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. 

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