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The Auditori 1899 was the venue on Monday for the Smart City Expo Pre-Day Event ahead of the Smart City Expo World Congress that from tomorrow until November 17 will be making Barcelona the smart city capital of the world. Dr Jordi Monés, FC Barcelona board member and commissioner for FCBUniversitas, Sports Innovation Hub, welcomed more than 400 guests to the event organised by Microsoft and Bismart that includes conferences of the City Protocol Society featuring leading experts from the sector.

As part of FC Barcelona’s strategy to set international standards as a centre for technology, innovation, and the generation and transfer of sporting knowledge through FCBUniversitas, Sports Innovation Hub, the club is attracting increasingly more of the world’s most prestigious and important technology companies, as is the case with Microsoft and Bismart, who have chosen the club’s premises to hold this exclusive event aimed at mayors, senior representatives and CIOs that are in Barcelona on occasion of the Smart City Expo World Congress 2016.

The Pre-Day event represents a unique opportunity to show first-hand the latest solutions and trends in SmartCities. The day included a presentation of the ten best Microsoft CityNext Partners’ solutions, and the speakers included Toni Townes-Whitley, vice-president of the Microsoft public sector; Albert Isern, CEO of Bismart (Big Data Data Analytics), and Antoni Vives, of the City Transformation Agency.

The Smart City Expo World Congress 2016 Barcelona at the Fira Barcelona Gran Via trade centre will be the meeting place for 500 cities from the five continents to discuss urban transformation issues to guarantee a more sustainable future. The exchange of experiences and fostering of joint ventures are the core reasons for the participant cities’ being present. The Congress has attracted 400 internationally renowned speakers to its different sessions, conferences and round tables.

Statement by Dr Jordi Monés, commissioner of FCBUniversitas:

“As a club we are obliged to use technology for many things: to analyse sport, to analyse play, performances, etc. It is also our intention to become a hub, in consideration of Barça’s capacity for influence and diffusion. A lot of people want to work with us. And we’re doing a lot of trendsetting things. It is our intention to create technology, innovation and knowledge. That is why everything about the FCB Universitas Sports Innovation Hub is so strategic for us”.

“Technology will form part of the whole Espai Barça project. FC Barcelona is the biggest sporting facility in the centre of a major city. We are a technology district inside a city”.

“Barcelona is becoming a Smart City, and Barça must develop a Smart Stadium. It needs to be a space that’s alive every day, not just when there’s a game. That’s something we’re already planning for the Espai Barça, and it’s sure to incorporate technology”.

“The departments of the Club are highly transversal and interact with each other. The luckiest thing about starting a stadium project from scratch is that we can apply all the new technologies in smart spaces for the members and local residents”.

“Our intention to be a technological club is not just a passing fad. We intend for it to be permanent. Technology is necessary in order to innovate. If we want to continue being one of the best clubs in the world, we have to learn from the best, we have to take note of what others are doing and we must promote. The technology symposium that we hosted last week did us a lot of good, for as well as forging partnerships and finding new travel buddies for our journeys around the world, we could see what others are doing and realise that we should not stop”.

“There is no progress without innovation, and innovation is knowledge and technology”.

Statements by Toni Townes-Whitley, vice-president of the Microsoft public sector:

“I think it’s a fantastic idea to understand the Club as a microcosmos of the city and the region’s culture. It is part of digital transformation, being connected with something that connects with each city in each area. In this case, culturally connected because you feel part of a team”.

“We spoke about using a sports club as a platform for transforming a city to make it smarter, with more education, a healthier and safer city. That is what we think a city in the next generation of cities will be like. We are connected by culture but also by technology, which enables people to be part of this city using any device. In that regard, using Barça was an interesting way of doing just that. In fact, one of the most unique and singular ways, because in a world like this, sport has the strength to bring people together”.

“I believe that we are talking about a fantastic idea for innovation and that FC Barcelona can take a leading role in this, because of its cultural footprint”.

Statement by Albert Isern, CEO of Bismart (Big Data Data Analytics):

“The Camp Nou is the most important point in Barcelona. So many people come to the games. To use the latest information technologies to take this live experience to the people who leave home to come to the stadium, either by public or private transport, and to arrive at the ground and take in the experience... To apply information technologies to potentiate the strength of the enjoyment and enthusiasm that Barça generates, apart from its values, not just in Barcelona but all around the world”.


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