Bilbao Port Authority – Bilbao PortLab

The world is changing, and ports must be able to adapt to keep their competitiveness. Bilbao PortLab is the innovation hub of Bilbao Port, with the aim to create an open innovation ecosystem to support the transition of the companies in the port community to a more intelligent, agile and sustainable future.

Bilbao Port Authority gives 1% of its cashflow to the Ports4.0 program of “Puertos del Estado” and creates the first PortLab in Spain in 2019. Since then, Bilbao PortLab works collaboratively with the companies in the port to find innovative solutions to their challenges, taking advantages of the financial opportunities.

Bilbao PortLab created its own model, which starts by: scouting of technologies and trends, along with search for challenges, innovative solutions and financing. This is followed by matchmaking, looking for collaboration between the different agents. Afterwards, the solution is validated to every part’s best interest, and it is implemented in the Living Lab, using Bilbao Port’s infrastructure as a real testing environment. Every project has its follow-up, and Bilbao PortLab’s task is supporting, facilitating and mentoring the whole process, giving it visibility. Additionally, organizes several workshops, showing new technologies to the port community and introducing the port sector to technologic startups.

Up until now, Bilbao PortLab has built an ecosystem of 854 agents (66 companies of the port community, 554 innovative solutions and 234 other stakeholders like universities, clusters or other ports worldwide). After 459 matches, 28 projects are already being implemented in the Living Lab, with pilots facilitated by the Port Community and/or the Port Authority.

This initiative’s goal is to support Bilbao Port to be a future proof port, including innovation and sustainability as a transversal topic in all activities, leading to an increase of its competitiveness, and to more proactive, efficient and sustainable initiatives.