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March 07, 2017
Building a University Residence in the Barcelona Synchrotron Park
In terms of its higher education offer, the Vallès region of the Barcelona Metropolitan Area is home to the UAB University, one of the best universities in Spain, and the prestigious business school ESADE. These two centres receive about 45,000 students.

The Barcelona Synchrotron Park (BSP), which is next to UAB and a few minutes away from ESADE, offers a strategically located and connected space for building a new university residence that would give students the opportunity to live in a green environment close to the leisure and cultural life of Barcelona.

Outside researchers who come for short or long-term stays in one of the many UAB or ESADE research centres and people visiting the companies set up in BSP are also an important potential for a future university residence.

For more information, download here the special report about the opportunity that BSP offers to invest in a university residence.
March 01, 2017
How Biodiversity is Supported in the Barcelona Synchrotron Park
Parc de l’Alba, which includes its business area promoted as BARCELONA SYNCHROTRON PARK (BSP), is a 340 ha park undergoing urban development that pays particular attention to nature conservation, ecological restoration and support to the biodiversity.

This commitment was awarded in 2016 by the European Commission "Business & Biodiversity" label.
 
Mixed uses integrate the BSP, a residential land sector and extensive green spaces (190 hectares) for the conservation of biodiversity. One of the most iconic features is the green corridor, a large area of some 140 ha.
 
The Parc de l’Alba’s action program designed to enhance its green infrastructure and support biodiversity can be downloaded here.
 
This program is broken down into 5 core areas described in the document:
COREA AREA 1. Ecological restoration
CORE AREA 2. Application of ‘nature-based solutions’
CORE AREA 3. Ecological management of green spaces and pending building areas
CORE AREA 4. Supporting agriculture
CORE AREA 5. Healthy and educational network of paths

Contact: Consol Pérez, cperez@parcdelalba.cat
February 23, 2017
A Superconducting Electrical Generator in ICMAB
The Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC) on the UAB campus, which has an agreement with the Barcelona Synchrotron Park to facilitate park companies’ access to its science and technology facilities, jointly with Gamesa Innovation and Technology, a leading Spanish technology company in the wind energy industry and the Institute of Materials Science of Aragón (ICMA-CSIC-UNIZAR), have successfully completed the first phase of development of the first medium speed superconducting generator to be used in conventional medium power wind turbines (2MW).

Remember that superconducting materials have the remarkable property to transport electricity without producing heat thanks to an absence of electrical resistance. This class of singular materials has been known by physicists for a long time but the technology transfer challenge is still there: this first prototype (see picture) as the result of four years of collaboration between the three entities is great news.

The advantages of this new type of electric generator compared to the conventional generators are diverse: it simplifies the entire mechanical structure of the wind turbine as well as the electronic system; simplifies assembly and maintenance, reduces the risk of breakdowns; the time of intervention for maintenance is extended; and, in the near future, the cost will be reduced according to the rapid evolution of superconducting materials.

The future implementation of this type of electric superconducting generator in the wind turbines opens a new perspective to the wind energy industry, making windmills more efficient and robust and reducing the costs of energy production.

Congratulations and fair winds!
February 15, 2017
​Catalonia, a Gateway for China in Europe
“Catalonia solidifies its position as a gateway for China in Europe”. With this heading, economic journalist at La Vanguardia Catalan newspaper Luis Federico Florio wrote recently a paper (in Spanish) about the importance of the Chinese investments made in the region and highlighted its strengths: industrial know how, technology push and infrastructures.

Based on 2015 consolidated data, Chinese companies invested 160 million euros in Catalonia (60 million in existing companies and 100 million in the establishment of new firms), roughly half of the global amount of investments made in Spain. According to ACCIÓ managing director Joan Romero mentioned by Luis Federico Florio (ACCIÓ is the public agency in charge of attracting foreign investments in Catalonia), Chinese entrepreneurs see Catalonia as a gateway to enter in Europe and Latin America.

In this context, a key element is the port of Barcelona in which Hutchinson Port Holdings Chinese company operates the BEST terminal. The company has already invested 300 million euros to enlarge it and will invest up to 580 million during the 50-year concession started in 2008.

80 Chinese companies are currently operating in Catalonia and there is every indication that this number will increase in the coming years. 
February 09, 2017
​Hepatitis C Under the Watchful of ALBA Synchrotron
In the last recently released informative video about ALBA synchrotron, MISTRAL beamline researcher Ana Joaquina Pérez Berná, explains how X-rays produced by the electron accelerator allow understanding the action of drugs in liver cells infected with the Hepatitis C virus.
 
ALBA synchrotron MISTRAL beamline is an X-ray microscope that gives a tomography-based 3D vision of cells. This singular facility (only 4 synchrotrons offer this research tool worldwide) acts as a CT scan but with a 1 million times higher resolution.

In the framework of collaboration with the Biotechnology National Center (CNB-CSIC), Ana Joaquina and her colleagues observed healthy cells and compared their structures to both cells infected with Hepatitis C virus and infected cells treated with three different drugs. Observations have shown, among other things, how one of the three drugs has reversed the situation, turning an infected cell structure into a healthy cell one in only 7 days.

According to Ana Joaquina, MISTRAL offers a bridge experimental technic between classical biochemistry and experiments on mice and patients.

This video, together with other informative videos already released, is available on ALBA synchrotron Youtube channel.
February 02, 2017
​The Barcelona Entrepreneurial Spirit Attracts Important Rounds of Funding
2017 got off to a promising start in the Barcelona entrepreneurial ecosystem with an important round of funding completed by Letgo: last week, this company, which is settled in Barcelona and devoted to the Internet second-hand market, concluded the largest round among Spanish start-ups since 2010:  Letgo raised $ 175 million (€ 163 millions).

In general, Barcelona attracts important investments of this kind: in Spain, in the last 7 years, 63% of rounds in technology start-ups larger than € 10 million ended up in Catalonia. A similar percentage is observed for the international venture capital invested in Spain: in 2015, 71% went to Catalonia according to The Spanish Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (ASCRI).

By the way, among the 10 largest rounds ever carried out in Spain, 8 have corresponded to Catalan companies such as Scytl (electronic voting) o Privalia (fashion web portal). The global amount of these rounds in Catalonia corresponds to € 928 million.

According to Inveready Technology Investment Group Director Carlos Conti, this attraction of venture capital to the Barcelona is due to the multiplier effect of the local entrepreneurial ecosystem that is able to attract large business investments and as a consequence, to conclude the largest rounds of funding of technology start-ups.

News based on an article by the Catalan newspaper Ara on January 29, 2017.
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