- Aragonès, accompanied by the Minister of Business Roger Torrent i Ramió, and the Minister of Economy and Finance, Natàlia Mas i Guix, met with representatives of companies and universities
- The Chief Executive has classified the dimension of this "strategic" area of the Catalan economy into 86 companies and 4,400 professionals
- This industry expects great growth with a portfolio of 22 potential foreign investment projects that, if all of them were implemented, would represent an investment of 1.6 billion euros and the creation of 1,800 jobs
The President of the Government of Catalonia, Pere Aragonès, announced on Friday that there are already 86 companies in the semiconductor sector in Catalonia, according to a study by ACCIÓ - the agency for business competitiveness of the Department of Enterprise and Labour. The head of the executive made this known in front of around fifty companies, universities and agents of the ecosystem during a working meeting at the Palau de la Generalitat, where the Minister of Business and Labour, Roger Torrent, and the Minister of Economy and Finance, Natàlia Mas, were also present. The meeting served to highlight the assets of Catalonia in this field, share future projections and analyze the situation of industry on a global scale, as well as join efforts between the administration, the world of research and the private sector.
During the meeting, the president explained that the 86 companies in the sector in Catalonia invoice almost 160 million euros and employ 700 people. These workers join the 3,700 researchers with research projects in the field of semiconductors, so that in Catalonia this ecosystem is already made up of 4,400 professionals. Aragonès stressed that the Government is "confident that we have all the ingredients to be able to take a leap forward" in this sector, which he described as strategic. "Especially from the point of view of development of the most advanced, most modern, most cutting-edge and so necessary industry in the reindustrialization process that the European Commission is promoting on the continent and that the Generalitat promotes for the country," he added.
The president highlighted that Catalonia is already "one of the European territories that gathers the most assets to become the basis for the development of the semiconductor industry in southern Europe" and, therefore, he added, "we have all the determination to lead the European Chip project. Because we have the potential, we have the talent, we have the experience and we have the ability to do it", he emphasized to the attendees.
Aragonès has made it clear that the Executive will not stop "insisting, also from the governmental and political level, that all the institutions involved, starting with the Community ones, must make a clear commitment to Barcelona and Catalonia". He recalled this by referring to "one of thefundamental contents of the working meeting that we held together with the Minister of Economy and the Internal Market Commissioner in Brussels last October".
A sector in full development
According to the ACCIÓ report, 81% of the companies in the sector in Catalonia are SMEs (and 8% are startups), while 37% have a turnover of more than 10 million euros per year. In this sense, the document points out that the semiconductor industry is in the development phase in Catalonia but has a great growth projection. In fact, this analysis does not yet incorporate the company projects announced in recent months by various multinationals, as they have not yet materialized. The Sant Jordi room during the meeting.
In addition, the Generalitat is working through ACCIÓ with a portfolio of 22 potential foreign investment projects in Catalonia of multinational companies in this sector. If all of them materialized, they would represent an investment of more than 1,600 million euros and the creation of 1,800 jobs in the next two-three years. For the government, semiconductors have become essential and sensitive components for the technological sovereignty of countries on a global scale, since chips are strategic for the vast majority of industrial value chains. It is a type of investment that has a lot of international competence and highly strategic for the Generalitat.
As the report points out, no country in the world currently has the entire value chain of the semiconductor industry (design, assembly/test and manufacturing). In this sense, Catalonia is already positioning itself as one of the most dynamic environments in southern Europe in the field of design, as evidenced by recent investment announcements by Cisco, Monolitic Power Systems (MPS) or Intel, which have chosen Barcelona to locate its microchip design centers there. This is a key area for developing a dynamic ecosystem in the entire value chain, which makes it possible to advance the needs of Catalan and European industry and which has a strong effect on the generation of intellectual property.
Catalonia's assets in the field of semiconductors
Catalonia is the territory that gathers the most assets to position itself as the basis for the development of the semiconductorindustry in Spain and southern Europe. Especially for having one of the most solid and diversified industrial fabrics as well as the most mature technological and digital ecosystem in the entire region, two assets that are added to the reference infrastructures -such as the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC)- and the ability to generate and attract talent. In this field, it is worth highlighting the fact that Catalonia has 12 technology centers with R+D activities in the field of semiconductors and 6 Catalan universities that offer training related to semiconductors.
Precisely, yesterday the Catalan company IDEADED announced the launch in Viladecans of the largest private semiconductor clean room in southern Europe, a project that will involve an investment of 12 million euros and the creation of 100 highly qualified jobs. This project joins recently made investments such as that of the North American companies Cisco, which has chosen the Catalan capital to open the first semiconductor design center in the European Union, and Monolithic Power Systems, which will create 150 new qualified jobs with the expansion of its presence in Catalonia. Also noteworthy is the Intel project, which will open a microchip laboratory at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC-CNS).