The Network of Urban Innovation Centres starts lifeA dozen municipalities from all around Spain have set up the Network of Urban Innovation Centres in Barcelona, under the broader Innpulso Network. Besides Barcelona (through BIT Habitat), the members are: Madrid (La Nave), Valencia (Las Naves), Sant Boi de Llobregat (Coboi Lab), Viladecans (Viladecans Innovació Empresarial), Caceres (AldeaLab), Esplugues de Llobregat (EspluLAB), Palencia (EFIDES), Ermua (Izarra Centre), Santander (Oficina de Inovación), Etxebarri (CIME) and Mataró (Laboratori d’Innovació Social).
The main goals of projects at urban innovation centres such as Barcelona’s BIT Habitat are to improve people’s quality of life and employability, strengthen the production ecosystem and promote urban sustainability to tackle the climate emergency. To achieve this, activity at the centres includes launching pilot projects, education programmes, project incubators and accelerators and dissemination events.
Most of Spain’s urban innovation centres have been created in the last six years. Over 70% are integrated into the structure of municipal councils and the types of innovation they address the most are to do with public companies and digital, social and socio-economic spheres. Nearly 80% of urban innovation centres hold dissemination events to connect people with the innovation community.
Barcelona as a leader in urban innovation
The Innpulso Network of Science and Innovation Cities is made up of 63 cities around the Spanish state. Barcelona joined in 2018, a year when it was recognised by the Ministry for Science and Innovation for its work to promote innovation, which stands out for its strong scientific, tech and innovation component.
Values which Barcelona contributes to the network include its recognised path in urban innovation, through high-impact projects with international prestige; the vocation of city stakeholders; its strong entrepreneurial ecosystem and transformational public policies which serve the public, such as the government measure ‘Boosting urban innovation in Barcelona’, to be presented tomorrow at the October session of the Commission for Presidency.