In September of 2019, young British-American Entrepreneur, Tristan Copley-Smith and co-founder Jana Brauch began a new environmental innovation project at Valldaura Labs. The objective: maximise the impact and financial stability of tech projects addressing our impending climate crises.

Building on the inspiring work of Vicente Guallart, Jonathan Minchin, Aquapioneers and others working on open source technologies from Valldaura, they are developing an incubation program called COACT. Their mission is to help early-stage climate tech projects develop, sustain and then thrive outside Valldaura as businesses or non-profit organisations. To pilot this concept, innovator Daniel Connell was invited to live and work from Vallduara Labs for the month of September. Over this short time, Daniel designed and deployed a cheap, functional hydro turbine at the Ca La Fou community near Vallbona d’Anoia. With Daniel’s design, anyone can produce 12 kilowatt hours of continuous, carbon-free energy requiring only €40 in-off-the shelf parts. This rapid progress was made possible by connecting Daniel with the tools, resources and space available at Valldaura Labs, and the  broader IAAC facilities, in order to provide the necessary platform to develop this technology. Subsequently, COACT raised €1,000 in crowdfunding to help Daniel finalise the design, which is now being completed from Berlin.In December, COACT launched phase 2 of their roadmap with the Forest Innovation sprint; inviting two new projects to live and operate from Valldaura: Dronecoria, an open source tree-planting drone project founded by Lot Amoros, and Hacking Ecology, an ecological systems sensor founded by Saulo Jacques and Valentina Cristofoli.

This begins the realisation of the first official program, connecting both projects with a team of expert mentors, crowdfunding support and prototyping facilities with accommodation at Valldaura Labs. Valldaura Labs is pleased to host this important initiative and follow the crowdfunding launch for these two projects in February 2020. For further information, sign up to the COACT mailing list and follow COACT  on Twitter.By Tristan Copley-Smith and Marziah Zad.