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Start arrow Agenda arrow 22@Breakfast arrow Past Events arrow May 22@Update Breakfast 2012
May 22@Update Breakfast 2012
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OlimpICT, technological innovation applied to sport

Large-scale sporting events, like the Olympic Games, not only boost the city’s economic activity and urban transformation, but also pose key technological challenges for obtaining improved sports performance.

The May 22@Update Breakfast focused on innovation applied to sport and featured Patrik Adiba, CEO of Atos Iberia – Olympics & Major Events; Xavi Esteve, INDESCAT cluster manager, and Jesús de Pablos, founder of the company 1d3a. Additionally, Oscar Grau, director of the technical office for the Barcelona Pirineu 2022 bid, explained what this event would mean for Catalonia. Enric Urreta, member of the board of 22@Network Association of Companies and Institutions, welcomed all those in the audience.

To start off, Patrick Adiba, CEO of ATOS, explained that the huge success of the Barcelona ’92 Olympic Games put the city in the global spotlight and made it a benchmark in technological development for other Olympic Games held afterwards. With their headquarters in the 22@ district since 1989, ATOS has managed Information Technology for the Olympic and Paralympic Games from Salt Lake City 2002 through Rio de Janeiro 2016. With just 59 days left for the Games in London, Adiba explained that ATOS has a privileged relationship with Olympic Committees around the world and the IOC (International Olympic Committee). The company is the Global Technology Partner for the Olympic and Paralympic Games and is traded on the Eurolist in Paris.

At the upcoming London 2012 Games, ATOS will manage 36 sports, 10,500 athletes, 300 medal events, 205 participating countries, some 70,000 volunteers, roughly 27 press accreditations and sales of 7.7 million tickets. ATOS, explained Patrick Adiba, employs people from many different countries, and also many Catalans, some of which worked on the Barcelona ’92 Games.
The London Olympic Games will be the most interactive in history.

On 27 July 2012, at 20:12h, the London Olympic Games will begin, explained Adiba, and after six years working on the project, “we have to be prepared, no matter what happens,” to start up a huge technological machine. These will be the most interactive Games ever, said Patrick Adiba. The British Capital will be connected to 9,000 devices around the world and ATOS’s mission is to integrate all the companies and manage services.

The ATOS team works with a very tight budget. The ICO controls the cost of the Olympic Games held every four years in order to strike an economic balance that all organizing countries can afford, from the richest through the poorest.

Patrick Adiba pointed out that the work they do in organizing the Olympic Games is extremely complex and must take into account everything from the smallest details to the big picture so that the information is available to everyone in real time. For example, the results of the events are made public through four parallel systems and sent to journalists around the world immediately, with additional information. To ensure that everything works perfectly, ATOS has carried out some 200,000 hours of testing. Information is key, even more important than technology, said Adiba.

The goal is to carry out actions that improve the competitiveness of companies, fostering the creation of new innovative products and services.

Afterwards, Xavi Esteve, INDESCAT cluster manager, and Jesús de Pablos, founder of the company 1d3a, presented examples of technological innovation applied to sport. Xavi Esteve explained that IDESCAT works to start up projects and identify business opportunities, normally in R&D. The INDESCAT cluster manager said that the sports industry develops a common language for companies and consumers. The aim of this cluster is to bring together companies and research centers with links to the world of sport. Their goal is to carry out actions to improve the competitiveness of companies, fostering the development of innovative products and services.

INDESCAT stands for: industry + sport + Catalonia. The three key elements for this cluster are the points of their golden triangle: business, sport and science and technology. INDESCAT was created as the result of a strategic reflection process on the Catalan sports sector carried out by the Secretariat General for Sport and co-funded by the Ministry of Industry. INDESCAT, together with Pompeu Fabra University, developed the highly successful interactive game Barcelona World Race 2011. They are also currently working on projects in the health and children’s arenas.

Then, Jesús de Pablos, founder of the company 1d3e, explained the importance of teamwork to “create markets and grow.” Created in June 2007, 1d3e began in the field of subjective Sports Analysis with the Spanish National Water Polo Team and has evolved and grown through a model based on 2.0 thinking. One of the projects consisted in creating an analysis tool, integrated into the work processes and methodology, to facilitate tasks of coaches and players.

The Winter Games would bring significant economic development to the area, with participation from institutions, the business fabric and general society.

Additionally, Oscar Grau, director of the technical office for the Barcelona Pirineu 2022 bid, presented this sporting event and what it would mean for Catalonia. Grau explained that the International Olympic Committee banks on bids that combine a large city as the site of ice sports and the main Olympic Village with complementary facilities. At the same time, the Committee’s criteria value the fact that the city is close to the mountains, as the site for snow events, and the option for various facilities and a mountain Olympic Village.

Taking into account these criteria that the Committee applied in choosing Vancouver as the host of the 2010 Games, Grau explained that Catalonia has both the Pyrenees, a top-notch location, and the equally excellent city of Barcelona. Moreover, the Winter Games would bring significant economic development to the area, with participation from institutions, the business fabric and general society.
Oscar Grau assured, during the May Breakfast, that if Catalonia is successful in its bid for the 2020 Winter Games, their impact would be significant: improving our sports system on snow and ice, basic and end-user infrastructures, and would raise awareness of the Pyrenees brand around the world, as happened with the Barcelona games.

To finish up, Josep M. Piqué of the Barcelona City Council presented the news from the 22@ district. He also spoke about the importance of creating legacies like the Barcelona Pirineu 2020 bid as well as an industrial model that can be applied in the future. Piqué highlighted the visit from the mayors of London and Rio de Janeiro to Barcelona, who were eager to see how the city organized the infrastructure necessary for the ’92 games. The mayors of these two cities are worried about the post-Olympic stage and visited 22@ to get a first-hand look at a model to generate companies and jobs.

Josep M. Piqué reminded participants that BizBarcelona will take place on 13 and 14 June at the Fira de Montjuïc, once again making the city the capital of entrepreneurship. This is an event where participants can find new business ideas and projects.  At the Fira de Barcelona, over these two days, there will be guidance, networking and financing market sessions, where top-notch investors will be available to companies to help assess their projects.

Key ideas

-Barcelona ‘92 left us with a technological and urban-planning legacy that has been a benchmark for other Olympic cities. Infrastructures like the ring roads and entire neighborhoods like the Olympic Village are just a few examples. We also gained a new business model for the future, 22@, which drives and manages innovative business activities.

-We must raise awareness of the political desire to make winter supports one of the main priorities in our sports policy. The Winter Games are a great opportunity for the country as a whole. They include, on average, 2,600 athletes, 18,000 volunteers, 5,000 members of the Olympic family and one million spectators, plus roughly 10,000 accredited journalists. As a reference, the 2010 Vancouver games had a budget of 1,884 million dollars.

Attendees speak

-The cities that are able to reinvent themselves and adapt to new circumstances are those that end up attracting the most entrepreneurs. A city that knows what entrepreneurs need is a place where they can invest and generate business. There are a lot of entrepreneurs, with ideas and drive, they just need a hand, the basic infrastructure to allow them to fight for their businesses.

-Large-scale sporting events must be sustainable. Organizing the Olympic Games is a huge opportunity for the future. Barcelona was lucky to hold the 1992 Olympic Games at a highpoint in the country’s economic and social history. We still hold on to what is left of that enthusiasm.

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