The Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST) and one of its centres (the Institute of Photonic Sciences, ICFO) are among the nine institutions launching an initiative to promote relations between the arts, science and technology.
Explore and develop intersections between art, science and technology to boost the digital transformation of society: this is the aim of the Barcelona Art, Science and Technology Hub (originally named Artech Hub, and later renamed HacTe), promoted by nine institutions to make Barcelona a global centre for research, training, dissemination, transfer and production in this field.
The institutions involved in the Artech Hub are Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC-Barcelona Tech), Fira de Barcelona, Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO), the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), Barcelona Tech City, Hangar, the New Art Foundation and the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST).
This is a cross-sector initiative under a joint-governance model, which has the support of institutions such as Barcelona City Council, the Government of Catalonia and the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce.
A transformational boost to the confluence of art, science and technology
The project seeks interconnections and incentives to collaboration between sectors and institutions to bring out the full potential of joint work in the fields of art, design, science and technology. In creative processes, such as experimental and applied arts and industrial products, there are no frontiers between different fields. Fostering relations could produce valuable knowledge to meet the challenges of digital transformation, at a time when the pandemic has further highlighted the contribution of digital technology to the development of society.
Barcelona currently has a large number of agents involved in this field, which includes art, design, science and technology, yet all of them working separately. The Artech Hub aims to coordinate collaboration and promote synergies among all these agents, whether they be research, exhibition, artistic or innovation centres or universities.
Research, production, dissemination and training
Starting today, the institutions involved in the Artech Hub will work to implement cross-sector programmes to boost research, production, knowledge dissemination, knowledge transfer and training in interconnections between art, science and technology.
As well as boosting knowledge in interdisciplinary fields, it will promote artistic residencies in large scientific, social and educational infrastructures and facilitate artistic production and citizen engagement.
The Artech Hub will also generate activities and partnerships to incentivise the transfer of artistic and technological knowledge to industry and provide new business opportunities to strengthen the industrial fabric.
Spaces for forging connections
In implementing these programmes, the Artech Hub will adopt a hybrid model, using online environments and existing spaces, such as creation centres, scientific infrastructures, research centres, companies, and art, science and technology events and festivals.
To coordinate links among industry, cultural industries and creators, Fira de Barcelona has provided part of the Palau Alfons XIII building on Montjuïc to the Artech Hub. This aims to connect the major technological trade fairs held in Barcelona to the city’s artistic and creative community.
The space covers 7,200 square meters which, once restored, could become the headquarters for this initiative and house a research centre, a creative business accelerator, labs and workshops for the artistic community. The building would also include showrooms to present projects, work and innovations in the creative industries and host dissemination activities, opening up opportunities for the city’s entire artistic, scientific and industrial community.
As the building is part of a group of cultural facilities on the Montjuïc hill, including the MNAC museum, the Mies Van der Rohe Foundation, the Miró Foundation, the CaixaForum exhibition centre, the Archaeology Museum of Catalonia and the Mercat de les Flors theatre complex, this will further foster synergies between them. The restoration of the building aims to create open meeting spaces to make its activity accessible to the general public.
The Barcelona Art, Science and Technology Hub will implement its programme with the aim of promoting participation and exchange between society and the industrial fabric, to create a space open to Barcelona and the world.