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Barcelona: Open for business, open for innovation 

What is BCN | Open Challenge?

Barcelona City Council, in the framework of Barcelona Growth, and announce a new international call to invite global SMEs to propose their innovative solutions to six different challenges for the city of Barcelona.

BCN|Open Challenge is a new programme to open up the city administration and services to businesses and entrepreneurs from all around the world delivering solutions that can transform and improve public services, create a more inclusive city, accelerate innovation and leverage public spending more effectively to deliver better services.

BCN | Open Challenge consists of three actions:

  1. A Call for Solutions to businesses and entrepreneurs with interest in working in Barcelona to present their innovations to improve the quality of services in the city. This is backed up by a commitment to procure and implement the high impact innovations to improve services and cut costs for the companies landing in Barcelona;
  2. Creation of a EUR 1M Innovation Fund to support municipal departments in the procurement and implementation costs;
  3. Barcelona Growth offers business incentives to winning companies combining space for landing in Barcelona, possible tax breaks for mobile companies, growth and landing services (including finance, talent, agenda) and certified references.

In the coming weeks the terms & conditions and the participation process will be published.

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Sergio Correa de Jesus #

    A promising initiative aimed to provide innovative solutions and improvement paths towards some of the city’s most pressing issues in the public realm. Barcelona already ranks among the top ten Smart Cities in the EU and this initiative can only strenghten its competitive edge as a desirable place to live, work, travel and do business. It is also an opportunity to develop best-practice models of incremental scale and mobilizing citizen’s in a process of co-design.

    By enhancing a sense of dialogue and empowerment among citizen’s, commerce, tourism-related industries,mobility and the service sectors, Barcelona can further a sense of civic pride and respect for the urban environment and mantain its enviable position as one of the most livable cities in the world. I strongly support this initiative and manifest my keen interest in becoming an active participant in the process.

    Sergio Correa

    May 30, 2013
    • Hello,

      This is Peter Mbuchi Methu in Nairobi.

      I like you comments on May 30, 2013.


      August 9, 2013
      • Sergio Correa #

        Dear Peter,

        Cities are unique. They have their own DNA, their soul. The real challenge is to understand and interpret their rhythms, their everyday choreography, their pulse.

        I have spent three full years under EU funding, visually documenting the city, interviewing citizen’s, understanding their everyday paths, analysing how people and spaces interact, and how, collectively, local citizens and existing urban resources can be resilient and sustainable in the face of forces of change.

        I am certain that Nairobi can put forth a similar effort. Any city can. In this process untapped potentials become evident and there is a paradigm shift from “problem solving towards “opportunity seeking”. It takes the will and vision of a few to bring about significant breakthroughs as was the case of Curitiba, Brazil in 1974, under mayor and urban planner Jaime Lerner, who showed the world’s first metro like bus network in the world, or the incremental changes that Copenhagen went through under the wisdom of Jan Gehl, pedestrianising much of the city’s downtown area, making walking and biking the preferred modes of transport and the city one of the most liveable in the world.

        As I said, one must understand the DNA of an urban environment as every solution is “ad hoc”, unique to a particular place and context. No two cities are alike and hence no single formula for sustainable growth can be exactly the same.

        October 28, 2013

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