Gran Canaria proposes its very own response to port and maritime innovation by launching Spain’s first Data&AI Innovation Centre for the Maritime (IAT Marino-marítima)

Officially named ‘High Tech Incubator for Data Analytics and AI applied to marine & maritime environments’, and preferably known by its shortened Spanish branding ‘IAT Marino-marítima’, the Innovation Centre is aimed at (a) supporting national data-based projects within the Blue Economy, (b) raising visibility for the sound advantages of testing tech solutions in the Canary Islands and (c) fostering port, shipping and energy digital transition based on AI-algorithms.

As from yesterday, the SPEGC-led project is officially open and receiving applications. The different services are available for any company or entrepreneur based within the European Economic Space. 

The Marine-Maritime IAT is conceived as a fundamental driving force for the digital transition in ports, shipping companies and offshore energies (developers and service-providers), while also accepting requests from other Blue Economy subsectors (tourism, coastal activities, desalination, water treatment, biotech & aquaculture, etc.).  It has a national scope and is designed to provide services to companies and entrepreneurs with data projects and technologies connected to data. It is open to any project that seeks to improve productive efficiency and sustainability thanks to the exploitation of data, as well as projects that can benefit from introducing artificial intelligence and machine learning elements in their business model.

The range of services includes:

  1. Two incubation programmes for 30 ‘Early Stage’ projects (up and until TRL 7)
  2. One acceleration programme for 15 ‘Growth’ projects (TRL 8 to 9)
  3. Up to 2,880 hours of dedicated consultancy by experts in Business and Scaling up, R&D-funding, Legal Advisory and Technology. The latter refers to projects with needs in Data, AI and any of the commonly related technologies (Deep Learning, Sensorics, IoT, Blockchain, Automated vehicles, AR/VR, digital twins, 3D printing, etc), totalling 47% of the available consultancy hours.
  4. Workshops and group training
  5. Promotion events
  6. Cloud computing services & support

But above all of the hard offer, the ‘IAT Marino-marítima’ is intended to serve as a networking playground where entrepreneurs and companies will be linked with Spain’s maritime powerhouses to build on potential collaborative schemes. Expect the largest shipping companies, shipyards, energy companies, Unviersities and Academics, as well as public tech centres to join the initiative.

A SPEGC & INCYDE project

Finally, it should be noted that this IAT is part of the 'High Technology Incubators for the promotion of innovation and technology transfer to micro-SMEs' initiative and it is a 2-million-euro project, 85% co-financed by ERDF funds, which allows the Economic Promotion Society of Gran Canaria (SPEGC) to launch and develop an ambitious programme of actions. The IAT Marino-Maritime is physically located in the 'Marine-Maritime Innovation Centre', in the spaces recently renovated by the SPEGC and which will receive both entrepreneurs linked to the IAT Marine-Maritime and companies that will occupy offices and workspaces. Apply here

Why Gran Canaria?

Las Palmas Port is established as a global shipping hub and Gran Canaria is currently at the forefront of Spain’s floating energy revolution (thanks to, PLOCAN, among other test banks). The shared regional Blue Economy strategy is now focused on facilitating the development and testing of technological solutions. The opportunities linked to the port activity, maritime navigation, ocean and offshore energies are amplified by the island's conditions for testing, scaling and commercialising advanced technological solutions in industries that prioritise growth based on innovation. Besides the strength and diversity of the industrial business network in the port-logistics value chain and the new opportunities in the development of marine renewable energies, Gran Canaria has an advantageous tax system and specific financing tools, a large community of software, data and ICT companies and developers, as well as research groups and innovation teams that are already actively operating within the main companies of the Blue Economy.

Some of the reasons why companies find the island as ‘The Right Place to Be’:

  • Ecosystem and talent: Besided the highly skilled talent pool, when training and technification is required, ‘Best in Gran Canaria’ makes available to companies dedicated training design& funding services. We had a recent experience with a Commodity-trading house, where SPEGC trained 15 traders, 7 of which are now inserted in the day-to-day business activity of the company.  
  • Reduced taxation: tech companies may profit from an outrageous 75.6% tax credit on all R&D-related expenses (45% when the expenses are related to Technological Innovation) and a reduced rate of 4% Corporate Income Tax.
  • Access to financing tools: public fundings are available to finance innovative projects. ‘Best in Gran Canaria’ offers (through its parent company SPEGC) up to €200,000 soft loans to support technological and innovative companies in the maritime sector.
  • Test environment: as mentioned, the number and diversity of companies makes Gran Canaria and its port the perfect test-bed for designing, testing and scaling new solutions for the sector. 

Feel free to enquire more information under www.iatmarinomaritima.com


'FIWARE Global Summit' puts Gran Canaria in the international focus of innovation

'FIWARE Global Summit' puts Gran Canaria in the international focus of innovation and digital transformation

The international congress on digital transformation Fiware Global Summit was successfully held in Gran Canaria between september 13th and 16th, hosted by the island’s governing body via two of its core companies/initiatives, the Economic Development Agency of Gran Canaria (SPEGC) and ‘Best in Gran Canaria’, and externally supported by other regional stakeholders such as CidiHub, FIIHub and Innovalia.

This meet-up represents a unique opportunity to showcase Gran Canaria’s efforts to become a smart island in fields such as tourism (eg. SITGRAN, the island’s public-private tourism data partnership), water management (Aquagran), automated fire alerts control (Alertagran), virtual powerplants management tools via IA, smart ports, etc.  The island has consistently evolved to improve the efficiency of public services by means of increased digitalization at various levels, thanks to the ‘Gran Canaria Inteligente’ initiative. This public collection of projects, financed by Cabildo de Gran Canaria, comprises more than 20 projects and eur 20 million of investment that has already been exhausted or is currently at the planning or tendering stage.

The ’Best in Gran Canaria’ team, which had a unique corner in the business & exhibition area, surrounded by other 15 global companies, held more than 30 meetings with participants and companies. The latter showed great interest in the potential digital testing & scaling up options on the island, given that Gran Canaria represents a sizeable market (850,000 inhabitants and 4.5 million tourists per year) with a reasonable talent pool (eg. 6,200 students are currently enrolled in STEM studies). As a matter of fact, the island offers, on top of low taxation and dedicated funding for smart solutions, a cost-controlled sandbox to develop, test & deliver digital solutions that can be sold to the world from the operating facilities on the island.

More than 120 speakers participated in the congress and in the complementary events. They shared their expertise with the audiences, a total of 375 digital agents and members of the FIWARE ecosystem, including companies, public administrations, professionals, developers and end-users.

The event consisted on business conferences, presentation of case studies and training and plug sessions, which are some of the activities that were included in the industrial connection and networking sessions of the Global Fiware Summit 2022. Fiware Global Summit also served as a driving force for other related initiatives linked to the use of open source. On the one hand, through the holding of several training sessions on Fiware technology, meetings of European projects based on Fiware and, finally, an open day organized by the Spanish Government's Data Office and the Spanish Gaia-X hub.


ZEC removes the minimum investment

The Canary Islands Special Zone (ZEC) removes the minimum investment requirement for companies focusing on knowledge and innovation

The "Official State Gazette" (BOE) has published the 1/2022 circular, in which the Governing Council of the Canary Islands Special Zone established the guiding criteria for the minimum investment exemption in ZEC.

The Canary Islands Special Zone (ZEC) is a low tax zone created within the framework of the Canary Islands Economic and Tax Regime (REF) to promote the economic and social development of the Islands and diversify their production structure.

Many companies have launched or evolved in Gran Canarias due to the advantages associated with ZEC, such as the reduced rate of 4% for entities subject to the Corporate Income Tax. 

This regime was approved by the European Commission in 2000 and has been improving and relaxing the requirements ever since. However, the minimum investment of 100.000 euros in fixed assets within the activity was still active until last week.

With this change already introduced, several companies attending to several unique characteristics could be exempted from the minimal investment requirement.

Small and medium-sized companies with the seal of 'Innovative PYME" by the Minister of Science and Innovation or the ones whose activities focus on obtaining it, as well as R+D companies and those in the audiovisual, video games, IT, and telecommunications fields, could ask for an exemption of minimal investment requirement. To receive this exemption, companies must have six or more employees.

A new rating system for reducing investment requirements is also established if companies employ more than the set minimum. Companies in Tenerife and Gran Canaria that use more than 20 people could reduce investment to 20.000 euros, 40.000 for those who employ at least 15 people, and 60.000 for those who employ 10 people. Companies that generate more than 25 jobs are not required to make a minimal investment.

This new measure seeks to promote the Canary Islands as an ideal destination for investments in sustainability, creative and innovative industries and to encourage the effective development of the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the islands.

This measure eases the creation and relocation to Gran Canaria of emerging companies in innovation, knowledge, and R+D fields. In recent years, Gran Canaria has had the largest share of investment in the Canary Islands due to the tax incentives and economic advantages for companies on the island. SPEGC aims to inform and guide innovative projects seeking to relocate to the island and to encourage local employment. If you have questions, our experts will help you through the  'Business Support Service' of SPEGC.

projects seeking to relocate to the island and to encourage local employment. If you have questions, our experts will help you through the  'Business Support Service' of SPEGC.


The second edition of the series ‘Moving to Gran Canaria: The complete relocation Guide’ published by Best in Gran Canaria is now readily available

The island’s collaborative investment attraction initiative has updated its trademark guide, including new services, advantages, shortcuts and admin procedures that soften the relocation process to the preferred investment destination in Southern Europe, Gran Canaria.

This much-awaiting free-to-use guide provides all the information required to help relocated professionals, expatriates, remote workers, entrepreneurs and families, and it indeed facilitates their arrival on the island by minimising the natural uncertainties that come along any relocation process.

Published in digital format and available in English and Spanish, the Softlanding Guide was initially launched in 2021 and it is the first comprehensive approach to including all the technical, legal and administrative matters that professionals and their families encounter during the relocation process to the Canary Island. The steb by step approach is simplified by adding a dynamic reading guide, valuable links, checklists and listings of tasks/formalities to be completed before, during and after setting foot on the island.  Application for visas and work permits, identification documents (NIE, social security, municipal registration), personal tax info, constitute the core content of the guide, along with advice and solutions for all the typical matters that must be dealt with by families planning to relocate in Gran Canaria. 

The 2022 edition incorporates new links and detailed information on public and private infrastructures recently launched in Gran Canaria and keep the centrality of the ‘Reading Guide’, as a tool to help readers navigate through the document. The technical information is grouped according to different profiles, both for workers moving for a short period of time or indefinite/long-term relocations.

The release of the updated version for the ‘Moving to Gran Canaria: The complete relocation Guide’ is a joint effort of the Economic Promotion Society of Gran Canaria (SPEGC)‘ and the island’s economic ecosystem, including local and international companies, coworking/colivings, business associations, consulates, other public entities, entrepreneurs and professionals, that have duly contributed to improving the guide’s content and usability.

‘Best in Gran Canaria’ remains as the single-entry point for enquiries about how to best develop business ventures and R&D project in Gran Canaria, offering highly-regarded services via SPEGC, including: tax information, tailor-made training courses, offices and spaces within the Gran Canaria Technology Park, financing instruments, recruitment tools, etc.

The guide can be downloaded on the 'Best In Gran Canaria' website or by clicking here.


‘Best in Gran Canaria’ joins the international congress DeepLearn 2022 Summer, held in their summer base in Gran Canaria

The ‘Economic Promotion Agency of Gran Canaria’ (SPEGC)and its core Investment Promotion Initiative ‘Best In Gran Canaria’ are currently attending the international congress DeepLearn 2022 Summer, one of the most important events on artificial intelligence in the world.

The conference  is being held in the capital of the Canary Islands from July 25th to 29th within INFECAR premises, sponsored by Cabildo de Gran Canaria and co-organized by the Rovira y Virgili University and the Institute for Research Development, Training and Consultancy (IRDTA), based in Brussels and London, with the adding support of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

With a strong academic and professional nature, this annual event focuses on research training based on neural network, deep learning and the capacity of said techniques to solve ultra-complex problems that no other data-handling technologies can master. 

Deep Learning is a branch of artificial intelligence based onthe handling of large-scale data, and it lies at the forefront of complex problem-solving, given that other existing tools (such as supervised and semi-supervised machine learning algorithms applied on high-quality labeled training datasets) are costly to manage.  

Neural network processes are applied in a wide variety of environments, such as artificial vision, neurosciences, voice recognition, language processing, computer interaction, fraud detection, robotics, biotechnology, communications and climate science.

More than 250 participants, whose large majority are PhD candidates, have been involved in lectures, masterclasses and practical exercises connected to Deep Learning techniques, while also enjoying the many activities happening in a typical Canary Islands summer. 

On the first date of the venue, 'Best in Gran Canaria' hosted an evening session introducing the funding and tax break opportunities for companies that run their digital R&D activities on the island, as well showcasing possible collaboration streams with the local environment. 

Gran Canaria is involved in producing high-quality contents/datasets for activities in which the island is a regional power (tourism, port & logistics), and the island maintains a committed digital strategy aimed at becoming a smart island. Gran Canaria welcomes digital ventures based on data exploitation. As a sample, SPEGC will be launching shortly after summer the High Technology Incubator for Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence applied to marine and maritime activities.


Documento Talento TIC

Discover the advantages of operating from Gran Canaria for ICT companies

The Economic Promotion Society of Gran Canaria (SPEGC), through the ‘Best In Gran Canaria' initiative, launches a document aimed at promoting the attraction of companies in the Information and Communication Technologies field (ICT) to Gran Canaria, which includes all the advantages of operating from the island and focuses on information related to the talent recruitment and training.

Among the main benefits of the island are tax incentives, connectivity, technological infrastructures, public co-investment instruments, digital transition in strategic sectors, quality and cost of living.

In addition, it specifies the support offered by the SPEGC to facilitate entrepreneurship and development business, which consists of the Business Support Service (SAE), softlanding support, financing possibilities, access to talent and tailored training programs, as well as work offices.

The 'ICT Talent Document' manages to show the competitive profile of the island on two pages, through four blocks:

Where to look for the right talent. Access to free search tools is provided, such as the 'Talento Gran Canaria' network, which has more than 1,000 professionals working abroad willing to return to the island. You may also consult the 'Best in Gran Canaria' talent platform, which analyzes more than 9,000 professional profiles; online search engines or Human Resources agencies specialized in the local market.

Attracting international talent. The SPEGC also has a 'Moving to Gran Canaria. The complete relocation guide', which emphasizes the quality of life on the island and provides all the information required for each stage of the landing process, with the objective of attracting future employees.

AD-HOC training. Customized training is another of the advantages that companies can benefit from when starting to operate from Gran Canaria, as the SPEGC has flexible training programmes on demand, with the possibility of internships and with no-hire commitment, fully financed.

How to finance your talent development. There are both national and regional tax incentives, as well as a higher deduction than in the rest of Spain for job creation and finally, the SPEGC's own tools such as the 'Tecnova2' internship programme.

With this type of strategic documentation, the SPEGC continues with its strong commitment to keep companies and entrepreneurs constantly updated on the advantages of setting up in Gran Canaria, and the most convenient operational formulas to enjoy a unique environment, which is becoming the ideal place to invest in Europe.

This document can be consulted on the 'Best In Gran Canaria' website or by clicking here.


FIWARE Global Summit

The 8th edition of the FIWARE Global Summit goes to Gran Canaria

Hosted and supported by SPEGC and Cabildo Gran Canaria with the collaboration of CidiHub, FIIHub, Best In Gran Canaria and Innovalia, the FIWARE’s 8th Global Summit will take place in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Spain), September 14-15, 2022. This is one of the leading open source conferences for public administrations, academia, developers, technologists, thought leaders, entrepreneurs, SMEs, large enterprises and investors, that will equally gather a professional community and technological market leaders to discuss challenges and create opportunities for businesses and open innovation around the digital transformation of public administration processes, economic development, business operations and society.

This year, the Global Summit will provide latest highlights on Open Source innovations and implementations, present more than 250 Smart Cities that use FIWARE technology, references in AgriFood, Industry, Energy, Water and Tourism, trends of the future of Digital Twins, Data Spaces, Smart Data Models, and will combine a variety of activities ranging from technical roadmaps to open calls, from expert talks to business workshops, from networking to interdisciplinary negotiations.

FIWARE Foundation

The Summit is organised by FIWARE Foundation with participation of its members including Atos, AWS, Engineering, NEC, Telefónica, RedHat, Trigyn Technologies, to mention but a few, and the FIWARE iHubs network, will bring together more than 150 renowned speakers and leading experts such as Antonio Morales (President of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria), Cosme García (SPECG, Managing Director), Francesco Bonfiglio (CEO, Gaia-X), Ana Garcia (CEO, The Big Data Value Association, BDVA), Lars Nagel (CEO, The International Data Spaces Association, IDSA), Dario Avallone (Engineering, and Chairman of the FIWARE Board of Directors), Dr. Cameron Brooks (AWS, General Manager, Europe Public Sector), representatives of the European Commission, and many others.

The agenda of the event is targeting organisations and individuals as well as Public Administrations, ICT companies, SMEs, Accelerators, Universities and R&D organisations that are interested in the development of smart solutions based on open source and open standards technologies. Special attention in the program will be given to business-generating initiatives and funding opportunities led by Digital Innovation Hubs, venture capitalists and accelerators. The development of digital skills will also be one of the cornerstones of the Summit providing live training sessions for developers and technical experts.

A significant role will be given to the currently most discussed topics: Data Spaces forming a single European data space and a genuine single market for data. International experts and business drivers will feed dedicated sessions and play leading roles in the planned Data Spaces World Café, supported by the recently founded Data Spaces Business Alliance (formed by BDVA, FIWARE Foundation, Gaia-X and IDSA), and exchange visions on impacting projects such as i4Trust. It will also be demonstrated how these organisations and initiatives are driving the creation of Data Spaces from a practical point of view.

In addition, the programme will include training for developers, including introductory sessions on FIWARE technologies, followed by hands-on sessions with FIWARE use cases in major application domains such as Smart Cities, Smart Industry, Smart Energy Smart AgriFood, Smart Tourism, Smart Water and Ports.

For more information:

https://www.fiware.org/global-summit/

Registration form:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/fiware-global-summit-gran-canaria-2022-tickets-196091122827


Invertir en Gran Canaria

Discover the benefits of investing in Gran Canaria

The Economic Promotion Society of Gran Canaria (SPEGC), through the "Best in Gran Canaria" initiative, encourages investment in the island by promoting the unique advantages of Gran Canaria for the development of business and commercial activities. Gran Canaria is a winner when it comes to combining full digital & transport connectivity, tax advantages and life quality in one single territory.

All these benefits are included in an informative brochure aimed at making it easier for companies and entrepreneurs to set up or move their businesses to the island. Among them, the highlighted benefits are the tax advantages and support for investment, as the Canary Islands have the best tax regime in Europe. In addition, the geostrategic location and the port and airport infrastructures make it an island perfectly connected to national, European and African territories.

Furthermore, the climate and natural conditions of Gran Canaria, as well as the cultural and sports offer and the historical heritage, make the territory stand out for the high quality of life enjoyed both by its inhabitants and newcomers.

These characteristics, added to the offer of infrastructures and specific services for the development of business activities, allow the island to be a true global hub for business and talent.
In the updated "Best in Gran Canaria" brochure, you can consult all the tax advantages of Gran Canaria, as well as the benefits of the Island for business and remote work. This brochure can be consulted on the “Best In Gran Canaria” website or by clicking here


Producción Audiovisual

U.S. filmmakers visit Gran Canaria to know more about shooting opportunities on the island

More than thirty American film industry executives, most of them directly involved in physical production, have traveled to the Canary Islands to find out the prime advantages that the islands offer for audiovisual productions.

The high level 4-day trade mission has been organized by the Government of Spain, ICEX-Invest in Spain and the Spain Film Commission, with the participation of almost forty representatives of member companies of the United States Motion Picture Association (MPA) and other top American audiovisual platforms and companies. The agenda consisted of a professional journey with stops in a handful of shooting hubs, including Gran Canaria. 

After visiting Madrid and Sevilla, executives made it to the Canary Islands, where much of their interest had been place, particularly to incorporate first-hand experiences with locations, companies and the shooting capabilities of the local industry. 'Canary Islands Films' and the Gran Canaria Film Commission were thus involved in explaining tax advantages and also connecting US representatives with local intelligence about the island's world renowed locations, permit management, resources and efficient logistic operations.   

The meeting has been based on highly technical content and almost live experiences of the ability of the service providers to meet the industry needs, while also providing hints on practical information about tax advantages, the many attractions and variety of landscapes.

The filmmakers' delegation also visited the brand new production sets of Gran Canaria, build and promoted by Cabildo de Gran Canaria through the SPEGC/Gran Canaria Film Commission, which are the next best thing on the island's live action narrative, allowing for longer, bigger and more complex productions by including indoor shootings.

The Gran Canaria Film Commission is part of SPEGC/Cabildo de Gran Canaria and it plays a key role in building the island's audiovisual hub. 


Nómadas Digitales

Gran Canaria leads the world ranking of the best destinations for digital nomads

For the first time since Nomad List values ​​and classifies destinations according to the opinions of the network's users, Gran Canaria leads the global ranking as the ideal destination to work remotely and to welcome digital nomads.

Nomad List is the most important global platform for the digital nomad community and today is considered the bible of this movement. The ranking shows the specific assessments and opinions of their community in real time and dynamically.

On May list Gran Canaria occupied the first position over other national cities such as Valencia, which is in 29th place, or Tenerife, which currently occupies number 33. Despite being the first time that Gran Canaria leads the ranking, it is not a surprise, because the island has consistently positioned itself in the top 20 in recent years, and repeatedly among the top 10 destinations.

Of these attributes, the following are worthy of particular note due to their importance: cost of living, climate and connectivity. It also scored above average in other features such as security, diversity/LGBTQ+ friendliness and air quality, above cities such as Miami, Budapest or Lisbon.

Gran Canaria, and in particular the city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, stands out also due to the excellent climate, the range of coworking spaces, the quality of life and the healthcare system and its almost-holistic approach to the concept of security guarantee (citizen security, food, health, etc.).

The Economic Development Agency of Gran Canaria (SPEGCm in its Spanish acronym) is a local agency that is firmly committed to raising awareness of the island and promoting local economic performance through its ‘Best in Gran Canaria’ initiative. It also actively works to attract business projects and entrepreneurs, particularly those working in the field of technology and innovation.