Spanish centre is funded by PwC

October 20, 2000

IESE Business School and consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers are setting up a $1 million centre for research into European e-business.

The centre, officially launched yesterday, has been operating since July at IESE's Barcelona campus. It aims to become a leading source of information, analysis and research on e-business activities in Europe.

PwC will contribute E600,000 (£353,000) a year for the next three years. IESE is committed to finding the rest.

The centre's research topics include internet strategies for banking, the impact of wireless internet, internet and the media, virtual payment systems, distribution in the food industry, pricing by internet auctions and the impact of the internet on industrial relations.

Joan Enric Ricart, professor of general management at IESE, believes the impact of the internet is being felt first in the banking, media and entertainment industries, although, she said, "all sectors of the economy will eventually be transformed".

IESE and PwC decided to set up the centre to ensure that they keep on top of developments in the new economy. "At IESE we needed to reflect on how the so-called new economy should transform our contents and ways of training," Professor Ricart said.

Douglas Wagner, director of PwC Spain, said the move was a "strategic investment" that should allow his company to "gain access to all of the breaking issues relating to e-business for entrepreneurs, users, investors and companies".

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