After six months of innovation learning, the 2017 Pioneers into Practice Program came to an end this late November. First, the local final workshop was carried out in Valencia in mid-november, and later the International Final Workshop was held in Utrecht on November the 24th, where participants from all over Europe got together for the closure of the program.

 

In Valencia, we presented our innovation project on secure bicycle parking. We came up with an integrated platform where all the available solutions would be included so the user can be well informed of the parking solutions and its security level. On a second phase, it will also connect free available spaces in public and private property, with cyclists in search of a place to park or store their bikes. Current Ecological is still working on the development of a prototype and looking for subsidies and funding to make it a reality.

 

Later, in Utrecht, pioneers from the 10 participating countries got together in a workshop based on a real case study of start-ups and innovation. We were also invited to the Climate Innovation Experience (CIE), Climate KIC’s year closure. We were lucky to attend really top quality talks, such as the one from Berenice Notenboom , an Arctic explorer who takes some of the most influencing CEOs and bankers to her expeditions to make them aware of climate Change for themselves, and the one from Renee Letzman, an Environmental Psychologist who developed a whole new framework to address Climate Change topics and foster Behavior Change. Kanai also delighted us with her storytelling and super-relevant characters inspired on different approaches towards Climate Change. The last two especially were extremely inspired for our work, will for sure keep a close look on their work.

Since I was in one of the most cyclist cities in the world, I couldn’t leave before going on a bike ride. I met Mark Wagenbuur, known as the Dutch cyclist, who kindly took me cycling all over Utrecht and showed me the new and coming bicycle infrastructure. Bridges, super-wide dedicated streets, crossings, lights and an incredible parking infrastructure. The new parking lot in Central Station will host 12,000 bikes when finished, making it the biggest in the world (careful, because the Belgians will build one for 15,000 in Ghent next year). So far half of it is already built and functioning, check out the photos!  Thank you Mark, what a great ending for a trip in a great city!