Getting to know Aveiro Tech City
How a city in Portugal creates new jobs and urban technological solutions
- January 17, 2020 10:30
Aveiro is a medium-sized town in Portugal that is famous for its charming canals that may remind you of Venice. It has these small traditional shops and many restaurants offering wonderfully-delicious Portuguese cuisine that will make every tourist fall in love.
Yet, Aveiro also comes to the front with an initiative that promotes technology and innovation in order to improve people`s lives and their quality of life. It is called Aveiro Tech City.
The project involves many stakeholders – citizens, different businesses, research & development institutions, etc. They come together to create a smart and forward-thinking city that accommodates its population. It can also be seen as a positive example not only for Portugal and Europe but on a global scale as well.
During the financial crisis, the city of Aveiro had a very high level of unemployment (18% in 2013). Today, this percentage is 8. The different initiatives, undertaken with the support of the municipality, promise to make the city an attractive center for new investments.
One of the mottos of Aveiro Tech City is “…helping people to live better”. And there are many examples of initiatives in this regard.
With the support of Altice Labs, Aveiro aims to become one of the first European cities to try implementing the use of 5G technology into its startups, scaleups and R&D centres. The companies and institutes that decide to try it out will take part in a competition called Aveiro 5G Challenges and will use it to develop new and innovative solutions to contemporary urban challenges. They may also win a prize of 25,000 euros.
Aveiro Steam City also takes part in this initiative through its financial support for ideas and ways to address different modern problems. The initiative is also addressing the work done by the numerous startups, scaleups and R&D institutions in Aveiro.
Smart Green Homes
This is a specially designed project between the German company Bosch and the University of Aveiro. This project will help develop ways and solutions for environmentally friendly homes that are energy-efficient, use recyclable and smart materials in their households and include sustainability in the construction and consequent maintenance of these homes. This is mainly done through different integrated solutions for equipment, electrical appliances, water treatment of wastewater, heating, etc.
The project is in its initial phase but the aim is to come up with solutions, prototypes to test these solutions and consequent implementation in the homes of people.
The “transition… [of the city] into a knowledge-based economy…” as the mayor of Aveiro puts it is one of the goals of the local government. It will turn the city into a strong competitor not only within the borders of Portugal but also on the European and global markets.
A partnership between several universities and R&D institutes as well as the Municipality and the association of businesses INOVARIA, this is a project financed by the ERDF. The main objective is to attract more young people and talents and keep them here in order to develop economically, culturally and environmentally.
The first pillar of the project is educational (through innovative and competitive programmes) and the second – technological (through the introduction of new technological solutions and possibilities for development). The expectation is to make it more attractive than bigger city centres such as Lisbon and Porto.
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