Barcelona of the Future
Three weeks ago, Barcelona’s Executive Committee, headed by president Joseph Maria Bartomeu, has presented one of the most ambitious projects in the world of technology, medicine and sports development – Barcelona Innovation Hub.
The whole presentation, which was in English due to the global dimension of the event, was streamed live globally on fcbarcelona.com and Barca’s YouTube channel.
“We must accept that we are humble, that we do not know everything, and we must obtain knowledge from the best”, Dr. Jordi Mones, the commissioner of Barca Innovation Hub.
Barca Innovation Hub
So what is exactly Barca Innovation Hub? It’s a specialised centre for innovation and knowledge, a platform for research, development and training. Also, all of the knowledge that the club has generated over the years on various sports-related matters (so, not just football) will be shared with others through this platform.
Million € is the approx. cost of the project
The primary goal of this project is to maintain sporting excellence and leadership, break boundaries of sporting knowledge, share that knowledge with the next generation of professionals and build the sports industry of the future. So, we can say that Barca Innovation Hub may become the Silicon Valley of sports.
“It is a very exciting project for the club. We have been working on it for a year, and it is one of the pillars of the area of knowledge, along with Masia 360, an area to which the club is fully committed to in order to continue aligning ourselves with what we want to be: the most admired, loved and global institution”, said Bartomeu, the president of Barcelona. Dr. Jordi Monés, the main commissioner of the project, continued:
“It is a very ambitious project and one that we firmly believe in, want and need. We are a very special club, we can say that we are a unique club, because we are local and global. We are committed to our values and all of our members have high expectations, so we are always obligated to be in a winning position, we always have to be first, and therefore we must always be reinventing ourselves, which means knowledge and innovation, and that is why we want this project and is also why we need it”.
Barca Innovation Hub will be consisted of five main areas: Sports performance; Team Sports; Medical services and nutrition; Technology; Social sciences.
1. SPORTS PERFORMANCE
“Sports Performance area, shared the idea that if Barça plays a different way, it also has to train differently, and how the analysis of players’ positional data and playing characteristics can be used to plan personalised training programmes in order to achieve maximum performance and improved prevention of and recovery from injuries”, Francesc Cos, director of the Sports Performance area
- Sports techniques
- Application of technology to the improvement of sporting performance
- Sports schools
- Quantitative monitoring of performance and physiology
2. MEDICAL SERVICES AND NUTRITION AREA
Gil Rodas, manager of the Medical Services and Nutrition area, explained how the club works in collaboration with its partner Gatorade to improve the nutrition and hydration of athletes by applying medical research in the field to create a new personalised product in keeping with each player’s needs and thereby improving their sporting performances. The aim is also to apply innovation in this field to create a marketable product for athletes.
- Health and sport
- Injury rehabilitation and prevention
- Research into muscles and tendons
- Nutrition and supplements
The technology speaks about the importance of data gathering and the FCBme app that was especially created for the players. Through data analysis and the gamification of the experience, major changes in athlete behaviour can be achieved. Through user experience, such data and gamification inform the user (athlete) and researcher (medical staff and first team coaches). This knowledge is very useful for improving sports performance.
- New technologies for tracking and analysis
- Sports skills, strategy, game physics, performance and other technologies
- Big Data
- IT systems
- Sports infrastructures
- Gaming and performance
4. TEAM SPORTS
Team Sports area observes football from a unique perspective: scientific complexity. “Science applied to football is a way of understanding the complexity of the game and generating knowledge that is fed back to the players. This knowledge helps players to find new and creative gameplay solutions, and also helps to foster the Barça style and to consolidate its foundations”, says on Barca’s website.
- Game models and systems
- Sports skills
- New ways of playing
- Group work
5. SOCIAL SCIENCE
In the Social Science area, two studies were presented. On one hand, Russell Stopford spoke about the club’s digital strategy, which takes a user-centred approach, focusing on the user’s needs and ways of thinking. The goal is to create, optimise and exploit digital assets to the maximum. The club is working in partnership with some of the biggest digital platforms, such as Facebook, Google and Instagram, to create new assets.
- Sports law Communication
- Networks and 2.0
- International relations
- Tourism and sport
So, Barca has developed a huge center for research, development, training and innovation. With it they are attracting the best international talent but also promoting an open and collaborative culture.
We really have to say that Barca’s project has pushed boundaries in terms of understanding the sports and football clubs. Their goal is to be the leaders in the sport world, but also in the fields of management and leadership, while setting new standards in the field of sports knowledge and innovation.
Knowledge and innovation were always parts of Barca’s identity. Now they are looking beyond their own interest and wanting to share the knowledge they gathered in their famous history with others and improve society in general.
We can say that the slogan “Més que un club” has proved true again.