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Old December 1st, 2010, 07:48 PM   #1
Miguel Portela
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PAREDES | Planit Valley | 300k People Smart City

Project Details
Location: Paredes, Portugal
Company: Living PlanIT
Webpage: http://living-planit.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=207851009589
Expect to start: 2011
Key Partners: http://living-planit.com/key_partners.htm (Microsoft, Cisco, Harvard, Maclaren, etc)













News:

Quote:
The city that wants to change the world.

Portugal – December 04, 2010: Sensors everywhere, electric vehicles, intelligent and ecological buildings and an operating system that will control everything. The city of the future is being planned in Paredes. Will it be a reality? By Nelson Marques - Expresso

Steve Lewis is an optimist. In a country paralyzed by economic depression, this 45 year old Briton wants to build one of the most ecological cities in the world. A smart and sustainable community that can serve as a model for future cities. The dream is called PlanIT Valley and has an unlikely location: Paredes, a district some thirty miles from Porto, in the North of Portugal, which is better known for its furniture industry traditions than urban harmony. In an area of 1680 hectares (almost 17 square kilometres) will be started, as early as September this year and completed by 2015, a metropolis connected by a network of 100 million sensors, controlled by an operating system that works almost like the human brain and programmed for its inhabitants to interact with it as they do with a smartphone. According to the promoters, within four years, 225 000 people will live there (more than twice the current population of the municipality), about half of whom will be researchers who will be on site with the rest of their families. The first six thousand inhabitants arrive as early as the beginning of next fall, insists Living PlanIT, the holding company managing the project.


The task seems little short of Herculean. Less than a year before the arrival of the first inhabitants, PlanIT Valley still seems a distant chimera. Work will start on the ground during the next quarter, after completing the contracts for the acquisition of the land required for the first phase of the project. The city promises to be a major hub for innovation - a sort of "Silicon Valley on a European scale", as defined by one of its directors - bringing together 12,000 partners and creating "tens of thousands of jobs," but no tenant has yet been officially named. The first to do so may be Cisco Systems, the worldwide leader in providing solutions for networking and communications, which is considering the deployment of a global innovation centre for network sensors that could create hundreds of jobs. Eagerly-awaited is also the agreement for the installation of R&D unit of McLaren Electronic Systems, who specialize in the development of electronic control systems and is one of the first partners of the project. Living PlanIT states that there are talks with about 400 potential partners worldwide, some twenty of which have already agreed their participation in terms of manpower and investment. Lewis respects the confidentiality agreements in place, but promises news soon. "In the coming weeks we will have news which will open many mouths in astonishment."


Surprising is also the volume of investment involved in the project: at least 10 billion Euros, including 550 million which will be needed for this first phase. All funding will be raised in capital markets and financial institutions. "There will not be public money. If a private company can not do it's own business without public funding, there isn't even a business to start with", stresses the CEO of Living PlanIT.

With less than a year to go, seen through the eyes of the sceptical Portuguese, PlanIT Valley has everything to go wrong. And yet, Lewis says it's going to be a reality. "There is no reverse gear. There is no plan B, because we do not intend to fail". To his credit, he has the credibility that the project has been generating. The list of directors, executives and consultants of the company includes several renowned names. The former vice president of Cisco, Thierry Martens, who in June signed a collaboration agreement with Living PlanIT, left the technological multinational to be the executive vice president of PlanIT Sensors, an arm of the holding company. The board is chaired by Ian Taylor, a former Minister of Science and Technology in the UK, along with other prominent figures such as Peter van Manen, managing director of McLaren Electronic Systems, Mark Spelman, global responsible of strategy for Accenture, and Robert Eccles, Harvard Business School lecturer. Eccles has turned PlanIT Valley into a case study discussed in classes at the prestigious business school, describing it as "the best business model for an intelligent city developed so far and the most likely to succeed". He was so impressed he agreed to join the team. Soon, the company promises to disclose the name of the latest hire, a senior United Nations official responsible for sustainability.

Public recognition has also grown, especially since last year when PlanIT Valley won the award for Best Foreign Investment in Europe in High Tech at World Conference on Investment. The Agency for Investment and External Commerce of Portugal (AICEP) made it a Project of National Interest (PIN), the Secretary of State for Energy and Innovation, Carlos Zorrinho, gave it high praise and the EU Digital Agenda Commissioner, Neelie Kroes, highlighted it as an initiative where Portugal now leads the world in innovation. Next week, Lewis will, at the invitation of Cisco, talk about PlanIT Valley during the Nobel Week, taking place in Stockholm.

From Paredes to the world

In Portugal since 2008, Lewis decided to settle on a farm on the outskirts of Amarante, where he lives with some of the team. Others are scattered in several locations, including a hotel in Paredes, where some live and where many meetings are held, as well as the facilities of project partners (in Portugal and the world) like the Portuguese architects Balonas & Menano. Part of the project's future is decided within these stone walls. And yet the atmosphere is more like a family than a large company. In the summer, you can see someone working in the pool, floating on a cushion of water. In the winter, some prefer the comfort of the bed and spend the day in pyjamas working on the computer and on the phone. And there are barbecues for welcoming the most eminent figures of some of the most important technology companies in the world.

Lewis, the team leader, is a self-made man who made a career in the technology sector, without ever having gone through university. Born in London into a poor family, he soon developed a passion for technology and football. He could have been a professional footballer, but cancer finished his dream. He embraced his other passion, through companies like IBM, Lotus and Microsoft, before joining Australian Malcolm Hutchinson, founder of several technologic start-ups, to create Living PlanIT in 2006.

With him, live four other executives. Rosemary Lokhorst, a 37 year old Dutch, a "professional geek" by her own definition, traded a comfortable job at Swiss Microsoft to take a management position at Living PlanIT. The others came from the USA. John Godlewski, 38, lends the project experience in financing real estate. Siblings Michael and Johanna Weigelt are the group's younguest. Michael, 25, is director of PlanIT Life, a project that aims to give people "the tools to relate with technology." Johanna, 27, is the human resources manager. From January, she will have redoubled work. She will handle the hiring of 250 professionals before June and many others before the end of the year.


None of the executives - about forty - has a salary yet, although all have received shares. They work "seven days a week, 18 hours a day". "In one short day," stresses Lokhorst. They won't have vacations before 2012. No one complains. "We are privileged. We feel we are doing something to change the world. It is a unique opportunity", says Johanna.

A new model for future cities

The idea, says Lewis, was born of "happy coincidences”. Miguel Rodrigues, now executive vice president of the company and the man behind the Vinci GT, the first Portuguese sports car,, developed a mobility platform based on smart electric vehicles. The aim was to implement it in Porto, with the support of Microsoft and McLaren, who provided one of the components of the platform, the telemetry system used in F1 cars. At the suggestion of Microsoft, the project led him to Lewis, who, by that time, was already working on the concept of an intelligent city. Celso Ferreira, Mayor of Paredes, showed interest in hosting a plant for the electric vehicles produced by Retroconcept, the Rodrigues’s company, but the project quickly evolved into something more ambitious. More than a factory or an automotive complex, Lewis believed that the mobility platform could be one of the elements of a new city that would serve as a laboratory for testing innovative technological solutions. The PlanIT Valley seed was sown and the adventure began there in April 2008.

In many respects, the project will be like a traditional city. There will be residential and business buildings, research and development centres, a 500 room hotel, shopping centre, recreational areas, health clinic, schools and even a university. But the similarities end there. The rest will be a sort of "urban metabolism", with an operation that merges biology and software. In the centre of all will be an urban operating system that will work as the brain and nervous system of the city, collecting data from an extensive network of sensors that control all aspects, from the management of intelligent buildings to energy and waste treatment.

If, to some extent, the platform of the city will behave like Windows, being periodically updated with a new release, the buildings will be like smartphones. Residents will interact with them in a very intuitive way, using touch surfaces and choosing the applications that interest them the most. "They may, for example, interact with a wall of their house, accessing the Internet to look for traffic information or controlling the music, alarm or lights. This will allow an experience never achieved on an urban level," explains Manuel Simas, who left the global responsibility for Microsoft's strategy in the automotive sector to be one of the executive vice presidents of Living PlanIT.

More than just a futuristic city, PlanIT Valley wants to be a "living laboratory", a collaborative space of excellence that will develop and test technological solutions that reduce the impact of infrastructure on the environment and "improve the quality of life". The goal is to make this the first of a new generation of intelligent cities that Living PlanIT intends to disseminate all over the planet. The opportunities have been identified for a long time. Robert Eccles believes the concept can be replicated throughout the world - where there is need for thousands of new cities - especially in emerging countries like China, India or Angola.

Revolutionize construction

Changing the world, one city at a time. The vision is ambitious, but when we hear Lewis speak, it seems almost simple. The speech is passionate when he talks about the scope of the project, but rational when he argues about its viability. In Lewis' optimistic philosophy, the economic crisis is an opportunity. "It was in troubled times that many successful companies have emerged." Money will not be an issue. "There are many banks interested in lending money and investors who want to get involved." And it won't be the execution deadlines to delay the project. "Many structures are prefabricated, which will makes construction move very quickly once we are on the ground. In China, a hotel has been built in six days", he explains. The vast majority of the technologies needed to create the eco-town have also already been created. The Living PlanIT platform just aims at integrate them and put them in the right place.

"We want to be relentless in our quest for development, integration and implementation of technology that improves quality of life for all and contribute to the viability of civilization," sums up Lewis. Utopia or reality? The answer will be known in the coming months.

About Living PlanIT

Living PlanIT S.A. is a technology company enabling the development of innovative, intelligent sustainable urban-scale environments. The company brings together people, industry and educational institutions to create innovation cities where emerging technologies are developed, perfected and experienced. Information about Living PlanIT can be found at www.living-planit.com
http://living-planit.com/pr_unicaExpresso1.htm

News about Planit Valley in many Languages:

Chinese:
http://article.yeeyan.org/view/38018/142781
http://www.weather.com.cn/climate/qh.../1195463.shtml
http://www.c-water.com.cn/news/gw/20101101/1242163.html

English:
http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/****...-planit-valley
http://pontotriplo.org/quickpicks/20...the_world.html
http://www.iconreview.org/news/14974
http://www.insideportugaltravel.com/...he-future.html

Greek:
http://news.kathimerini.gr/4dcgi/_w_...10/2010_419790

Japanese:
http://jp.techcrunch.com/archives/20...driven-cities/

Portuguese:
http://www.cienciahoje.pt/index.php?oid=32105&op=all
http://jpn.icicom.up.pt/2009/05/25/s..._do_porto.html
http://aeiou.expresso.pt/tecnologia-...e-2013=f518134

Russian:
http://portugalia.grandtour.ru/portu...1_3_23255.html
http://newsdiscover.net/news/read/V_...eko_gorod.html

Spanish:
http://actualidad.rt.com/ciencia_y_t...sue_15274.html
http://hackbrakadabra.wordpress.com/...e-en-portugal/
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Last edited by Miguel Portela; December 20th, 2010 at 06:47 PM. Reason: Will be back soon
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Old December 1st, 2010, 08:36 PM   #2
Miguel Portela
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Another good article on Planit Valley and more resent.

Quote:
Quintain to help build ‘smartcity’ in Portugal

By Daniel Thomas, Property Correspondent
Published: November 23 2010 22:16 | Last updated: November 23 2010 22:16
Quintain Estates & Development, the property developer behind large regeneration schemes in Wembley and Greenwich, has agreed its first overseas venture in a deal to help develop a 1,700 hectare “technology city” in Portugal.

Quintain will provide real estate consultancy to Living PlanIT, a technology company behind plans to create one of Europe’s first “smartcities” on a greenfield site in northern Portugal.


The PlanIT Valley scheme will bring together as many as 100 science and technology companies, including Cisco, in a research and development park where innovative networking technology can be embedded in its buildings and infrastructures.

Quintain will initially advise on the first of 25 planned phases of development, which will cost about €550m (£471m, $735m) and create working and living quarters for 3,000 technology employees and their families.

The first phase, which is also expected to include conference facilities and a large hotel, will begin next year. The 17.5 sq km site at Paredes is aimed at becoming a community for up to 100,000 people, involving a potential investment of €10bn.

Quintain is understood to have agreed a fee for its role of about 3.5 per cent of construction costs, with a minimum payment of at least €12m for the first two years.

The deal is seen as part of the company’s stated objective to drive revenue without additional expenditure, which means taking on more project and fund management roles.

All parties declined to comment on Tuesday night.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2010. You may share using our article tools. Please don't cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/9e51d380-f...#axzz16t9CqyBS
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Last edited by Miguel Portela; December 1st, 2010 at 09:07 PM.
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Old December 1st, 2010, 08:40 PM   #3
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Last edited by r.palmeira; December 1st, 2010 at 11:41 PM.
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 01:37 AM   #4
1. Caravaggio
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I really wonder what a guy who is supposed to direct a project that is working with 450 (!) companies, plans to build a 10 billion thing in waves (what the heck is a "wave" ? can't he say phase?) and expects to house 100 000 people (?) (but this guy never uses reasonable numbers anywhere?) is doing here, i think a person like that would have better things to do with his time....

this scam is so full of evasive verbiage...
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 02:55 AM   #5
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We all know that you try hard to discredit this project, 1. Caravaggio.

Still, what matters is that each month we know more partner firms and that the construction is about to star!
Exciting times!
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 11:39 AM   #6
Miguel Portela
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Canavagio I personaly don't belive that so high profile companies like Cisco and Microsoft and Persons like Ian Taylor (Ex UK Minister) would be involved on this and be a Hoax.

But soon will start the 1st wave (Phase) and you will have to eat your words
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 12:48 PM   #7
r.palmeira
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Existe uma serie de particularismos que levaram á escolha deste local para desenvolver o projeto!! se ao tempo de estao criticando o projeto lessem algo sobre ele, ou investigassem outros projetos similares fariam melhor figura

se o projeto vai ter 10000 pessoas??? não sei!! se tudo correr como o previsto essa é a intenção, no entanto este é um projeto que vai contar com aderencias de muitas empresas, muitas PMEs, somos todos nós que temos intençao de investir que fazemos o projeto... ele é apenas uma janela de oportunidade para todos nós. e quantos mais aderirem maior será o projeto

um dos envolvidos do projeto foi "só" o GEO do maior parque de ciencias biomedicas da Europa

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robin_Daniels

outro o antigo ministro da ciencia e desenvolvimento do Reino Unido

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_Taylor_(UK_politician)


ps.Eu escrevo em portugues depois podem usar o tradutor, nao vejo os espanhois escreverem em ingles nos foruns deles... existem os tradutores para algo

obrigado pela compreensão

Last edited by r.palmeira; December 2nd, 2010 at 06:38 PM.
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 01:48 PM   #8
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English please.

Posts like that don't help in the promotion of this fantastic project.
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 02:53 PM   #9
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os russos tambem tem um projeto fantastico e esta tudo em russo nos sites e tb precisam de parceiros..
como em um congresso existem os auriculares de tradução simultanêa eu forneço o meu

esta aqui:

http://br.babelfish.yahoo.com/

lolololololololololol

vcs podem contar com os meus comentarios em defesa do projeto mas em portuga... se em portuga ja sou muitas vezes mal entendido como não vou ser em ingles??

lololololololololololoolololo
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 04:47 PM   #10
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Better things to do with whose time?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1. Caravaggio View Post
I really wonder what a guy who is supposed to direct a project that is working with 450 (!) companies, plans to build a 10 billion thing in waves (what the heck is a "wave" ? can't he say phase?) and expects to house 100 000 people (?) (but this guy never uses reasonable numbers anywhere?) is doing here, i think a person like that would have better things to do with his time....

this scam is so full of evasive verbiage...

So firstly, how about you come out of the closet and share who you are and then we can debate (1) your reputation, (2) your experience, and (3) your motivations.

It takes more courage to make a difference that to post drivel like this.

Enough said.

Steve Lewis
CEO
Living PlanIT
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 05:03 PM   #11
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In the end, there will always be people trashing and trolling in this type of foruns.
Better not give them too much attention.
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 05:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nephasto View Post


In the end, there will always be people trashing and trolling in this type of foruns.
Better not give them too much attention.
If only IQ or decency was included in the authentication and not simply a userid and password ;-)

Although am sure a few of these are stumped by that LOL

Steve
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Old December 4th, 2010, 10:09 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlanITValleyVoice View Post
So firstly, how about you come out of the closet and share who you are and then we can debate (1) your reputation, (2) your experience, and (3) your motivations.

It takes more courage to make a difference that to post drivel like this.

Enough said.

Steve Lewis
CEO
Living PlanIT
Why do you need to know who the heck am I? Are you going to fill my mailbox with marketing nonsense? Or ask me to be a partner of your "thing"?

Besides YOU are the one who has to prove anything here, and so far you have shown just promotional garbage. I will get back to you when i see something... in the meantime, i will get a nice comfy sofa. Something tells me i am going to wait a looong time!
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Old December 5th, 2010, 02:13 AM   #14
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Hi Steve

Welcome back to the forum. It was a long time.

As this is a forum, it is important to discuss the latest project developments and to hear what people think & feel about this important project. Both good & bad.

Therefore, it would be vey important to discuss the following:

Quintain: congratulations on the announcement. This is a goal! What I can’t understand is why Living Planit will have to pay Quintain 24 million Euros for 2 years and 3.5% of construction costs? As you have mentioned, your solutions will revolutionse and change the way the construction industry works, so should Quintain not pay Living PlanIT for it solutions?

(it looks like Quintain will be selling it’s services to Living Planit for a large amount of money and this announcement come out just before they release there interim results, which helps Quintain share price)

Cisco: Mr Anil Menon, Cisco’s president for globalisation and smart and connected communities said the following “The project in Portugal faces significant challenges including the international economic climate and the difficulties of real estate financing,“But we are hopeful we can make it work.”

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/1262cc68-8...#axzz17AkNlttu

After two years of working together, all that is announced is a letter of Intent, outlining an egreement, before the final egreement is finalized. Living Planit still needs to buy the land and raise money for the development of the project. Mr Menon does not sound very confident and is this the reason why only a LOL was signed, not a diffinate commit?

It is important to have Portuguese companies such as PT & Sonae working in this prestigious project. Do you know when they will announce there envolement?

On another topic:

I can understand why certain people views such as Costa “Dear Steve Lewis, will you run away leaving no track soon you get our money in your hands?” When we read that you are on the DCS Most wanted list for not paying for child maintanence, (posted by fred_mendonca below) this make us very worried. The main reason is that our Portuguese culture is a family based one and a man who cannot support his on family, is look down on. If you cant support your family, how can you really help Portugal?

I hope you understand that we are behind this projects as Portugal needs some real solutions, not political talk and no action.

Anna Paula Gomes

Last edited by Vito Corleone; December 5th, 2010 at 03:26 PM. Reason: Character Defamation
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Old December 5th, 2010, 05:36 AM   #15
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WOW! Really impressive project. I really hope that everything goes well and it gets realized
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Old December 5th, 2010, 04:09 PM   #16
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Indeed! We hope so too!
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Old December 5th, 2010, 06:05 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anna Paula Gomes View Post
Therefore, it would be vey important to discuss the following:

Quintain: congratulations on the announcement. This is a goal! What I can’t understand is why Living Planit will have to pay Quintain 24 million Euros for 2 years and 3.5% of construction costs? As you have mentioned, your solutions will revolutionse and change the way the construction industry works, so should Quintain not pay Living PlanIT for it solutions?

(it looks like Quintain will be selling it’s services to Living Planit for a large amount of money and this announcement come out just before they release there interim results, which helps Quintain share price)
Well, I think the fact that Quintain will receive some millions is absolutelly normal. That's how business work. They have to have finantial incentives to join the project. And having a company like Quintain in this project is a great asset for PlanIT Valley.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anna Paula Gomes View Post
Cisco: Mr Anil Menon, Cisco’s president for globalisation and smart and connected communities said the following “The project in Portugal faces significant challenges including the international economic climate and the difficulties of real estate financing,“But we are hopeful we can make it work.”

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/1262cc68-8...#axzz17AkNlttu

After two years of working together, all that is announced is a letter of Intent, outlining an egreement, before the final egreement is finalized. Living Planit still needs to buy the land and raise money for the development of the project. Mr Menon does not sound very confident and is this the reason why only a LOL was signed, not a diffinate commit?
Well, first of all, the new you present is somewhat old (from June), but we all now this aren't the best times to get financing. Still, PlanIT Valley has already granted financing from international banks (not portuguese, which at this moment wouldn't be in the best momment to make big lendings).
Although this aren't the best of times for financing, it looks as though thinks are working OK for PlanIT Valley.
As for Cisco "only" signing a LOL, I think that's quite usual in this kind of agreements and this unpredictable times. They will probably officialize the contract when construction begins.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anna Paula Gomes View Post
When we see reports as above and very little happening on the ground, it is very difficult to keep everyone positive about the project. You said the construction of project was to start at the end 2009 and would be finished in 2014, and nothing has happened. There was also a mention of a project in Porto with Planit mobile, but we cannot see anything.
There may have been some setbacks, but construction is now planned to start in the beggining of 2011.

Be welcome in this forum Ana, and thank you for the constructive criticism.
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Old December 9th, 2010, 08:01 PM   #18
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I found some videos on youtube about Planit Valley.



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Old December 10th, 2010, 05:25 AM   #19
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Quote:
Well, I think the fact that Quintain will receive some millions is absolutelly normal. That's how business work. They have to have finantial incentives to join the project. And having a company like Quintain in this project is a great asset for PlanIT Valley.
you might be interested to know i'm a long term shareholder in quintain. this popped up on the RNS a few weeks ago and was mentioned at the last company meeting for shareholders. quintain expect the first payment to be made in the new year at the rate of £1 million a month. although the scheme doesn't have finance apparently they are quite bullish and fully expect to get going next year. i hope they do.
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Old December 10th, 2010, 12:11 PM   #20
Nephasto
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Location: Porto
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