The world’s first city-led science and technology diplomacy

SciTech DiploHub is a pioneering nonprofit public-private partnership backed by leading research centers, universities, non-profits, startups, corporations and public institutions that deploy Barcelona's science and technology diplomacy strategy. It has the mandate to elevate the role of science, technology, and cities in foreign policy and make Barcelona a more influential player on the global stage through its contribution to sustainable development and the global public good.

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SciTech DiploHub, the Barcelona Science and Technology Diplomacy Hub, is a pioneering nonprofit public-private partnership backed by leading research centers, universities, non- profits, start-ups, corporations and public institutions that positions Barcelona as a global lab in science diplomacy for cities around the world. It has the mandate to elevate the role of science, technology, and cities in foreign policy and make Barcelona a more influential player on the global stage through its contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

It was launched with the support of over two hundred world-class professionals, including university deans, research center directors, former ministers and mayors, CEOs of leading startups, directors of think tanks, business organizations, and the city’s top scientists, engineers, and international relations professionals both at home and abroad.

Major changes in the international scene over the last three decades have dramatically altered the actors having a say on international relations. A new global order is emerging around cities and their markets, beyond nation-states and their borders. New challenges from climate change to health, migrations, water and food security, together with rapid developments in areas such as artificial intelligence, robotics, and gene editing require strong interactions between scientific communities across borders. Cities cannot turn a blind eye to the current global challenges. They are critical in implementing the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda, turning it from a global vision into a tangible reality. The Barcelona Science and Technology Diplomacy Hub has thus the global mandate to make Barcelona an influential global player through science, technology and innovation and its contribution to tackling the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The five main missions of SciTech DiploHub are the following:

-To consolidate Barcelona as an innovation capital, ready to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals through science and technology.
-To position the city as an influential geopolitical actor and reliable partner through science diplomacy.
-To promote a sound and inclusive multi-stakeholder dialogue through partnerships among the scientific community, startups, policymakers, NGOs, the diplomatic corps, the private sector, and civil society.
- To empower a global network of top scientists and technology experts educated in Barcelona to foster international cooperation, showcase its scientific strengths abroad and help us to better understand and interpret key global issues.
- To become a world-class think tank where scientific expertise and innovation can be harnessed in support of an evidence-based local and foreign policy.

SciTech DiploHub is bringing together consulates, international organizations and the city’s innovation ecosystem to enhance collaborative projects; empowering the global diaspora of scientists and technology experts educated in Barcelona, the Barcelona Alumni network, and organizing top-notch events to connect Barcelona's ecosystem with other global hotspots in science and technology. It is also training the next generation of science diplomats around the world, delivering policy advice for local city councils and partnering with international organizations, working as a think tank where scientific expertise can be harnessed in support of the evidence-based policy.

We believe that our innovation can contribute to more effective implementation of the SDGs through science diplomacy by mobilizing a wide range of institutions and professionals related to both science and innovation as well as foreign and local policy formulation. Cities must become global laboratories for solutions to challenges that respond to a global logic but manifest themselves at a local level.

In 2018, Barcelona's science and technology ecosystem came together to launch a comprehensive strategy to put the city's pioneering approach to human-centered technologies and open science at the service of citizens from around the world. Now it aims to pave the way to many more cities to come. With this goal in mind, SciTech DiploHub is launching a Global Alliance for City-led Science Diplomacy that will aim at bringing together major metropolises and international organizations in science advise and foreign affairs in order to position cities as legitimate actors in science diplomacy, run pilot projects, and exchange best practices.

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Year: 2018
Level of government: Local government

Status:

  • Developing Proposals - turning ideas into business cases that can be assessed and acted on
  • Implementation - making the innovation happen

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