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30/09/2020
SENER, the leading urban transport engineering company in Mexico
The engineering and technology group SENER, with Catalan headquarters in Barcelona Synchrotron Park, has been developing engineering and technology projects in the areas of Infrastructure in Mexico since 2006, with numerous contracts in urban and railway transport systems, as well as various works in intelligent transport systems on roads throughout the country and, at the same time, with a notable portfolio of projects in the Energy sector.

This September the new line 3 of the Guadalajara metro (press release) was inaugurated in this country, considered to be one of the most modern in the world. This project was developed entirely by SENER, from the pre-feasibility study to the detailed design of the line and the project management during the construction phase.

On the other hand, this same month, the SENER group has signed a contract, won through a national public tender, to carry out the technical studies for the Monterrey suburban train (note release) that will combine passenger and freight transport. SENER will carry out both field work (geometric and topographical surveys, hydrological, geological, geotechnical and environmental feasibility studies, etc.) and the preliminary project (general description and mixed mode railway engineering).

These two projects, together with others previously carried out by SENER, such as the Toluca-Mexico City passenger train or the Mayan train, confirm SENER as the leading urban transport engineering company in Mexico.
 
16/09/2020
Biogas injected into the natural gas grid: works begin!
Parc de l’Alba, which business area is known as Barcelona Synchrotron Park – also includes a future residential neighbourhood and different green areas (half of the total surface of the park) with an iconic 1km-wide biologic corridor.

Between 2007 and 2011, an excavation made in one of these green plots as the result of a former clay extraction activity was used to store waste bales from Barcelona Metropolitan Area waste recovery plants. Since the landfill has been closed, the biogas produced by the decomposition of bales organic material is extracted and burned in order to prevent its emission into the atmosphere.

To take advantage of the methane present in this biogas at a significant 60% concentration, Naturgy Energy Group (a Spanish utility formerly known as Gas Natural Fenosa), designed a pioneer project in Spain: setting up both an upgrading plant to filter methane and an injection plant to introduce this biomethane into the natural gas grid. The upgrading plant will use membrane separation technologies, an upgrading system that consists of the physical separation of CO2 and CH4 molecules based on their different size.

Once obtained all the permissions from the administrations and completed the bidding stage, Naturgy has started the construction of these two plants scheduled to start operating early next year.
 
23/07/2020
Catalan start-ups know how to attract funding
On July 14, CaixaBank and IESE Business School presented the first study on the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Spain and Portugal.

According to the analysis based on 993 representative start-ups from the Iberian Peninsula (25% of the fabric according to the report), among the 272 start-ups that achieved their last round of financing between 2018 and 2019, 71 Catalan start-ups succeeded in attracting €25.4 million of the total €77 million raised. They are followed by Madrid (17.2 million, 58 start-ups) and the Valencian Community (9.8 million, 20 start-ups). Including all the possible sources of funding, the report estimates that start-ups raised more than €700 million in the last two years, including 500 million in capital, 4 times more than in the previous report.

The Environmental Impact sector is the most represented (24%), followed by Health (14%), PropTech (technology / real estate sector) (11%) and Mobility (9%). Regarding the most outstanding technologies on which their products/services are based, 51% are defined as Software & Platforms, 36% are based on Data Analysis, 24% on Artificial Intelligence and 20% on the Internet of Things (IoT).

IESE head of the study Maria Júlia Prats estimates that these companies will need another €700 million for the next 2-5 years to remain well capitalized, without counting the coronavirus factor that could require twice as much.
 
06/07/2020
The Barcelona Synchrotron Park joins the new WEDISTRICT EU program
Thanks to its experience in the field of district heating and cooling, the Barcelona Synchrotron Park participated in the 2016-2020 THERMOS EU project dedicated to develop a free open-source tool for planning thermal energy systems in urban areas rapidly and cheaply.

Last month, our park officially joined the new WEDISTRICT EU program via a cooperation agreement with the project consortium (22 partners, 9 countries) that aims at demonstrating that innovative 100% fossil free heating and cooling solutions are possible for new and existing district heating & cooling systems.

The contribution of the park will be as a “demo follower” in order to perform a virtual demonstration case. Among the different technologies that will be studied there is the recovery of waste heat in data centres, such as those operating in our park, by using fuel cells that raise the temperature of waste heat -making it adaptable to our DH&C network- and produce electricity to power the data centre.

With EU funding of €15M, the WEDISTRICT program started in late October and will end in March 2023 with 10 technologies developed and tested in 4 different sites, one in Luleå (Sweden) to test the Data Centers excess heat integration in existing district heating.

Contact in the Barcelona Synchrotron Park: Carlos Dapena
 
18/06/2020
Eurecat, at the cutting edge of plastronics
A recent article published in Interempresas.net explains the importance of plastronics and specially refers to the Eurecat pilot plant located close to our park.

With more than 650 people in 11 centers throughout Catalonia, the Eurecat technology center aims to be a provider of innovative technology to help companies, especially SMEs, innovate and be more competitive, acting as a bridge between the world of applied research and the economic fabric.

One of these 11 centers is located right next to the Barcelona Synchrotron Park (BSP). It is one of the largest Eurecat centers and concentrates a large part of the industrial innovation, a precious opportunity for BSP’s companies. This center houses, among other services, a plastronics pilot plant, the first of these characteristics in Europe, which makes this emerging technology available to companies, after an investment of more than 1.5 million euros and the creation of 10 new jobs.

Plastronics, which combines printed electronics and the hybridization of electronic components with traditional processes of transformation of plastic such as injection, allows the creation of new processes and products of interest to the automotive, aeronautical, consumer electronics sectors or the medical and sports industry.
 
03/06/2020
Barcelona will be connected to one of the longest subsea fiber optic cable in the world
Last month, a joint enterprise by China Mobile International, Facebook, MTN Global Connect, Orange, STC, Telecom Egypt, Vodafone, and WIOCC announced that it will build the “most comprehensive” subsea fiber optic cable to serve the African continent and Middle East region where nearly a billion people are still offline. The project is called 2Africa.

Alcatel Submarine Networks has been appointed to build the 37,000km-cable, which will serve 16 countries in Africa and 7 in the Middle East and Europe once it goes live in 2023 or 2024 (see Picture), and will deliver more than the total capacity of all subsea cables currently serving Africa.

One extremity of the cable will be located in the UK and the other one in Barcelona: this landing point will reinforce the connectivity of the region, our park and its data centers.

By the way, this news gives a good opportunity to remind that the Barcelona Synchrotron Park already hosts 4 operative Data Centers (1 operated by IBM, 1 by T-Systems and 2 by SILC-Immobles; total investment: € 217 million) and offers 42,000 m2 of land especially adapted to house new Data Centers in an interesting location (presentation):
  • Top-level electric infrastructure (high capacity, high reliability, possibility of redundant power supply from cogeneration),
  • Top-quality telecommunications infrastructure (7 operators with own networks already installed and different access points),
  • Clean ambient air and quite fresh and dry climate compatible with free-cooling technologies,
  • Minimal risks (flooding, earthquakes, fires, theft),
  • Minimal energy costs (outsourced cold production plants).
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