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Aveiro: the Portuguese city that's a living technology laboratory

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Aveiro: the Portuguese city that's a living technology laboratory
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A living technology laboratory

At first glance, nobody would know that the peaceful, romantic Portuguese city of Aveiro is also a living technology laboratory

Yet here, canals and boats co-exist with five square kilometres of digital test hub infrastructure, three times that in terms of fibre optic links, reconfigurable radio units and an experimental 5G network with sensors!

Portugal's Living Laboratory is one of the main hubs of the Aveiro STEAM City project.

Paulo Pereira, the Director of Altice Labs, says there is even greater potential there that still needs to be unlocked:

"The normal use we all make of the network that is the internet doesn’t present any kind of challenge.

"However, what motivates us is the realisation of usage scenarios that can make sense for local government, for industry - and that represents new business opportunities."

The project includes 16 linear kilometres of optical fibres and 34 information and communication technology companies).

The total budget is €6.1 million, €4.89 million of which is provided by the EU Cohesion Policy.

Experimental 5G network

Thanks to Aveiro's experimental 5G network, the Italian startup Biometrica has developed biosensors which, when applied to sportswear fabrics, provide biometric data to improve the performance of athletes. All the data is then sent to the Cloud.

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Biometrica has developed biosensors which, when applied to sportswear fabrics, provide data to help improve the performance of athletes. The data is then sent to the Cloud.Euronews

Manfredo D’Alessandro Caprise, Biometrica’s CEO says the experimental 5G system in place in the city is what enables these activities:

"In Aveiro, one of the key points is the 5G connectivity and we need that connectivity, because we’re transferring a huge amount of data.

“We need to be able transfer this data in real time.”

Tech week

During Aveiro's Tech Week, the streets of the city became a showcase in three mian areas: mobility, environment and energy.

For example, the start-up company EVA Drones used a robot dog made by Boston Dynamics.

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Robot dog made by Boston Dynamics and used by EVA Drones during AVeiro Tech WeekEuronews

In this case, the robot dog carried a blood sample to a drone that then transferred it to another laboratory.

Aveiro STEAM City wants to help companies to attract new talent in the fields of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics - with the ultimate goal of enhancing the local economy.

Electronic and programming skills needed

To that end, Olivier Le Lann, CEO of Eva Drones, says they have already discussed their requirements with the University of Aveiro:

“We need people with electronics and programming skills.

"So we would like (to create) a position: robots and drones in Aveiro for masters and doctoral students, to create the jobs of the future here.

The project depends on the educational courses offered by the University of Aveiro to produce this necessary range of talent.

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"We need people with electronics and programming skills."Euronews