The closing session, which took place at Teatro Aveirense, was also marked by the signing of the collaboration protocol Aveiro Tech City with 14 partners in the region, thus continuing a strategy that will continue to explore, develop and address issues related to innovation, based on the pillars of technology, environment and a sustainable community. Alongside the expansion of this initiative on a regional scale, the Mayor José Ribau Esteves also announced the intention to move towards the creation of an international network of STEAM cities.
In the closing session, which was attended by Ana Abrunhosa, Minister of Territorial Cohesion, and Tim Caulfield, director of the "Urban Innovative Actions - UIA" programme, which co-financed 4.9 million euros of the 6.1 million euros invested in the project, the Mayor of Aveiro, José Ribau Esteves, pointed out the project as "a winning strategy, whose process will soon enter a new phase".
The implementation of a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) Education strategy in all schools in the Aveiro Municipality, the development of training actions for technical staff of the companies in the Region and the creation of the first 5G Living Lab in the country were some of the actions implemented during the Aveiro STEAM City project, in the scope of which an Urban Platform to support the Municipality's governance and case studies in the Energy, Environment and Mobility area were also developed. Institutional cooperation, teamwork and networking with all partners involved made it possible to develop more than 20 initiatives, in four key areas: Education, Training, Technology, Services and Applications, and Challenges.
Project shaped opportunities and laid the foundations for the future of the knowledge-based economy.
Divided into four axes of action - Education, Training, Technology, Services and Applications, and Challenges -, the Aveiro Steam City project was praised by the Minister Ana Abrunhosa who highlighted the results achieved by the work developed, whose monitoring methodology - surveys, focus group and other actions -, under the responsibility of the partner CEDES was considered an example of "good practice" by the UIA.
In the field of education, Aveiro has implemented an innovative project at a national level through a STEAM Education Strategy at all levels of education, which included the installation of Tech Labs in partnership with the University of Aveiro, the implementation of the UBBU platform, to develop computational knowledge and logical thinking in students, and the promotion of STEAM artistic residencies. The strategy also included a training programme for the teachers, whose positive results obtained from the school community underline the will to continue with this teaching methodology.
In addition to the educational community, the project also impacted the business fabric and the local community, through training. In 2018, the Municipality of Aveiro launched the challenge to the University of Aveiro to create a responsive Labour Observatory that would support the digital transformation process of Aveiro companies. From this work, developed in collaboration with INOVARIA, resulted a set of training actions with the aim of contributing to the empowerment of human resources and increasing the competitiveness of companies.
The Labour Observatory allowed developing a project of diagnosis of training and qualification of human resources for the digital transition, showing not only the present needs, but also anticipating the future. The training programmes and awareness workshops were some of the initiatives implemented. In the Training axis, the three editions of Aveiro Tech City Bootcamps, aimed to promoting skills in programming/coding, with the purpose of attract and retain talent in the city and region of Aveiro, also stand out. As a result, 75% of the trainees, interested in working in the ICT ecosystem, were hired by companies, mostly local or regional.
In the area of Technology, Services and Applications, Aveiro STEAM City brought to the city of Aveiro technological innovations in urban intelligence and transformed the municipality into a living laboratory with projects in several areas, such as energy, environment or mobility, whose results were also presented in the session. From here emerged the Aveiro Tech City Living Lab, highlighting also the work done with the experimental 5G network or, more recently, the urban platform to support city governance.
With the Challenges Aveiro Steam City supported more than 30 companies in the development of their projects. This opportunity allowed some of this companies to launch new products and expand to the global market.
The Aveiro STEAM City project contributed to create opportunities, shape the future and opening new horizons, leaving a legacy and impact in the territory, as a result it was celebrated a new protocol in the scope of the Aveiro Tech City initiative, which will continue the work started by Aveiro STEAM City. Aveiro University, Altice Labs, Telecommunications Institute, Inovaria, Nokia, Bosch Thermotechnology, OLI, The Navigator Company, Transdev, Veolia, TICE.PT, the Cluster Sustainable Habitat, AIDA CCI - Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the District of Aveiro and PCI will be the partners of the new stage, with the intention to submit an application for Portugal 2030 funds.