Aragon is gaining momentum as a major center of innovation

Companies such as Amazon, Microsoft and Inditex have recently announced major investments in the Aragon region. An area that has for some time now become prominent in terms of innovation, logistics and mobility. Aragon knows how to improve features that make it an ideal place for investment, project development or business development. “When large multinationals bet on Aragon, it is because they see this community as a territory located in a privileged location, in the center of the major GDP centers of Spain and the south of France,” says Mar Vaquero, second vice-president. and Advisor for Economy, Employment and Industry to the Government of Aragon. But he also believes that, as a community that enjoys social world “in existence for several decades”, with logistics and industrial premises “ideally suited for the implementation of these projects”, an airport of international importance for the movement of cargo and a government “designed to provide all types of services and advance the training of professional profiles that are in demand.

Raul Rodrigo Rubio, partner responsible for audit at EY Zaragoza, also emphasizes the privileged location of the region, at the crossroads of four cities with the largest population and dynamic businesses in Spain, and points to other factors, such as the fact that public organizations we know that We see this potential and capitalize on it, with the presence of the Pllaza logistics platform being a key point. “In addition, this is a region with a university that prepares very good technical profiles and therefore with the ability to create a workforce for emerging investments,” adds the consultant. It was equally important to prevent companies from fleeing to other cities.

Natalia Chueca, the mayor of Zaragoza, attributes the attraction of so much investment to the institutional work carried out by both the city council and the community. Yes today Zaragoza is in fashion and in Spain it is considered a city of opportunity to come and invest. “This is thanks to the excellent job we have done in approving a budget plan to attract businesses, which is the second most effective in Spain,” he emphasizes. They offer “legal certainty and regulation to encourage investment”, have industrial and urban land “at a very competitive price” and have “renewable energy available in large quantities and at a good price”. To all this, the mayor adds “the excellent quality of life that this city offers to workers,” very cheap compared to Madrid or Barcelona, ​​so “it’s clear why Zaragoza is in fashion.” And remember that the region offers “an avant-garde sandbox that turns Zaragoza into a laboratory where companies can test their projects and products with legal guarantees.” We must also not forget that Zaragoza will have a state-of-the-art data law. “We understand that we live in a dataocracy, and our role is to anticipate people’s needs, not to be years behind,” Chueca says.

Pioneers in mobility

Zaragoza has a pioneering mobility project, Digizity, “another example of how we can anticipate things.” It is the only city testing the technology that will drive driverless buses in the future, which “demonstrates how involved the Zaragoza city council is in sustainable and innovative mobility.” The mayor notes that this is not only happening with the bus, technology is also being tested with Oslo (Norway) that will allow autonomous control of trams, and “we also have a vertiport to test mobility using drones throughout the city area.” cities, and we’ve seen autonomous carts circulating to distribute deliveries. And we warn you that this is not a coincidence: we have taken it upon ourselves to offer opportunities, contact leading companies and invite them to test and share their technologies with the people of Zaragoza.

The aforementioned strategic geographical location in the north-east of Spain, close to major cities such as Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia, has made it an important link between the north and south of the country, as well as the rest of Europe. This is something key in your logistics development. “The presence of important transport infrastructure, including an efficient network of roads and railways and Zaragoza Airport, the second busiest air cargo carrier in Spain, facilitates the flow of goods,” says Angel García Madurga, director of the MSc in Supply Chain Management program. Zaragoza Logistics Center (ZLC), research and training institute. In addition, “Aragon has implemented favorable policies and invested heavily in the development of logistics parks,” he adds.

1,500 jobs will be created by the new Inditex logistics center

This region offers investors in the logistics sector several competitive advantages, such as low operating costs (land and rent, labor costs, etc.) compared to other Spanish metropolitan areas such as Madrid and Barcelona. “The regional government, regardless of its ideology, offers support to companies investing in logistics development, which further reduces entry barriers for investors,” emphasizes García Madurga. Aragon has a skilled workforce specialized in logistics and supply chain management, “thanks to the presence of educational institutions and training centers such as ZLC, which work closely with the industry to adapt their educational programs to market needs.”

Amazon Web Services plans to invest $15.7 billion in three data centers in the region. Pictured is a large Amazon logistics center on the Zaragoza logistics platform.

Another key element of the innovation ecosystem created in the Aragonese region is the technology center Aitiip, whose mission is “to help companies overcome current and future technological challenges, becoming leaders in technology and innovation through commitment and knowledge,” says Berta Gonzalvo. its director of research. They collaborate with companies to expand their equipment and infrastructure at two levels of scientific and technical risk. At the R&D and innovation level, they work with companies to develop new products, processes, services and knowledge products to provide solutions to the problems and needs of industry and society, “and we also share with them the results of the centre’s own activities.” Aitiip’s innovation in advanced materials, advanced manufacturing, recycling technologies and sustainable products are the four pillars of our business,” says Gonzalvo. On the other hand, they offer technology services with state-of-the-art infrastructure and demonstrators, from 3D printing, design and engineering to mechanical manufacturing, plastic materials and surface technologies and custom solutions. “We are a vector for the transformation of companies established in our region, be they small, medium or large, but our scope of activity also extends nationally in various sectors such as mobility, automotive, aviation, healthcare, agricultural machinery, packaging and agriculture . -food and industry in general,” he notes.

It should be noted that they involve companies in all these innovation processes related to the green transformation, the circular economy and the bioeconomy as a digital transition, “both through contractual formulas and through competitive competition in R&D funding programs with European and national funds.”

Although Zaragoza, due to its size and strategic location, is the epicenter of logistics activities in Aragon, there is debate about the need to better distribute these activities to other parts of the region. “The Government of Aragon has announced a strategic plan that will aim to structure the region around two axes: the capital Zaragoza with the creation of three logistics rings around the metropolis and the operation of the main communication routes crossing the Community. “points out Angel García Madurga from ZLC.

Expand your focus

This approach aims to expand logistics development to other regions, such as the regions of Tarazona and Moncayo, as well as Calatayud, promoting a more equitable distribution and use of the benefits of existing infrastructure to promote investment and economic growth throughout the region. The company believes that the announced investments and ongoing improvements to its logistics infrastructure indicate sustainable growth in the future. For example, “Inditex’s new investment in Zaragoza, accompanied by the construction of a second major logistics centre, strengthens Aragon’s position as a logistics power in southern Europe.” The project, which will cover 286,000 square meters and create 1,500 jobs, with an estimated investment of 600 to 700 million euros, “underlines Aragon’s commitment to innovation, technology and sustainable development.” In terms of infrastructure, the development of projects such as the Cantabrian-Mediterranean Corridor will “improve rail connections and facilitate the transport of goods between northern Spain and the Mediterranean, and will also make a significant contribution to the growth of the logistics sector.”

According to Raúl Rodrigo Rubio of EY Zaragoza, the challenge for policymakers is to “create a business network throughout the territory; especially to serve Teruel. “This will bring great social, demographic and, in the long term, economic benefits.” However, remember that “we need to have a long-term vision and consensus between the parties.” And he is betting on a high-speed train between Zaragoza, Teruel and Valencia.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button