Aveiro (population 78,000) STEAM City has launched a technological revolution, tackling the challenge of brain drain through a series of actions on education and training, but also making new technologies more accessible to the residents.
Located in northwest Portugal, the city aims at producing and retaining new talents for its innovative industries adopting the STEAM approach, which adds the artistic element to the traditional technological fields of study (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), starting from kids attending the local primary school but also assessing the skills needed by the business sector.
The Labour Observatory created by Aveiro in the framework of the project has not only the function of monitoring and investigating future trends in terms of jobs and skills but has also provided training to local students and teachers through the Tech Labs. Furthermore, the project aimed also at creating a local culture on STEAM, with the organization of training involving academia and the local business sector, but also initiatives such as the Criatech Artistic Residencies program for artistic residences and mentoring with the objective to boost the creativity in STEAM areas and to develop mixed skills in creativity and digital competences.
Making the impact of ICT tangible to the residents and exploring new functions for improving the quality of life in Aveiro was another important axis on which the UIA project supported the testing of innovative actions. The installation of fiber infrastructure and sets of sensors in different city locations contributed to feeding the Urban Platform with updated data on urban mobility, environment, air quality and other urban functions paving the way to the development of innovative solutions to city challenges, such as urban traffic, but also the creation of new services to be developed in collaboration with local businesses and innovators.
The creation of a Tech Hub on a floor of the local public library contributed to making all these functions visible to residents and to show the impact of ICT for improving public spaces but also to present how the urban digital platform works and how the application of STEAM skills can be crucial for the local development in the medium and long term.