Innovate or die. Barcelona are aware that either they look to the future with new technology and innovation or they will be left behind by other clubs in the coming years. And that is why the Catalan club have launched their new Innovation Hub.
Barca will unveil the exciting new project, their very own version of the much-envied centre for high-level technical development, the 'Milan Lab' that helped the Italian giants win European Cups between 1989 and 2007, on Wednesday.
And Barca, still hungry for success, despite winning the continental competition four times over the last decade and seven Liga titles in that time too, are keen to blaze the trail and strengthen their brand with their new Innovation Hub, a multi-faceted project that goes far beyond the sporting side.
"The core aspects of this pioneering project are aimed at creating the sports industry’s number one centre for knowledge and innovation, thereby generating value both for the Club and for society in general," Barcelona announced on their website on Tuesday.
With this project, Barca aim to take sport to a new sphere and the objective is also for the advances in professional performance to include fans who practice sports, strengthening sporting values and also those of the club, within the society as a whole.
It is also a natural step in the creation of FCB schools around the world and for the reform of the club's youth system with the so-called Masia 360, which will not only form sportsmen and women but also seek to accompany the growth and personal development from the start to the end of their professional careers.
So what exactly is the Innovation Hub?
"Barca Innovation Hub is based on the fact that all of the knowledge that the Club has generated over the years, on various sports-related matters — not just football — can be shared," the Blaugrana say on their website. "With this project, FC Barcelona aims to bring about change through sporting excellence, knowledge, and innovation."
And they add: "The Club is looking to use the Barca Innovation Hub to form an ecosystem fostering knowledge and innovation by promoting a culture of excellence, transparency, openness, and collaboration with prestigious brands, universities, research centres, start-ups, entrepreneurs, students, athletes, investors, and visionaries around the world."
ℹ️ Get the inside scoop on the official unveiling of the Barça Innovation Hub: who, what, when, where, how, & why. https://t.co/nGVEmYxSk1 pic.twitter.com/UYOQGthgXx — FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) March 21, 2017
That ecosystem features four categories and will allow for the exchange of medical and technological knowledge, but also information from the world of sports marketing, including the participation of centres of investigation like Barcelona's Universitat Politecnica and the University of Beijing, in China, plus sponsors such as Gatorade (which has been working for a number of years to help the club achieve sporting excellence) and also investment partners.
Jordi Mones is the Barcelona board member responsible for this project. He said: "The Innovation Hub and its four areas of knowledge imply that if there is someone who does something we do not know how to do, we will learn it and transmit that to our partners in order to develop elements that can help society as a whole."
The areas of knowledge he makes reference to are team sports, including the five professional sections and their respective academies, the performance of each and every one of the members of the squads, medical services and nutrition, which will continue to perfect the monitoring of the sportsmen and women, as well as the technology to make this possible, taking into account sports sciences, with a marketing, journalistic and legal perspective never seen before in the world of sport in Europe.
Mones concludes: "With this project, we aim to manage all of this knowledge. We want to keep winning and to do that we have to always be on top of the latest advances. If we want to continue being the first of the first, we have to keep reinventing ourselves and that means knowledge."
In football terms, Barcelona have been the most dominant club side of the past decade. And with this new project, through innovation and knowledge, the aim is to be even better in future.