History is a sum of changing times where the lever of innovation has conditioned the outcome of societies. Our city has lived like all the outcome of these innovations, and in order not to go too far back, I want to expressly mention Badalona, which took advantage of the innovation of the historical moment to become an industrial city at the end of the 19th century and much of the 20th century. That industrial revolution embraced textiles, construction, metal, chemistry, etc. Many sectors that took advantage of the energy of the steam engine.
All these sectors already existed before, of course, but with that innovation, the steam engine, they made a leap in productivity, quality and competitiveness thanks to this new technology.
The city lost industrial strength to become a “service” city. But it has maintained an industrial character based on the maintenance of a business fabric that is still very much alive and of well-positioned industrial estates in the surroundings of Barcelona.
However, in the Badalona of the XXI century we are presented with a new opportunity. And we have it as a result of our assets located in the Can Ruti knowledge campus, where the GTiP Hospital, the Guttmann Hospital, the Genome Institute, the Josep Carreras Foundation or IrsiCaixa research, among others, work in the field of research. , innovation and medical assistance making Badalona a reference city in the field.
The industrial city of the past can be the digital city of the present and the future
In addition to the indisputable field of health, the territory has another area where the business world has a presence, and where the public world wants to have a defect with two important bets. This field of the future, of the present, I would say, has to do with the energy transition, with renewable energy. And it does so from the presence in the territory of companies such as the one I represent, the Audax group, which has become one of the most profitable companies listed on the continuous market of the year, with a significant turnover and international presence, with renewable energy projects in countries such as Spain, France, Poland and Panama that represent more than 500 MW, commercializing renewable energy in the indicated countries and also in Portugal, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands.
And the public sector, in turn, is promoting the Knowledge Hub in the Three Chimneys, with the intention that all research on energy transition takes center stage there. Or the possible presence of the IREC Search center, the Catalan energy research institute, in the CACI building, which would mean the presence in the city of 200 researchers. However, it is necessary to highlight the university area covered by the UPC in Diagonal Besòs, with all the engineering related to energy.
Badalona therefore has two relevant innovation levers. And it must promote and prioritize them. We must be a city known and a promoter of the health and green energy sectors. From the private and public sphere. And both levers must incorporate a third element, a catalyst, that drives activity in the city; digitization.
Knowing that digitization will change the foundation of our labor and business relationships, and that it will condition the future of organizations, we must have the vision of being the ones who lead with a transversal vision its effects, to change the skin of our economic fabric, without fear of changes paralyzes us and other territories are those that take advantage of these levers that today are our lever.
For the future of Badalona, embracing and taking advantage of the innovation that we already do is not an option, it is an obligation.
Our entrepreneurs, leaders and representatives must make it possible to create opportunities for companies and people in Badalona. The industrial city of the past can be the digital city of the present and the future. Not seeing it is riding into a gray, poor, disconnected and zombie future.
Pau Calvet, member of the Associació Restarting Badalona