Bouygues: Catalan independence “won't be a problem” for investing

May 23, 2017 04:08 PM | ACN

The independence process “won't be a problem” for investing in Catalonia, said Paul Cartuyvels, Director for European Affairs of the French multinational Bouygues, a company with more than 125,000 employees and delegations in 19 countries. Cartuyvels participated in a meeting on foreign investment with entrepreneurs and companies from Europe, the U.S. and Asia, organized by the Catalan government during the “European Business Summit”. Bouygues is interested in Catalonia’s Global 3D Priniting Hub and considers the country “a natural partner for high level innovation”. The Catalan Minister for Business and Knowledge, Jordi Baiget, who explained Catalonia’s business assets during the meeting, said that the political debate is not negatively affecting foreign investment: in fact, in the last 5 years Catalonia has seen a 36% increase in foreign investment.

New ‘Automobile Barcelona’ fair kicks off, focused on innovation

May 11, 2017 01:26 PM | ACN

Barcelona’s car show, which has brought the main novelties of the automotive sector to the Catalan capital for nearly a century, has reinvented itself. The new ‘Automobile Barcelona’ fair opened its doors this Thursday focused on innovation, said the fair’s president, Enric Lacalle. During the next ten days, more than 90 companies, 30 car brands, and 108 speakers are expected at the Fira de Barcelona, including Tesla and other companies related to the new technologies such as Google or Facebook. Volkswagen is a notable exception. Catalan President, Carles Pugidemont, welcomed the “partnership” between connectivity and the car industry but insisted that the main challenge is that everyone be able to enjoy this combination and not just a select few.

Vall d’Hebron Hospital pioneer in non-invasive pediatric surgery

April 25, 2017 12:43 PM | ACN

The Vall d’Hebron Hospital in Barcelona, one of the pioneer hospitals worldwide in non-invasive surgery in children, is planning to use minimally invasive methods with 70 percent of its pediatric surgeries. This week various pediatric surgery specialists gathered in a congress at the Vall d’Hebron Hospital Campus to share their professional expertise. The Vall d’Hebron Hospital is one of the few hospitals capable of performing surgery on a newborn with a weight of less than 1.5 kilograms or on a 24 week-old fetus with spine bifida. Since the incorporation of Doctor Manuel López as Head of Services, pediatric laparoscopy has gotten a new boost. López has set the objective of performing the majority of the 2000 annual surgeries on children with innovative methods.

Barcelona opens space to promote intercultural exchange with the United States

November 14, 2016 06:32 PM | ACN

Since this Monday Barcelona forms part of the global network of cities that boast an American Space, a place to promote cultural exchange with the United Sates. The Ignasi Iglésias-Can Fabra library inaugurated this morning a centre called American Space Barcelona that will offer free activities, programmes and workshops to citizens. The programme of activities of the centre aims at providing information on the US, teaching the English language and giving academic advice to study in the North American country.Barcelona’s Deputy Mayor for Business, Innovation and Culture, James Collboni, stated that the centre will allow “to overcome stereotypes, prejudices and preconceived ideas” about the United States, especially among young people. 

More than 4,000 companies and 140,000 visitors to attend Alimentaria trade fair

April 25, 2016 07:14 PM | ACN

From the 25th to the 28th of April, Barcelona Gran Via will host a new edition of Alimentaria, one of the most important trade fairs in the world focusing on food and drinks and the second most important in the Catalan capital after the Mobile World Congress. Amongst the newest trends to be featured in 2016 are superfoods, local food and organics. The event is also celebrating its 40th anniversary with several novelties, the most prominent of which is the Multiple Foods trade fair, a more diverse exhibition which will bring together different companies. Additionally added are beverage and frozen food manufacturers in Restaurama, Vinorum Think, and Halal Concept. The exhibition has a projected economic impact of 170 million euros for Barcelona, already manifesting in the high hotel reservations. 

Mobile World Congress kicks off in Barcelona with a record 100,000 visitors expected

February 22, 2016 11:50 AM | ACN

From this Monday until the 25th of February leading brands in the mobile phone-related industries such as Samsung, LG and Sony will present their latest wares and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and F1 driver Lewis Hamilton will be amongst the speakers. A record figure of 100,000 visitors are expected and 2,100 international exhibitors have confirmed their attendance at the fair, consolidating Barcelona as a true meeting point for the sector. The 2016 edition of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) will take place amid major security measures due to the terrorist attacks in Paris last November and will also be affected by the metro strike, whichTransports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB) will carry out on the key days of the MWC. Thus, the recently opened new metro line, the L9, won’t contribute as much mobility as expected.


'Smart City' registers its best edition yet with 14,000 visitors

November 20, 2015 03:04 PM | ACN / Sara Prim

A record figure of 14,000 visitors attended the fifth edition of the 'Smart City Expo World Congress' the summit of smart cities organised by Fira de Barcelona. 465 exhibitors, more than 400 international speakers and 500 cities from the five continents presented their experiences regarding urban solutions and innovative technology. "This confirms the consolidation of the congress" stated Smart City's director, Ugo Valenti. He also highlighted urban transformation as one of the greatest challenges of the future and the congress as "a really valid platform for knowledge and experience exchange". The Catalan government presented three projects from the 'SmartCAT' framework to promote intelligent cities. Telecommunications and Information Society general director Jordi Puigneró recapped the 50 initiatives that have been launched in Catalonia during the 'SmartCAT' project’s first year of implementation. 

Innovative Catalan projects received €190 million from EU funds

October 28, 2015 07:19 PM | ACN

Catalonia received more than 190 million euros from the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme, the most important initiative in the EU in terms of innovation and R&D. In the past year and a half, Catalan innovative companies and research projects received 2.6% of the total that the EC has given out so far, representing a higher figure  proportional to Catalonia’s population weight within Europe (1.5%).“Catalonia’s R&D system is one of the most productive and successful in Europe”stated general director of Recerca, Josep Maria Martorell, head of the entity which executes and promotes research and innovation initiatives in Catalonia. “During the first year of Horizon 2020, Catalonia has multiplied by 3.5 what was raised in the first year of the previous European funding programme, the FP7”he added. Most of the 142 companies which received Horizon 2020 funds were SMEs and this allowed them carry out feasibility analysis and be able to fund their R&D activities, so that their projects could be launched. The Horizon 2020 programme, launched last year, has an 80 billion euros budget until 2020.

Mobile World Congress to stay in Barcelona until at least 2023

July 14, 2015 03:55 PM | ACN

Barcelona will continue to host each year the world's main event of the mobile phone-related industries until at least 2023, it has been confirmed by the company organising the Mobile World Congress, GSMA, on Tuesday through a press release. “We are very pleased to confirm that Barcelona will continue to serve as the Mobile World Capital and home of the Mobile World Congress for the next eight years”, stated the CEO of GSMA, John Hoffman. The Catalan capital has been uninterruptedly hosting this annual event since 2006 and has been declared the Mobile World Capital, as the project goes beyond the congress and involves the development of a business environment focused on this type of industry at international level. The current contract was due to end in 2018 and a few months ago Barcelona officially told GSMA it was willing to continue hosting the event until 2023.

Four Motors for Europe regional association looks to develop ICT as

June 10, 2015 09:51 PM | ACN

Lombardy, Baden-Württemberg, Rhône-Alpes and Catalonia will work together to develop strategies to foster the Information and Communication Technology sector in both their own territories and at European level, in order to make the continent hold a leading position in this sector at world level. This has been the main conclusion of the main event of the current presidency of the Four Motors for Europe, which is a regional association formed in 1988 by the aforementioned 4 territories in order to develop common projects and lobby at European level. Catalonia currently holds the association's rotating presidency and has made the development of the ICT sector its main objective, particularly focusing on smart city and 4.0 technologies. Lombardy, Baden-Württemberg, Rhône-Alpes and Catalonia signed on Wednesday in Barcelona a shared declaration strengthening their commitment in this field.

Type 1 diabetes vaccine could be on the way as Catalan researchers take a step forward

June 4, 2015 09:36 PM | ACN

Researchers at the Hospital Germans Trias in Badalona (Greater Barcelona) have taken an important step toward creating a vaccine for Type 1 diabetes, which currently has no cure. The discovery, published in the scientific journal 'Plos One', consists of the preparation of nanoparticles in the laboratory that, once introduced into the body, slow down the destruction of beta cells (whose primary function is to store and release insulin). With Type 1 diabetes, the body’s immune system attacks these insulin-producing cells located in the pancreas and destroys them. Currently, to combat the disease, patients must take insulin injections. In recent years, Catalonia has become a global hub for biomedical investigation, developing cutting-edge research initiatives and participating in leading international projects. With just 0.1% of the world’s population, Catalonia accounts for nearly 1% of global scientific production and attracts 2.2% of European competitive funds and 3.5% of European Research Council (ERC) grants.

University of Barcelona builds humanities and social science research campus in 22@ district

June 4, 2015 09:14 PM | ACN

The University of Barcelona (UB) has begun the first phase of its Humanities and Social Sciences Park in the 22@ business and technological district. The opening ceremony took place in Can Jaumandreu, one of the buildings that will hold the research park, along with Can Ricart. Both of these buildings used to be factories built in the late 19th and early 20th century in what was once the industrial centre of Barcelona, known as 'the Catalan Manchester'. This new research park is the latest addition to the 22@ district, which over the past 15 years has become a hub for business and technology in Barcelona. The park represents an effort by the UB to amplify its research in the humanities and social sciences and is a complement to the Barcelona Scientific Park, which opened in 1997.