La N@ve, as it is known nowadays, is a multidisciplinary space dedicated to new technologies belonging to the area of Innovation and Promotion of the Madrid City Council. It is located in Villaverde.
Its beginnings date back to the 40s when the heavy industrial equipment company Boetticher and Navarro decided to move their activity from their previous headquarters in Zurbano street, in the centre of Madrid, to Villaverde, where they created a large industrial complex consisting of five buildings which highlights a spectacular ship called "The Cathedral" for its huge dimensions (140 m. x 42m. on the ground and 20m. high) and its concrete basilica appearance; it is distributed in three spaces: a central nave , a huge diaphanous space with a recessed barrel vault resting on the side aisles, of lower height , with double porticos that, in turn, have the function of corbels. This building is the core of the current innovation centre La N@ve. For a long time, its authorship was erroneously attributed to the famous engineer Eduardo Torroja; This fact, together with its singularity as a construction, made it last over time. Despite being protected by the municipal planning after the bankruptcy of the company Boetticher y Navarro in 1992, a long history of abandonment began. It was occupied and suffered a progressive deterioration of its facilities until 2003 when it became property of the city council through an urban development agreement. The use of industrial equipment is changed to special equipment and its rehabilitation is projected as a centre for the development of new technologies. In 2009 the remodelling began, concluding it in 2012. However, it was not until 2017 when its operation began with a public-private management system, granting the Barrabés group its administration.
In this project a new building of six heights is built. The old ship gives it a modern hall with large capacity, as well as vary rooms with lots of functions. A series of containers are arranged around the ship that will also have a multifunctional function. It is worth noting the incorporation of a latticework of different colours on the façade (those of fibre optic, symbol of new technologies, blue, green, grey, orange ) that changes the sad and monotonous aspect of the previous greyish, and that is also related with its new and promising stage as a pole of innovation with important effects of economic development in the district and the city. All this set includes the current centre of technological innovation La N@ve.
The initial request of the residents of Villaverde was to create a sports centre in this space. Initially this proposal did not too well received, but nowadays La N@ve is an important hub of technological innovation that attracts some events of reference in Europe about technologies and entrepreneurship, such as the South Summit. In the global context of large spaces or territories of innovation there are spaces similar to La N@ve in other cities. In New York we find New Lab, in Paris we have Station F and in Berlin Factory. La N@ve has a total of 13,000 m2 dedicated to the training in technological matters and the dissemination of new ideas to citizens as well as to professionals and / or companies, the connection and interrelation within the national and international innovative community fostering open innovation among startups , SMEs and large companies and the support for new projects and innovative companies by providing work spaces, advising them and allowing them to opt for acceleration programs to enhance them. This space has generated a great positive influence in the area that is expected to lead the degraded neighbourhood of Villaverde to a better economic and social situation.
La N@ve as a great urban innovation hub together with Media Lab Prado , a social innovation centre and Matadero, the great centre of artistic and cultural innovation, are the three great spaces that form MadridInnova, the ones that integrate de Innovation Department and Intelligent City of Madrid Council with the mission of promoting, encouraging and making easier any project with an innovative vocation that develops in the city in such a way that wealth is generated, causing progress in the different economic sectors and improving the quality of life of the city society.
There is a clear relationship between technological innovation and social development, innovation seeks to address the social needs. The innovation process for collaborations need to give more efficient, quick and actual response to the problems established. This is generating new types of partnerships and ways of relating that, at the same time, it generates more ideas and expands the possibilities for innovation exponentially.
Innovation affects society creating better products in terms of quality and price, more efficient, and ultimately, a better quality of life. Innovation produces new knowledge and skills that make society better prepared to face the uncertainties generated by the current global changing.
It is therefore essential that the authorities support these spaces and investment in I+D and not only to meet the current needs of society, since a sports centre can meet the specific requirements of a community, but it hardly gives added value to society or makes it prosper for the future causing society to stagnate and not evolve. From the economic point of view, a country like Spain with scarce natural resources and a little powerful industry should bet heavily on innovation to seek economic and social progress.
The first image shows the exterior of the innovation centre, it has been obtained from the newspaper ABC ( https://www.abc.es/madrid/20150910/abci-carmena-proyecto-botella-boetticher-201509071804.html ).
The second image shows the interior of the centre, in the development of one of its activities, it is obtained from the website of the City Council of Madrid ( https://www.madrid.es/portales/munimadrid/es/Inicio/Actualidad/Noticias / Se-celebrates-in-the-Ship-the-Day-of-Innovation /? Vgnextfmt = default & vgnextoid = d372458b7f9a4510VgnVCM1000001d4a900aRCRD & vgnextchannel = a12149fa40ec9410VgnVCM100000171f5a0aRCRD ).
Rafael Blanco Rávena