The innovation driver that drives a new future



We live in a time where great unknowns arise around our future. However, when we talk about the future we need to consider how far we want to go, what we want to achieve and how we want to do it. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to reflect on our role in this context.

For him Barcelona Free Zone Consortium (CZFB) there is a clear mission: boost the economy of the metropolitan region of Barcelona to generate economic and social value. In other words, to act as a socio-economic and innovation engine to project the city as world capital of the new economy. Something that is evident in a very clear way if we look at the initiatives carried out by the entity.

Among them, it is essential to mention the celebration of the second edition of the Barcelona New Economy Week (BNEW) or the launch of the first edition of the Barcelona Woman Acceleration Week (BWAW). The BNEW -which had more than 12,000 online participants, 3,000 physical attendees and 33,000 views- was one of the CZFB’s biggest bets due to the momentum of the new economy, clearly evidenced by the number of verticals it brought together, this being double ( 10) than the previous year. In addition, the entity has already communicated that there will be a third edition that will be held from October 3 to 6, 2022. As for BWAW, a hybrid event that aims to promote a real transformation towards a greater presence of women in the business and industrial sector, more than 2,200 people from all over the world were attended virtually. It was a bet by the CZFB that was a great success, something that has motivated them to start its second edition, which will take place from March 8 to 10, 2022.

It is important to note that all CZFB initiatives are based on sustainability and equality, although the greatest fact to highlight in the current DNA of the entity is its commitment to transformation, innovation and talent. For this reason, it has positioned itself as a benchmark for Industry 4.0, providing great added value to the city of Barcelona and its metropolitan region.

Digital industry

In this sense, the biggest project is DFactory Barcelona, a node aimed at creating an ecosystem that promotes the development of the digital industry in Europe, which has Leitat as a technological partner. It is a totally innovative and differential initiative which will act as a tool to transform the Spanish productive fabric and accompany companies in their digitization process.

It is a project that places Barcelona once again at the forefront of the most cutting-edge innovation. Likewise, new business and quality employment opportunities will be generated thanks to the DFactory Barcelona spirit of being a collaborative R&D center. The project will have both technology generating companies and others that need to implement innovative solutions to transform themselves. In addition, the initiative is expected to generate 1,500 direct jobs and up to 5,000 indirect jobs.

On the other hand, we cannot forget the 3D Incubator, the first European high-tech incubator in 3D printing promoted by the CZFB and the Leitat technology center with the support of Feder Funds through the Incyde Foundation of the Spanish Chambers of Commerce. It is a project that perfectly exemplifies the power that strategic alliances and the promotion of new technologies can have in the new economy.

Since its inauguration in 2019, the 3D Incubator has promoted 76 projects and has received many requests from startups and entrepreneurs to develop their business idea in their facilities, of which there are both national and international projects. The incubator has also contributed to the generation of quality employment, with the creation of 80 new jobs. In addition, in these two years it has received the visit of more than a thousand companies.

Formative bet

In the metropolitan region of Barcelona there is a great advantage and it is the significant concentration of companies and job opportunities. Even so, as a result of the importance that new technologies are gaining in all sectors, there has also been a change in defendant worker profiles and a lack of the necessary training, as well as trained personnel.

For this reason, the Consorci de la Zona Franca signed in October 2020, together with the Barcelona City Council and Correos, a protocol of intentions to convert the central buildings of Correos into a pole of economic and business activity that «re-economizes» the center of the city of Barcelona and boost the occupation in the city. In this way, once the CZFB rehabilitates the building, it will be used for the service of the digital economy, training, research, entrepreneurship and talent.

Apart from turning it into a pole of innovation from which the entire metropolitan region will benefit, the one that will be the Netflix of technology training, a benchmark space to train young people through on-demand technological subjects and with content adapted to the real needs of companies and the productive fabric, thus also facilitating their incorporation into the work environment.

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