Working together with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will help to place Andorra on the innovations map, said director of Actua Tech, Yann Baucis

Actua Tech is an Andorran government foundation which is focused on innovation project research and high-tech technology development in Andorra. Director of Actua Tech, Yann Baucis, shared with the main ideas of the foundation which will help to make Andorra an internationally recognized intelligent country:

“Andorra is a fantastic country which is always reinventing itself. As a small country which is known worldwide as an attractive tourism destination, we benefit a lot from this and are always trying to improve our services using innovative ideas and new technology. We wanted to collaborate with someone who could place Andorra on the innovations map, so we started to collaborate with one of the most prestigious institutes of research – the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

At the moment, we have several projects with MIT. The most important one is creating a big database to aggregate huge amounts of information from various sources such as Andorra Telecom, FEDA, the University of Andorra, as well as retail shops, banks, Comus (city halls) and so on. It will help to collect and structure information to later analyse it holistically. Andorra is a small country with many organisms, entities, and companies. Some agents don’t have the knowledge of how to gather data and use it correctly, so this project will give access to all market players in the tourism sector to valuable information which can be useful to improve our tourism sector in general.

We are also working on a mobility project (jointly with Andorra Telecom and FEDA) to ascertain the factors contributing to traffic in the country to try to avoid it in the future. Within the project’s framework, we are also investigating the tourists needs – for example, what do they do during a day, and what kind of events they attend. The main goal is to create ideal conditions for mobility around the country.

Furthermore, we are collaborating with OBSA (Observatory of Sustainability of Andorra) on an energy project. OBSA is a research center whose key goal is to apply research to projects related to the sustainability of social, economic and environmental areas. We have done a fantastic job which involved using solar panels for schools. We started with three towns of Andorra – Andorra la Vella, Escaldes Engordany and Ordino where we have already installed solar panels and solar layers.

Another joint project that is underway involved urban planning and analysing the dynamics of energy consumption. In our new office in Caldea we installed a module which helps us to better understand all potential energy requirements of Andorra’s towns and suburbs in the future. This tool allows us to simulate the possible car traffic and energy consumption of new residencies, offices, roads, and districts which could appear in the future.

And, finally, we have a PIV project (Pervasive Electrical Vehicle). It emphasises a more active use of electric vehicles and electric bicycles in the country. Within the new applications, electric vehicles of the future will be able to carry people from different places, for example, from Sant Julia to Naturlandia or pick them up from shops to go to the hotels. But we also need a private sector to be involved in this project.

So, our collaboration with MIT is a true opportunity for us to bring all our innovation ideas and technologies and to transfer them into reality. To bring us up to a higher stage of development, and transform us from a tourism country to an innovative one.

We collaborate with the Andorran Ministry of Education in order to receive grants for research projects on ACTUA Tech projects – they are going to be released next year.

The best attracts the best, researchers attract researchers, investigations attract investigations, innovations attract innovations. So having a partnership with the MIT means that we can also attract other institutes and universities, as we work alongside one another. We are not looking for competition, we need strong partnerships to make people’s life better in Andorra”.

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