Barcelona's Science Diplomacy Takes The Lead Against Covid-19

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Scientific Research / City Diplomacy
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SciTech DiploHub
Barcelona Science and Technology Diplomacy Hub
Email: hello [ at ]
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In light of the current COVID-19 outbreak, SciTech DiploHub, the Barcelona Science and Technology Diplomacy Hub, is connecting the dots between the city’s innovation ecosystem and the rest of the world, leading international cooperation against COVID-19. 

In this new scenario of border shutdowns, travel restrictions, and unilateral national responses, global cities play a decisive role in bringing inclusive solutions to global challenges. This is the case of Barcelona and its science and technology ecosystem, which has taken the lead in the fight against coronavirus. 

In 2018, Barcelona became the world’s first city to deploy a science diplomacy strategy and launched SciTech DiploHub (Barcelona Science and Technology Diplomacy Hub), a unique initiative with an ambitious endeavor: leveraging the potential of the city's innovation ecosystem for global public good. In the context of the current global health crisis, the following initiatives have been launched:

1) Making Barcelona's latest scientific developments available to the international community

Barcelona, with world-class scientific institutions and a blooming tech scene, is leading international cooperation to face the current pandemic. 4 of the 17 projects funded by the European Commission to speed up vaccine development, treatment and diagnostics are developed by research institutions and private companies in Barcelona. The city is also hosting several clinical trials to explore ways of slowing down the spread of coronavirus, while also working on the development of a vaccine.

In order to promote the contribution of Barcelona’s research ecosystem against this global health crisis and share best practices with the international community, SciTech DiploHub has taken part in the International Network for Government Science Advice held by the International Science Council (ISC), along with hundreds of other countries and regions. Some of the latest scientific developments and best practices carried out in Barcelona are already starting to be used in other cities and countries.

2) Global Working Group: bringing scientific evidence to the public debate

Additionally, SciTech DiploHub has launched a working group together with international experts from top-notch institutions such as the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); the Universities of Harvard and Carnegie Mellon, the Open Society Foundation; the Graduate Institute Geneva; the Governments of the UK, Mexico and Panama; the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB); the Barcelona Centre for International Affairs (CIDOB); the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal); the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC-CNS); ESADE Business School; among others world-class organizations, to bring in-depth analysis and expertise on the current global health crisis to the public debate.  

About SciTech DiploHub

SciTech DiploHub is a pioneering nonprofit public-private partnership backed by leading research centers, universities, non-profits, startups, 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 global challenges. 

[1] “Barcelona avança en la lluita contra el coronavirus”. El Món. 17 March 2020. 
[2] “Barcelona lidera el grup de treball en diplomàcia científica contra el SARS-CoV-2”. El Món. 25 March 2020. 
[3] “Liderazgo barcelonés en la lucha contra el coronavirus”. Via Empresa. 20 March 2020.
[4] “Ganar al nuevo virus" Jordi Amat. La Vanguardia. 22 March 2020.
[5] “El dudoso papel de las ciudades en la crisis del Covid-19”. Miquel Molina. La Vanguardia. 29 March 2020. 
[6] “Science Diplomacy Against The Pandemic”. Alexis Roig. INGSA. 30 March 2020.  
[7] “Opportunities and Challenges for Science Diplomacy in times of COVID-19”. Philipp Brugner. S4D4C. 31 March 2020.  
[8] “Experts Highlight How Science Diplomacy Combats Pandemics”. Adam D. Cohen. AAAS. 1 April 2020.
[9] “El coronavirus posa contra les cordes la solidaritat europea”. Diari Ara. 3 April 2020. 
[10] “COVID-19 Crisis in Europe: A Failure of Science Diplomacy?” Laure-Anne Plumhans. S4D4C. 6 April 2020. 
[11] “The coronavirus outbreak: a critical test for the European Union”. Alexis Roig. INGSA. 7 April 2020.  

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