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July 23, 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.
 
July 06, 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
 
June 18, 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.
 
June 03, 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).
May 20, 2020
Hub B30: a useful platform
Hub B30 was created in 2018 to promote innovation among the SMEs located in the so-called B30 territory, the Barcelona Synchrotron Park’s territory (B30 is the 3rd Barcelona ring road adjacent to the E15-AP7 highway).

This platform created by the UAB University, the UAB Research Park, the Eurecat Technology Center and the Àmbit B30 association aims to back companies and institutions to detect their challenges and needs in improving competitiveness and offer them solutions through collaborations and interactions.

One of the actions carried out by Hub B30 consists in meetings about innovations and trends in specific sectors. These so-called Innovation Brunches focus on specific cases of technologies or disruptive innovations in given areas and a technology watch report on the corresponding sector is released at each meeting.

Two years after the creation of the initiative, the UAB Research Park carried out an impact assessment survey on people representing companies, universities and entities that attended one of the eighteen activities organized by Hub B30, between June 2018 and February 2020.

The results show that this territorial innovation initiative has contributed to 14 R&D projects and one of its most valued assets are the technology watch reports.

These results encourage to continue this initiative. Congratulations, Hub B30!
 
May 07, 2020
We are a territory of innovation
Last month, the European Division of the International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation (IASP) released a position paper to express its appreciation for the European Innovation Ecosystem concept, within the EU’s Horizon Europe, and in particular for the European Innovation Council’s initiative “Enhanced EIC pilot” that aims to “support top-class innovators, entrepreneurs, small companies and scientists with bright ideas and the ambition to scale up internationally”.

As networks of contacts that promote activities based on connecting people, enhancing talent, creating networks and providing them with adequate spaces to grow, Science Parks and Areas of Innovation can be key players in this new EU initiative, the IASP European Division explains in that paper.

This document provides an opportunity to remind that our park and its environment form that kind of so-called Area of Innovation: the park itself with 1.4 Mm2 of  floor area for innovative companies and the iconic ALBA synchrotron, the largest scientific facility in south-western Europe; our partner UAB university with 4,000 researchers in 30 research centers and its PRUAB technology transfer and incubation center; the EURECAT technology center; the ESADE business school and its ESADE Creapolis business and incubator center… and a dense industrial fabric of more than 10,000 companies within a 7km radius around ALBA.

The concentration of these interconnected people and structures in this concrete territory make it a privileged location to allow new ideas to emerge and innovation to become a tangible reality.
 
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