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Institutional presentation of the new Barcelona Science Plan 2020-2023

26 June 2020

Science. The document, which was made public last March, was presented today as a Government Measure at the Plenary Session of the Municipal Council.

On the 10th March, the new Barcelona Science 2020-2023 Plan was presented in the Saló de Cent of the Barcelona City Council. Today, the document has been presented as a Government Measure at the Plenary Session of the Municipal Council, where the will to redefine some aspects in order to adapt it to the reality derived from the covid-19 pandemic has also been highlighted.

Since the 1980s, Barcelona has been consolidating its position as a reference city in the field of science and technology. Today, Barcelona counts with a group of universities and research centres considered to be among the most important institutes in Europe. In this context, in 2018, with the consensus of the various research centres and companies, universities, administrations and the public, the first Barcelona Science Plan was defined, with the aim of strengthening the city’s scientific policy and giving a new boost to Barcelona as a city of science. The Barcelona Science Plan 2020-2023, presented today as a Government Measure at the Plenary Session of the City Council, takes over from that first version.

In order to develop the Plan and to achieve its objectives, the Sixth Mayor’s Office for Culture, Education, Science and Community has been created, which for the first time incorporates science as an area of the City Council’s policy. The Plan aims to address the important aspects for all the agents of the metropolitan area to reinforce their capacities and to internationally project the city and its region as a space of knowledge and scientific innovation .

In this morning’s plenary session, Joan Subirats, Sixth Deputy Mayor for Culture, Education, Science and Community, highlighted the desire to redefine, together with the city’s scientific agents, some of the Plan’s objectives and adjust them to the reality drawn by the covid-19, a pandemic that confirms the importance of the commitment to science and research. Another aspect mentioned by the Deputy Mayor is the possible readjustment of the budget allocation due to the crisis resulting from the covid-19. The initial investment forecast was 4 million euros for this mandate, an amount that is added to the 11 million euros per year that the City Council already allocates to scientific and university policies (being the total forecast of 48 million euros for the entire mandate). The new context proposes redefining the investment of the Plan, but Subirats stressed that betting on a solid and integral project of scientific policies continues to be a priority.

The development of the new Barcelona Science Plan 2020-2023 will allow scientific and knowledge advances to be transferred to real processes of change in behaviour, the ways of living and consuming in the city. It will do so from a perspective that respects the values of our city and community: equality of gender, income, age, origin and cultural background, opening up science to the dilemmas of the time, with transparency, promoting common knowledge and open science, and seeking public participation in the major social debates.

Four work axes

The Barcelona Science Plan 2020-2023 is built on four main axes or working priorities:

1. Barcelona, European city of science

Improving the international visibility of Barcelona’s university and research institutions and scientific community, as well as Europe’s as a whole; forging alliances among key cities and organisations in the knowledge sector; and working to harness the potential of Barcelona as a hub of thought and dialogue on the European stage with regards to the ethical, political and social debates surrounding scientific advancements.

2. Research for tackling urban challenges

Providing municipal funding specifically for research; facilitating the use of urban space for research; and improving relations between the Barcelona City Council and the research and university ecosystem to join together the city’s scientific stakeholders in the search for innovative, fair and effective solutions to urban challenges.

3. Science culture by and for citizens

Turning science into a shared common value among all Barcelona residents through the promotion of citizen science, living labs and action research, encouraging quality science education for all as well as access to scientific dissemination.

4. Science, art, innovation and society

Cultivating creative synergies among art, science and technology; promoting knowledge transfer to Barcelona’s social and economic stakeholders; and fostering relationships between the city’s innovation and science sectors.

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