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  • 10 Dec 2020
  • ·
  • Technology

Cellnex, Elewit and Lenovo lead the investment round in Nearby Computing, a spin-off of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center and the UPC specialised in Edge Computing and 5G networks

Barcelona, December 10, 2020. – Cellnex Telecom, Lenovo and Elewit (a technology subsidiary of the Red Eléctrica Group) have led the investment round in the Barcelona-based Nearby Computing start-up, an initiative of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center-Centro Nacional de Supercomputación (BSC-CNS) and the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC), with an investment of approximately €2 million. Nearby Computing, set up in 2018, specialises in the orchestration and automation of network processes, focused on Edge Computing and 5G, an area with high growth potential associated with its industrial applications or city and large infrastructure management.

Edge Computing is one of the areas with the greatest growth potential in the Information Technology sector, since it is the tool that applications such as Industry 4.0, video analytics, or on-demand content distribution need for their mass deployment in the coming years. For these applications, which have a strong impact on all sectors of activity, Edge services are the equivalent of the Cloud Computing services that have revolutionised the way companies consume IT applications over the last decade.

The Edge is also an essential component of 5G, which mobile operators have started to implement. In this area, since its creation, Nearby Computing has specialised in developing software tools for orchestration and automation of networks and systems, with direct application in sectors such as telcos, industry, utilities, and in future connected vehicle support networks.

Through different orchestration technologies, NearbyComputing manages to deploy and maintain virtual network functions and high-value applications (computer vision, augmented reality, Internet of Things, etc.) in a centralised and automatic way, extracting the maximum efficiency from the resources available in the network, guaranteeing service levels and allowing low operating costs. With its technology, NearbyComputing facilitates the transformation of industrial activities wishing to incorporate next-generation networks into their operations.

The approximately €2 million raised in this seed-round will serve to reinforce the growth of the company by fostering the global marketing of the Edge and 5G products that make up Nearby Computing’s value proposition.

Investors will also collaborate in marketing Nearby Computing in the markets in which they operate as well as integrating the start-up into some of their most advanced innovation programmes, where the technologies developed by the company will contribute to enhancing the infrastructures, products and services that these corporations promote and manage.

In the words of Oscar Pallarols, Cellnex Global Commercial & Innovation Director, Cellnex Telecom, which was already a shareholder in Nearby Computing, has increased its stake in the start-up to “continue working together and growing in the development of Edge Computing solutions, one of the basic.

pillars of the telecommunications infrastructure ecosystem that will be necessary for the full deployment of 5G, especially for all types of applications and sectors, such as Industry 4.0, in which response time -or latency- is critical.”

This is Elewit’s first investment in a 5G-related company. “This is a key technology for us. On the one hand, as a Group we are committed to promoting sustainable connectivity, facilitating access to the whole of society. And at the same time, as managers of critical infrastructures, we have a large number of assets that can be digitalised and where technologies such as the one developed by Nearby will help us make these assets more intelligent, and will play a very relevant role”, says Silvia Bruno, CTO of the Red Eléctrica Group and director of Elewit. 

Lenovo is a world leader in servers specifically designed for Edge Computing. In the words of Charles Ferland, vice president for the Telco and Edge Computing area, “Lenovo is pleased to join Cellnex and Elewit in the strategic management of NearbyComputing. Edge computing is one of the fastest-growing segments and requires specialised servers and software. Like NearbyComputing, Lenovo shares the vision of providing best-in-class technology that is easy to use and solves real problems. We are proud to be part of the NearbyComputing project.

Set up just two years ago, Nearby Computing is already developing its commercial activity both in Spain and in the rest of Europe, North America and the Middle East and maintains a close collaboration with a wide network of first-rate partners. With this additional investment, it will be able to consolidate the projects it has already started and expand its R&D capacity, global marketing and service to its clients.


About Cellnex Telecom

Cellnex Telecom is Europe’s leading operator of wireless telecommunications and broadcasting infrastructures with a portfolio of 61,000 sites including forecast roll-outs up to 2027. Cellnex operates in Spain, Italy, Netherlands, France, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Portugal. Cellnex’s business is structured in four major areas: telecommunication infrastructures services; audiovisual broadcasting networks; security and emergency service networks and solutions for smart urban infrastructure and services management (Smart cities and the Internet of Things (IoT)).

The company is listed on the continuous market of the Spanish stock exchange and is part of the selective IBEX 35 and EuroStoxx 600 indices. It is also part of the FTSE4GOOD and CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project), Sustainalytics and “Standard Ethics” sustainability indexes.


About Nearby Computing

Nearby Computing is a spin-off of Barcelona Supercomputing Center, with its proprietary technology (NearbyOne) oriented to the orchestration of multi-domain networks, and specifically to networks that incorporate computing at the point of origin of the data (Edge Computing). NearbyOne meets all the operational needs for deploying and managing servers and radio equipment located in streets, roads, production plants, buildings, etc. and facilitating the implementation of new and better applications for managing cities, industries and infrastructures.


About Elewit

Elewit is the technological platform of the Red Eléctrica Group. We were created in 2019 to offer solutions to the new challenges of the electricity and telecommunications sectors. With one goal: to drive energy transition and connectivity to create a sustainable future.

To do this, at Elewit we focus our activity around the following areas of impact: citizen in the centre; transmission and accessibility of information; renewable energies and flexibility in the operation of the electrical system; electrification of society; smart asset development and management; and cybersecurity as a cross-cutting area.


About the Barcelona Supercomputing Center

The Barcelona Supercomputing Center-Centro Nacional de Supercomputación (BSC) is the leading supercomputing centre in Spain. It specialises in High-Performance Computing, also known as HPC. Its function is twofold: to offer infrastructure and supercomputing services to Spanish and European scientists, and to generate knowledge and technology to transfer them to society. It has a staff of around 700 workers, most of whom are scientists who use supercomputers to conduct research in Computer Science, Life Sciences, Earth Sciences, and Engineering. It also offers a service to scientists from all over Europe through the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE), and the Spanish Supercomputing Network (Red Española de Supercomputación, RES). The BSC is a public consortium comprising the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (60%), the Catalan Regional Ministry of Business and Knowledge of the Catalan Government (30%) and the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (10%).


About the UPC

The Polytechnic University of Catalonia · BarcelonaTech (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, UPC) is a public institution for research and higher education in the fields of engineering, architecture, science and technology, and is one of the leading polytechnic universities in Europe. Each year it awards around 6,000 undergraduate and master’s degrees, and more than 500 doctorates. It is among the universities with the highest rate of job placement for its graduates: 93% work and 76% find work in under 3 months.

The UPC is very well positioned in the main international rankings. It is the top Spanish university in Architecture and Computer Engineering, Civil Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. It is also ranked 11th largest university in Europe and among the 100 best in the world in different scientific and technological disciplines.

It is also a leading university in the Spain in projects financed through the Horizon 2020 programme.

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