Catalonia jockeys for mobility management


From expertise testing and car manufacturing to networking and nurturing start-ups, it is all occurring on this area in northeastern Spain. By Megan Lampinen

Spain’s Catalonia area is eager to place itself on the coronary heart of recent mobility innovation and exploration. Its curriculum vitae just isn’t missing: an extended historical past of car manufacturing, international headquarters for the SEAT and Cupra manufacturers, a bunch of contemporary circuits and check tracks, greater than 20 automotive-related R&D centres, a number of universities, and a rising variety of commerce gala’s place it competitively on the world’s stage. However is that this sufficient to safe it a number one place in CASE (linked, autonomous, shared, and electrical) mobility growth?  

Good cities

That’s a giant focus for Public Workplace for the Transformation of the Mobility and Automotive Business (OPTIMA). The workplace advises automotive corporations on the transformation in direction of new mobility and electrification. “At the moment, Catalonia performs a serious function in selling the transformation of the automotive trade in direction of the electrical and linked car trade of the long run,” says Tomás Megía, Government Director at OPTIMA.

SEAT’s international headquarters are situated in Barcelona

Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, is arguably the guts of southern Europe’s 5G push and has been actively selling the event of pilot tasks to check and validate 5G-related applied sciences. Telecoms supplier Telefonica has been collaborating with native automaker SEAT on demonstrations of 5G-enabled linked automobile capabilities in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, a municipality subsequent to Barcelona.

“The Catalan capital, synonymous with design and the avant-garde, is right this moment the primary 5G and sustainable mobility hub in southern Europe,” feedback Sònia Serracarbassa, Director of the Catalunya Convention Bureau (CCB). Serracarbassa and her group are working with OPTIMA and Catalonia Commerce & Funding to advertise the Catalunya Meetings & Mobility project, designed to draw worldwide enterprise occasions.

Developments round linked expertise, significantly mobile vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X), promise a future through which automobiles can talk with surrounding infrastructure similar to visitors lights and different automobiles. It’s going to show a key factor of the sensible metropolis of the long run. The European Institute of Innovation and Expertise (EIT) City Mobility mission is all about ushering in a brand new period of sensible cities. Headquartered in Barcelona, the mission represents  the most important European initiative to remodel city mobility, with a co-funding of as much as €400m (US$422m) between 2020 and 2026. The push in direction of extra habitable city areas contains exploring new types of electrical and shared mobility in addition to boosting the competitiveness of the mobility trade.

Gathering of consultants and leaders

CES, IAA, the North American Worldwide Auto Present—the automotive  trade just isn’t wanting occasions that convey collectively stakeholders and supply a platform for data change. However Catalonia believes it has one thing particular to supply, significantly round sustainable mobility. The area is already host to Tomorrow.Mobility World Congress (TMWC). Collectively organised by Fira de Barcelona and EIT City Mobility, TMWC brings the broader mobility sector face-to-face to spark innovation, discover options and create enterprise alternatives. “This occasion is a good place to attach and benchmark with others, to be with potential shoppers, and coordinate actions to make progress,” commented Miguel Eiras, Good Cities and City Transformation World Chief at Deloitte.

CTAG displayed an electrical autonomous shuttle at Tomorrow.Mobility World Congress 2022

Held inside the framework of Good Metropolis Expo World Congress, TMWC 2022 featured 400 audio system and attracted 20,402 in-person attendees from 134 nations throughout three days of debate and motion. “It moved the needle on accelerating sensible, sustainable city mobility,” commented OPTIMA’s  Megía. Relating occasion highlights and matter areas, he factors to energetic mobility for residents with the 15-minute metropolis idea, the influence of the vitality disaster, and challenges round city mobility and mobility knowledge sharing.

The Worldwide Mobility Congress (IMC) is one other key occasion within the area. Held in Sitges, it brings collectively these inside the mobility, public transport, and infrastructure sectors. “IMC analyses experiences and case research, and lets the main worldwide consultants talk about their subject. The principle gamers inside the public transport sector get collectively to organise this congress which needs to place Catalonia because the centre of the talk on current and future mobility,” says Serracarbassa.

Nurturing new expertise

The beginning-up neighborhood is a hotbed of innovation and nurturing that might be pivotal to realising the imaginative and prescient of a cleaner, safer extra environment friendly mobility ecosystem. Barcelona Tech Metropolis, a congregation of quite a few start-ups, lately introduced the creation of a brand new start-up hub devoted solely to automotive and mobility corporations. The town has steadily been attracting a rising variety of new gamers eager to make use of it as a testbed. Scooter suppliers Silence and Cooltra, charging skilled Wallbox, solar energy tech firm SIARQ, and versatile bus companies supplier NEMI signify simply a number of the newcomers energetic within the area. In whole, town is dwelling to greater than 1,500 rising corporations, a lot of them based by expats

Because of Barcelona’s a number of universities, prestigious MBA programmes, expertise centres and coding academies, there’s a strong expertise pool on faucet. The Skylab Coders Academy was lately voted the highest bootcamp for programmers on the planet. The area additionally advantages from the Skilled Automotive Coaching Centre of Catalonia, which specialises in offering automotive coaching to extend the competitiveness of the trade.

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is a 4.675 km motorsport race monitor in Montmeló, Barcelona

Automakers have been taking a extra energetic function within the nurturing of recent expertise. For instance, SEAT, Volkswagen Group Innovation, and the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) initiated CARNET (Cooperative Automotive Analysis Community) in 2016 and it’s nonetheless going sturdy. This can be a Barcelona-based open hub for industrial and tutorial companions from the areas of automotive and mobility analysis and innovation. CARNET is centred on project-based collaboration for city mobility options that shut the hole between tutorial analysis and industrial innovation.

What subsequent?

Transferring ahead, companies like OPTIMA and CCB are decided to make sure Catalonia stays a pivotal area for brand spanking new mobility, whether or not within the testing of recent expertise, the manufacturing of automobiles or the networking of trade consultants. The Automotive Business Cluster of Catalonia (CIAC) has already introduced collectively greater than 200 corporations within the sector, all of that are actively pursuing tasks designed to spice up the trade’s competitiveness. As the worldwide 5G community grows, the connected-car developments popping out of Barcelona ought to show more and more pivotal to realising its full potential.


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