Barcelona Deep Tech Summit highlights city as major hub for frontier technologies and events
This week has seen the Barcelona Deep Tech Summit, an international congress promoting scientific and technological entrepreneurship, which draws on the city’s extensive deep tech ecosystem. Yesterday hundreds of specialists, and dozens of experts in science and technology converged on the Old Damm Factory, joining with corporate giants like Nestlé, Intel and Cisco, as well as major investors and top business angel networks, to discuss cutting-edge developments, opportunities and challenges in deep tech. The agenda touched on health tech – where Barcelona is particularly strong, urban mobility, Industry 5.0, as well as quantum and “New Space” sectors, rounding out the day with an award for best deep tech start-up in Catalonia.
Top speakers this year included Ariadna Farres Basiana, University of Barcelona grad turned Astrodynamics Specialist at NASA, and Jose Antonio Garrido, Chief Scientific Officer at INBRAIN Neuroelectronics, whose team is leading the way in developing graphene-based solutions for neurological diseases. Also present was Alba Cervera, coordinator of Quantum Spain at the world-leading Barcelona Supercomputing Centre, which alongside major universities contribute to the region’s vibrant deep tech ecosystem.
Deep Tech Node alliance
The conference was hosted by Deep Tech Node, an alliance between Barcelona Activa, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), Universitat de Barcelona (UB) and Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC). This initiative was created to position Barcelona as a benchmark city in scientific and technological entrepreneurship, which manages a fund of 840,000 euros to drive the creation of start-ups, and offer easier access to markets. It has offered services to both start-ups and spin-offs related to advanced materials, AI, blockchain, robotics, photonics, electronics, quantum computing, biotechnology, and space technologies.
Joining the Deep Tech Node in tech transfer is The Collider, an initiative introduced by Mobile Capital Barcelona, which creates high-performance teams that bring together scientific and entrepreneurial talent, and then supports them in their market launch. The Collider seeks to generate disruptive deep tech start-ups, targeting corporations, scientists, serial entrepreneurs and investors. Successes among the program’s portfolio include innovative health-related diagnostic tools, or products like allread, an Industry 4.0 software that transforms any image no matter the quality into big data, using OCR machine learning to allow companies to accurately track virtually anything, deciphering for example even high speed or night-time low-quality video of ground freight transport.
The Collider is also behind PUZZLE X, which was created in June 2021 and is described as the first global initiative, event, entrepreneurial and venture hub that acts as a collision ground for ideas, innovation and solutions for frontier deep tech and materials. It collaborates and is co-located with The Smart City Expo World Congress at Barcelona Fira. Keynote speakers in 2022 include Dr Hiroshi Ishii, the Associate Director of MIT’s Media Lab, US Senator Roger Wicker from the US Senate Committee on Commerce & Science, and Dr Anne Matsuura, the Director of Quantum and Molecular Tech at Intel. This year’s edition will run 15-17 November and demonstrates the city’s world renown deep tech ecosystem that is generating many start-ups and international events.