The sea has always been a source of wealth for seafarers, fishermen or other sectors, but if we don’t take care of it, we are at great risk. The blue economy, the green economy linked to the sea, places sustainability at the forefront of this economy linked to water and the sea.
With 16.67 km of coastline, Barcelona wants to make the blue economy a factor in its growth. The reasons are not lacking. In addition to having the 10th port in Europe by container volume, the city has companies that specialize in repairing and overhauling large ships, generating high-quality business and employment. An example is the flagship company Marina Barcelona 92, which has clients from the United States and Australia, among others.
Additionally, Barcelona is home to research and training centers associated with the sea, with entities such as the Institut de Ciències del Mar (ICM-CSIC) or the Maritime College of the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC). Y espacios para la práctica deportiva y náutica en la playa o en clubes públicos y privados, como el Center Municipal de Vela, la Fundacio Navegacio Oceànica el Reial Club Nàutic y el Reial Club Marítim, que facilitan el aprendizaje y d la práct The open air.
Other areas with a sea economy in the city are food, with Mercat del Peix de Mercabarna or Cofraria de Pescadors; The tourist, with cruises, and cultural, with facilities such as Museu Blau, Marítim or Aquàrium.
Additionally, there is great growth potential in new emerging sectors such as biotechnology or marine energy.
The related fact is that two years ago there were only two venture capital funds in the blue economy, and within 24 months in Europe, 16 were created.
Barcelona wants to lead the sustainable economy of the South European Sea and to be a reference in the Mediterranean as a friendly city with this kind of economy, the green economy linked to the sea.
Port Barcelona got involved
At the reAct conference, the City Council and the Port of Barcelona signed a cooperation agreement to define and implement a strategy to strengthen the blue economy. Mercy Kunesa, President of the Port of Barcelona, explained that this infrastructure is working to become a unique platform in it StartupsTechnology companies, the academic world, and the seaport sector could develop a new economic activity. He commented, “We are betting that the Blue Zone will become a business center that operates according to standards of sustainability, openness, cooperation and technology, and attracts talent, entrepreneurship and innovation.”
Another initiative is the launch of the Blue Economy Observatory, which will enable data to be obtained that would allow the promotion of entrepreneurship, employment, talent, training, or access to water-related environmental information, among other things.
To make it an engine for growth and job creation in the city, it is essential to train, attract and retain talent, offer high-quality jobs, foster entrepreneurship, and foster knowledge transfer. In addition, it is necessary to integrate the sustainable maritime economy into the social fabric, in the daily life of citizens, provide a more fun part, leisure time, sports, training, etc., and promote the city as a standard. In this area. If Barcelona organizes a boat show or any other event related to sea, water, marine sports, etc., then the blue economy should be present.
The sector currently accounts for 4.3% of the city’s GDP and 1.4% of employment
For this reason, it is imperative to link the many assets the city already possesses in the blue economy, and to ensure that sustainability and innovation are the axes of growth. The council is committed to creating new opportunities in cooperation with the main sectors that make up the green economy linked to the sea, with experts, citizens, bodies, companies, etc. Thanks to cooperation between the public and private sectors, the necessary impetus can be given to positioning the city in this area, generating wealth and quality employment, and improving the sustainability and quality of life of citizens.
Making the Catalan capital the center of the blue economy is a goal as well as a strategic project that chooses to finance the next generation of Europe.
An area in which you innovate
Barcelona Innovation (BIC) is a new public-private platform created to foster a focused urban innovation zone on the coast of Barcelona, helping to diversify the city’s economy. City Council sees this project as an opportunity to unite Barcelona as the innovation capital of Southern Europe and as a mechanism to attract and mobilize resources aimed at building a competitive and sustainable local economic development model.
The BIC was recently introduced during the Barcelona reAct conference. Its promoters expect to create 40,000 jobs in the city within 10 years. The project involves universities, research centers, clusters and companies related to mobility, technology, energy and health. The idea is to combine all the innovative efforts that are independently made to achieve the reactivation and provide it with a common coordination.
Through its implementation, Barcelona can prove its place as an international benchmark in innovation. Because the city needs to diversify its domestic economy, as 88% of GDP corresponds to the service sector.
The BIC wants to be a tool that mobilizes and attracts resources for innovation. The starting point is an area of 25% of the area of Barcelona, 25,100 hectares where the most advanced research centers and companies are concentrated in the city: five universities, 28 research centers, large companies in the sectors of information and communication technology and other strategic sectors and centers of municipal administration devoted to innovation. In total, 550,000 square meters are available between buildings and offices of more than 1,000 square meters.
In total, there are 550,000 square meters available between buildings and offices of more than 1,000 square meters
To stimulate and coordinate innovation in Barcelona, the Council of the Innovation Coast will be established in Barcelona, where all public, private and institutional organizations are in a stable manner. Universities, business colleges, research centers, knowledge transfer, business associations and groups, financiers, and public administrations.
An essential pillar to get out of the current crisis
Faced with the turning point of the current health, social and economic crisis, Barcelona places innovation at the center of the city’s strategy for promotion and recovery. According to the cycle set by the 2030 Agenda, the Bank Information Center plans to capitalize on the opportunities and advance four strategic sectors: mobility, energy, technology, digitization and health. This action proposal is in line with the principles of Europe’s next-generation environmental and digital transformation, with specific actions that are likely to be the destination of funds earmarked for Spain in the European recovery framework.
The aim of Barcelona is to unify the Bank Information Center as a coordination space between the public and private sectors for innovation in the international reference, capable of creating economies of agglomeration, with the participation of universities, research centers, conglomerates and local, national and international companies, directed towards digitization and finding innovative solutions in the main strategic sectors of the city of Barcelona, which allow To achieve sustainable development based on technological humanity and the 2030 Agenda.
“Barcelona has managed to become an attractive city for making and attracting technological investments,” said Laya Bonet, Deputy Mayor of Agenda 2030 and the Digital Transition, at the recent BIC presentation.
According to Bonet, “We now need to diversify our economy and innovation must be at the heart of this recovery strategy to continue to be an international standard in the green and digital economy, and to be able to obtain the largest number of specific projects from European recovery funds.” The Bank Information Center should serve to “strengthen and coordinate ourselves to attract more innovation, new projects, talent and financing” and emphasized that “we will only do it well if we do it together: public institutions, the private sector, civil society, the core of the Barcelona model”.
“The City Information Center is a strategy for the city and the country, which will put innovation at the center of reinvigorating and transforming the city to make things happen in the region,” said First Deputy Mayor Jaume Colboni. “The lesson of the epidemic must be used to transform the economic model, enhance, attract talent and put it at the service of citizens.” .
“We are pleased to see that the city council has strongly embraced the economic dynamism of the city and strengthened it through the drive for innovation,” said former Economy Minister Andrew Mas Kollel, who also participated in the program. . He added, “The prosperous future economies will be knowledge economies and will face challenges such as the health crisis or climate change. We must think about whether we will be consumers of knowledge or producers of knowledge.”