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FC Barcelona Board Member Marta Plana attended the RISE technology conference in Hong Kong to speak to media, industry experts, start-ups and brands about FC Barcelona’s Barça Innovation Hub (BI Hub). In a keynote presentation entitled Barça Innovation Hub: Shaping the future of Sports, Ms. Plana began by speaking about the unique set of values and philosophy that make FC Barcelona Més que un club, before moving on to give a broad overview of the objectives and projects of the BI Hub. Ms. Plana also took part in a Q&A session after the keynote.
The Barça Innovation Hub has created an ecosystem for fostering knowledge and innovation, thereby benefiting the Club and society in general. The goal of this collaborative model is for the Club to be able to attract companies, research institutions and entrepreneurs to develop new and innovative technologies and thus help to turn FC Barcelona into a hub for driving talent, sport, technology and innovation.
As one of the biggest sports laboratories in the world, FC Barcelona is in a unique position to become the world’s leading centre for sports and innovation. With over 2,000 athletes, across 5 professional sports and a further 9 amateur sports, the Barça Innovation Hub has access to over 120 teams. In addition, the Club has over 300 million fans globally and 4.5Million visitors per year to the Camp Nou. Thus, the Club has become an interesting, diverse and comprehensive test bed for projects ranging from research and development programmes, corporate innovation and professional education.
Ms. Plana said: “Our big challenge at the Barça Innovation Hub is for technology companies, research centers and the world’s finest sports programs to bloom around the club. We want Barça to be the hub that drives the knowledge economy in application to the sports sector both in Barcelona and all around the world. Asia is particularly important to us because of our huge fan base and the dynamic start-up ecosystem here”.
Two existing Barça Innovation Hub projects were showcased to the audience. A partnership with WIMU, a start-up who specialise in Ultra Wide Band technology, is used to optimise performance and prevent injuries of athletes. Ms. Plana then spoke about a partnership with the Barça Foundation, the Eric Abidal Foundation and Awabot to offer hospitalised children the change to enjoy an unforgettable experience through the use of a Robot. The BI Hub also leads projects in Smart facilities, fan engagement, team sports methodology, sports analytics and healthcare & wellbeing.
The full presentation can be found here:
Earlier in the day, Ms. Plana had appeared on Bloomberg TV’s Daybreak: Asia with anchors Paul Allen and Shery Ahn, fielding questions about the role of the Barça Innovation Hub:
About RISE Technology Conference
RISE Technology Conference is the largest tech conference in Asia, RISE 2018 features 350 speakers and 15,000 attendees from more than 100 countries.
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