Barcelona Tech City, Col·legi d’Arquitectes de Catalunya and Institut d’Arquitectura Avançada de Catalunya are promoting the creation of a UrbanTech hub in Barcelona

  • The aim is to create a hub to research in areas related to the ecological and digital transition on the city and buildings and the promotion of startups that can attract and develop Barcelona’s talent.
  • The agreement aim is to bring together administrations, schools, organisations, companies and professionals in the initiative.
  • They are already looking for buildings in Barcelona or its metropolitan area to host the initiative.
  • The project will take part of Barcelona Tech City’s Urban Tech Campus project, the global network of Fab Labs, and will be open to joining the New European Bauhaus programme, in which they are already in contact.

Barcelona, 9th February 2021. – Barcelona Tech City, COAC and IAAC have signed a collaboration agreement to promote green and digital innovation in the field of urban transformation and construction. The aim is to develop the creation of a hub called URBANTECH that includes everything related to urban planning, infrastructures, mobility, housing, construction, urban health, big data and food from applications such as robotics applied to construction, parametric design, the development of new materials for construction, the design of an urban technology platform, the development of energy systems that help urban self-sufficiency, the development of food production in cities, advanced housing construction, the development of the circular bioeconomy focused on construction, and all those processes that help the digitalisation of building construction, design and development of cities towards a zero-emissions model.

This hub and the collaboration programme will be open to the participation of professional associations, administrations, companies, professionals, civic organisations and any entity that wishes to promote innovation in the construction of the city and buildings.

This project take part of the emblematic projects identified by the Generalitat de Catalunya to be eligible for European funds, and has the collaboration of, among others, the Col·legi d’Enginyers de Camins, the Col·legi d’Enginyeria Informàtica, the Col-legi d’Enginyers Agrònoms de Catalunya, Associació de Promotors de Catalunya, Institut de la Tecnologia de la Construcció and the Mobile World Capital.

The HUB will enable the development of education programmes, with an international centre for advanced education, education for professionals and education for industrialists linked to urban transformation. It will also promote research linked to the impact of information technologies and the ecological transformation of cities, including a large digital fabrication laboratory. It will also have a Co-Factory and hub for Urbantech startups and entrepreneurs, and laboratories for large companies to create the most important urban innovation hub in southern Europe. It will also promote a dissemination programme with a space for exhibitions, conferences and events open to professionals and citizens.

The HUB will be open to the development of projects with citizens, including open innovation programmes and the development of pilot projects.

To accommodate the range of activities envisaged, the estimated surface area required is around 25,000 m2 and work has already begun on the location of possible sites.

The centre will take part of the Urban Tech Campus, which is one of Barcelona Tech City’s most visible projects: a network of unique buildings that act as the backbone of networking and knowledge and allow innovation and technology to be integrated into the city and involve and coexist with citizens. Currently, Barcelona Tech City’s Urban Tech Campus is made up of Pier01, the Association’s emblematic building, located in Palau de Mar, which has 10,000 m²; Pier03, in the Porxos de’n Xifré. Work is currently underway to set up the Fintech Hub in the Barcelona Stock Exchange building, which will become Pier05, scheduled for the end of this year. And also the Health Hub, at Via Laietana 26. On the horizon there are new hubs around Mobility, Sportech, ArtTech or Retail, and other strategic sectors, to contribute to the transformation towards a more competitive, productive and sustainable economy.

The UrbanTech Hub could be integrated into the network of existing entities or to be created, such as the Fab Lab Network, the network of conferences and exhibitions of professional associations and potential new local, national and international networks such as the New European Bauhaus programme, with whom they are already in contact.

Barcelona Tech City is a private non-profit association that supports Barcelona’s digital and technological ecosystem. It was created in 2013 by a group of entrepreneurs to position the city as one of the main international technology and digital hubs. The association works together with entrepreneurs, startups, large corporations, investors, incubators and accelerators, universities, business schools, media, government agencies and other agents of the ecosystem, to promote talent, foster entrepreneurship, attract investment and improve the competitiveness of companies.

The COAC is a public law corporation with more than eighty years of history, during this time it has established itself in our society as a benchmark of national and international prestige. With almost 11,000 registered architects throughout Catalonia, its mission is to defend the social value of architecture and urban planning for society and on behalf of architects. To achieve this, it provides a service to member architects, defends, represents and promotes the work of architects, safeguards architectural quality and disseminates architecture socially and culturally.

The IAAC is a private non-profit foundation that was created to research and develop solutions in relation to the impact of digital technologies on architecture and urban planning. Its aims are to encourage, promote and develop high-level research in the various branches of advanced architecture, the human habitat, with special attention to the environment, ecology, information technologies and self-sufficiency. The IAAC participates in European research projects with international partners. Every year there are more than 150 students from 50 countries studying master’s programmes and sometimes creating start-ups in Barcelona.

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