• Interview with Dr Carles Malet Falcó, new Associate Director of Business and Strategy
Monday, 15 February, 2021
IQS Tech Transfer

Dr Carles Malet Falcó holds a PhD in Chemistry from IQS and is currently a Professor with the IQS School of Management, the Coordinator of the Master in Global Entrepreneurial Management (MGEM), and the new Associate Director of Business and Strategy.

 

What does this new challenge at IQS represent for you?

After earning my doctorate here in 1995 and working in business management positions throughout my career, I returned to IQS as a professor five years ago. I'm taking on the new challenge with enthusiasm and all the respect that an institution like IQS deserves. I'm accepting this position at IQS with the hope that my contribution, no matter how small, will help to grow and strengthen the University and its people. It's an opportunity to work together and contribute to making the Institution even better. As the saying goes, "leading means serving and helping to grow."

As Associate Director of Business and Strategy, what will your goals be over the next few years?

Internally, I aim to contribute to strengthening the connections between the different Divisions and IQS, to take advantage of synergies, and to place special focus on the University's continuing education (IQS Executive Education) and entrepreneurship (IQS Tech Factory) offerings. In addition, and in terms of external efforts, I hope to contribute to making the relationship between IQS and business even stronger.

Finally, I hope to take up the torch for the IQS Strategic Plan that was launched three years ago.

The vision I share with the Director of IQS is that when a student joins the IQS family, they feel that they're supported by IQS for their entire life, whether they start as an Undergraduate, Graduate, or Doctoral student. Later, IQS will still be there for them when they are professionals seeking continuing education through IQS Executive Education, when they want to start their own company through the IQS Tech Factory Entrepreneurship Centre, or when their company faces an issue and needs support from the IQS Tech Transfer division. And IQS will continue to be there when former students need to reach out to their network of contacts through AIQS and the Alumni Association.

IQS offers all the elements to provide COMPREHENSIVE value to our stakeholders. And we must take advantage of all this to the fullest.

Let's talk about the IQS Tech Factory division. Is there a new approach you'd like to take with it? For example, perhaps you would like to further encourage an entrepreneurial culture within the IQS community for students, professors, and researchers alike?

I returned to IQS five years ago, which coincided with the launching of the IQS Tech Factory project led by Oriol Pascual. The Tech Factory was created as a tool to address entrepreneurship at IQS, and it has continued strengthening over the years as IQS's entrepreneurship centre. Currently, its acceleration programme is already a benchmark in Catalonia for industrial and technological companies, and ten startups take part in it every year. Moreover, the IQS Tech Factory has worked hard in terms of networking and creating close ties with companies and institutions. This culminates with the annual IQS Tech Fest sessions which see excellent participation.

Our vision for IQS Tech Factory in the future is for this entrepreneurship centre to make things easier for any IQS entrepreneur (students, professors, or researchers) regardless of their field of specialization to gain the necessary resources and support from IQS to transform their idea into a viable value proposition on the market, no matter where it comes from, and to expand the IQS Tech Factory division and provide it with the necessary resources make this growth a reality.

Looking within is essential.

Regarding IQS Executive Education, what would you like to contribute to this division? How do you think new trends in educating active professionals should be approached?

IQS Executive Education currently has an extremely important asset: its entire community of professors, collaborators, mentors, and top-tier professionals who form part of an extensive network created under the leadership of Luis Miravitlles, the former director of the division.

IQS Executive Education is a benchmark in continuing education in the Technical and Management areas for which IQS is a known leader. The first thing that's necessary is to review and understand what companies' needs are and how IQS Executive Education can add value to them. Alongside its new director, Roser Grau, the first task that we have already undertaken is listening to what companies request from us and adjusting, modifying, or creating a modern and valuable educational offering for our clients.

During these times of varied and very rapid changes, we are committed to a sustainable growth model for the division, which responds to the present and future needs of the companies with which we are involved.

Another role you're taking on is the responsibility for leading the IQS Strategic Plan and its implementation. What elements would you like to highlight in this new plan?

As I mentioned at the beginning, I'm taking up the torch from the previous Strategic Plan (SP), which was launched three years ago. During this time, we have seen an incredibly participatory SP, like never before at IQS, which has generated expectations that are already being executed.

We continue to face future challenges, and IQS must be prepared to continue being a sustainable, leading organization in upcoming decades through participation by everyone who forms part of it.

To mention just three challenges among many, we could highlight:

  • Demographic changes, with a stagnation of the market and the number of students in developed countries. In addition, there has been an atomization of degrees that began with the Bologna Process, which has led us to reach historic highs in terms of our degrees and educational offering.
  • Education models are in a process of continuous change. The digitization and dissemination of online content is a challenge, yet also an opportunity, which should make us reflect on the role of the professor/educator in the immediate future. There's also the need to continuously “train the trainers,” who now have the tools available to reach more students across a broader scope.
  • Academic excellence. We must continue to focus on combining education and research, protecting and retaining the talented personnel who call IQS home, and continuing to increase its prestige.

Finally, could you talk about the support you'll provide Administration in its relationship with the IQS Business Foundation, a significant part of IQS's identity which has always been very close to business and industry?

After People and Science, the third pillar in the IQS logo is indeed Business. IQS would not be what it is without this pillar.

Along with Rosa Curt, we want to continue to listen and add value, in an appropriate environment, to the entire business sector for which we prepare students and that trusts us when they have issues to address. We must listen first and foremost to understand what IQS can do for companies and to adjust our offer for companies in the Foundation to continue creating value together.

In the academic field, you've been the coordinator of the Master's Degree in Global Entrepreneurial Management – a master's degree with outstanding international recognition – at the IQS School of Management for five years. What does being the coordinator represent for you? Will you continue in this role as well?

It's truly a joy and an honour to be the coordinator of this international programme. I am deeply grateful to IQS for giving me this opportunity, especially to Dr Carles Moslares, Dean of the IQS School of Management. The MGEM is a unique programme within the realm of Jesuit Universities around the world, as well as an example of collaboration between Society of Jesus Universities on three different continents. For me, and for all of participants in the programme, working with partners from Fu Jen Catholic University and the University of San Francisco has been a unique, enriching, and rewarding experience.

The programme has now been in operation for twelve years. Each year we receive between 40 and 45 students from up to fifteen different nationalities who study for four months at IQS, four months at the FJCU in Taipei, and four months in the USA. Right now, our MGEM is ranked in the Top 20 of the best Business Management programs in the world according to the Financial Times. I would also like to highlight that it ranks first regarding student evaluations of their international experience.

This master's programme has brought me great joy. The opportunity to work with two universities from two different continents has been a continuous learning experience for all of us who participate in the MGEM. I will continue to coordinate this master's degree, especially now that we are in the process of changing one of our partners: the University of San Francisco has decided to focus its efforts on other programmes due to strategic reorientation issues, and we are excited that Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California will now join us in this excellent programme.