speeding up innovation in the cultural and creative industries. Promotion of Inter-sectorial Collaboration.” at CosmoCaixa Barcelona.

The session was led by Josep Lluís Sánchez Brugola, an expert on innovation, creativity and strategy who presented the latest trends in innovation and gave some examples of new working methodologies based on collaboration between companies from different sectors.

This meeting is part of an ongoing series of sessions about innovation that began last June during the Digital&Media Summit of Sonar +D.

200 Professionals Debate the Relationship between Brands and Content

In order to debate the relationship between brands, advertising agencies, producers and channels, around 200 audio-visual and marketing professionals came together in a session about Collaborative Communication, organized by the Catalan Audio-visual Cluster at the Foment headquarters.

This event included the participation of Jaume Alemany, marketing director for Damm; Jordi Alavedra, CEO of the Ogilvy & Mather agency in Barcelona; Tinet Rubira, director of Gestmusic/Endemol;  Carles Manteca, sales and marketing director of the CCMA; and moderated by Enric Pujadas, vice-president of the Cluster.

The speakers all agreed that the classic advertising models, still predominant in the sector, no longer meet the increasingly diverse, changeable and demanding needs of the consumer-spectator, who has an increasing capacity for controlling his or her own consumption. Tinet Rubira warned: “The spectator always eludes us; s/he is always one step ahead”.

They also agreed on the necessity to join forces in finding an alternative or complementary advertising model based on collaborative communication which would integrate all parties involved in content creation and would be less aggressive for the spectator.

Jaume Alemany, for example, pointed out that Damm tries not only to sponsor artistic activities, but to build up long-term relationships with them. In turn, Carles Manteca (CCMA) announced that TV3 will assign part of its resources to creative R&D.

However, Jordi Alavedra warned that this new model may face some difficulties: the enormous complexity of collaborative communication projects, the large amount of agents involved, the difficulty of reconciling often conflicting interests, or the increased costs of the process, to give some examples.

The Audio-visual Cluster Expands Its Board of Directors

The Catalan Audio-Visual Cluster prepares for its second year of activity by expanding its Board of Directors, with the incorporation of 16 new representatives of the Catalan Audio-Visual sector.
Xavier Guitart will stay on as the Audio-Visual Cluster’s president, accompanied by 3 vice-presidents:  Antoni Esteve (Lavinia), Tinet Rubira (Gestmusic Endemol) and Enric Pujadas (Ogilvy). Margarita Cardona (El terrat) will join as treasurer and Genís de Tera as secretary.
The Board is also made up of Paco Escribano (Minoria Absoluta), Joan Bas (Diagonal TV), Sergi Ovide (Ovide), Ignasi Comillas (Veranda), Noemí Cuní (Broadcaster), Valentí Roda (La Quimera), Jordi Mendieta (Dreamteamconcept), Josep Maria Quintana (Createl), Jordi Roigé (Utopia Global), and Eduard Gil (Paral·lel 40).
Currently, the Cluster consists of around 60 companies involved in production, including support services, technology, publicity, and more, and it maintains collaborative relationships and dialogue with Catalan universities, research centers, professional associations and public institutions.

Collaboration With the Balmes University Foundation

The Catalan Audio-Visual Cluster has signed a collaboration framework agreement with the Balmes University Foundation, owner of the Teknós centre and the Vic-UCC University, aimed at encouraging collaboration in teaching, research, transfer, technology and innovation.

The agreement comes just a few months after last May’s inauguration, in the city of Vic, of the Teknós Training Centre in Technology and Communication and it formalizes the opening of new channels for cooperation between the university and businesses in the audio-visual sector.

Through the Faculty of Business and Communication and the Polytechnic School, the University of Vic-Central University of Catalonia joins the group of academic institutions connected to the Audio-Visual Cluster.

This agreement promotes the establishment of collaborative academic and research activities, the development of collaborative studies, and the execution of projects of mutual interest. Moreover, it strengthens the training of Vic-UCC University students by providing students with work experience, development of undergratuate and Master’s projects, and the profesional training of the Teknós students in companies that form part of the Cluster.

Present at the signing event were Josep Terradellas, the FUB general secretary, acting on behalf of general manager Joan Turró; Xavier Guitart, president of the Catalan Audio-Visual Cluster; Joan Rosés, Cluster manager, and Jordi Montaña, rector of  Uvic-UCC. Also present at the signing were Núria Barniol, manager of the Profesional Careers Service, Mercè Chacón, the Teknós coordinator, and Anna Paloma, coordinator of the FEC communication studies.

During the signing, rector Jordi Montaña urged Teknós, the Faculty of Business and Communication, and the Polytechnic School to work closely with the Cluster, since they offer academic programs related to the audio-visual and technological field. In turn, Xavier Guitart declared that “one of Cluster’s priorities is to strengthen contact with universities”, and added that “at this moment the audio-visual sector is undergoing spectacular growth, since it must provide the entire digital realm with new content and technology, and therefore the relationship with young, trained, and specialized university and pre-university students, is extremely strategic.”

The Digital & Media Summit in the Sonar+D

This year’s edition of Sonar+D festival hosted the Digital & Media Summit workshop, co-organized by Ecommerce&tech Barcelona and the Catalan Audio-Visual Cluster, with the participation of representatives from 30 national companies in the technological and audio-visual industries.

The participants shared their experiences and explored new ways of forming partnerships and trade agreements. The meeting helped to confirm that audiovisual and digital businesses are increasingly connected and can easily create complementary partnerships and new business models. The growing demand for audiovisual content for all kinds of devices, the digital companies’ knowledge about their user base, and the direct monetization of content and services have been the most valued topics for the representatives of both industries.

The two-hour workshop allowed the participants to establish new contacts and collaborations thatare continuing beyond the Digital & Media Summit.

Indy Saha, From the Google Creative Lab, Talks about Strategy, Innovation and Creativity in the Digital World

On May 29th in Barcelona the Catalan Audio-Visual Cluster, in collaboration with the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT University), organized the session “Strategy, innovation, and creativity in a rapidly changing digital world” in which Indy Saha, director of strategy of Google Creative Lab, participated as a speaker.

During his talk, Saha presented the Google Creative Lab, an interdisciplinary team based in London, but with several working groups scattered between different cities, such as New York, San Francisco and Sydney. Its main goal is to create pilots and prototypes for new products and services linked to the internet, as well as to promote the use of the Net for the development of new creative and educational projects.

For example, Saha presented “DEV.ART Art made with code”, a platform created by Google that hosts several artistic projects based on the use of data; the Google Science Fair, created as on online platform to encourage young people to improve their scientific and innovation skills; or the Hangout Comedy Club, which transforms YouTube into a platform for humor-based content.

He also referred to Spell Up for Google Chrome, which provides educational tools for English-learners; or the Science Museum/Web Lab and the Google Chrome Web Lab, two interconnected projects that allow the user to interact via the Internet with the contents of the Science Museum.

Lastly, Saha reflected on the need to produce new work dynamics based on collaboration between people and companies, research, multi-disciplinarity and trans-disciplinarity. He celebrated the existence of the Catalan Audio-Visual Cluster, while encouraging the companies involved in the Cluster to apply new ways of working that prioritize innovation and creativity, one of the keys to Google’s success.

Rod Perth, President of NATPE, Meets With the Catalan Audio-visual Industry

The viability of establishing cooperation pathways with Barcelona and the possibility of exploring new business opportunities related to its audio-visual content were one of the ideas exposed by the president of the National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE), Rod Perth, during his lecture organized by the Catalan Audio-visual Cluster in the headquarters of Barcelona Activa. Barcelona’s capacity and prestige and its commitment to the digital world, mobility and new business, ensured Perth, are the keys elements of the future collaboration.

NATPE, held in Miami each January, is one of the world’s most important events around the issue of content markets. As Rod Perth explained, the goal of NATPE is to maintain a business model based on personal and direct contacts, bringing together the major actors of the audio-visual industry, and that stresses transformation and adaptation to changes in the market and consumer habits.

The industry, concluded Perth, is changing due to digital technologies, and content forms the transversal basis for this transformation. “For this reason, the audio-visual world needs to find new, fresher and more innovative ways to open up new markets and to establish new relationships between buyers and sellers”.

Rod Perth’s visit to Barcelona also included meeting with Fira de Barcelona, Turisme de Barcelona, and a meeting at Foment del Treball with the representatives of the Catalan business world.

The Catalan Audio-visual Cluster Signs a Collaboration Framework Agreement With

The president of the Catalan Association of Telecommunication Engineers (, Joan Solé, and the president of the Catalan Audio-visual Cluster, Xavier Guitart, signed a collaboration framework agreement by which both institutions commit to work together in support of the audio-visual sector.

Consequently, the Acoustic and Audio-visual working group of include a Cluster representative who will contribute to the development of the activities of the collective, such as the organization of conferences, seminars, courses and sessions, that serve to disseminate subjects related to this sector.

Moreover, commits to collaborate with the Cluster to facilitate and promote the cooperation between the agents of the audio-visual sector and the TIC sector, to ultimately strengthen innovation, creativity and talent, and to position Catalonia as a recognized worldwide audio-visual center.

Finally, the agreement promotes the organization of joint events in the aforementioned fields.

Jaume Codina, representative of the Committee of in the Acoustic and Audio-visual working group was also present at the signing.

The UPF and the Catalan Audio-visual Cluster Will Collaborate in the Communication, TIC and Culture fields

The Pompeu Fabra University and the Catalan Audio-visual Cluster have signed a collaboration framework agreement by virtue of which both institutions will work together to promote training, dissemination, innovation and research in the audio-visual, communication technologies and cultural fields.

Jaume Casals, rector of UPF, and Xavier Guitart, president of the Catalan Audio-Visual Cluster, signed the agreement, which has a timeframe of two years (extendable) and takes into account that the scope of collaboration will be progressively updated by means of action programs regulated through specific framework agreements.

Present at the signing event were Xavier Binefa, director of the Department of Information and Communication Technologies (DTIC); Xavier Ruiz Collantes, dean of the Communication Faculty; Enric Reig, director of ESUP; Josep Blat, professor of DTIC and Josep Gifreu, emeritus professor of UPF (on behalf of the director of the Communication Department). Representing the Cluster were Jaume Pujol, Joan Rosés and Miriam Mendoza.