Spanish Science and Technology Parks have grown as follows: 36% in number of companies, 15% in employment, 64% in R&D-related employment, and their turnover has increased 15% since the economic crisis started. During the General Assembly of the Spanish Association of Science and Technology Parks (APTE) held in Castellón, the new Executive Committee was also selected, and it also presented its 2014 Directory and its strategic plan for 2014-2020.

Assembly opening ceremony

On 14 May, espaitec, the Science, Technology and Business Park of the Universitat Jaume I of Castellón, presented the statistical data that APTE prepares each year on the progress made by Spanish Science and Technology Parks (SSTPs). The Assembly opening ceremony included a speech by Vicent Climent, the Rector of the Universitat Jaume I, who stressed the role of STPs as places for collaboration where knowledge and talent come together to generate innovation. Alfonso Bataller, l Mayor of Castellón, presented the triple helix model for Parks as an example to follow. Rafael Montero, General Secretary of the Castellón Confederation of Companies, underlined espaitec’s growth capacity despite the current economic crisis, and also stressed that companies emerging from STPs are better able to generate new production models. Felipe Romera, the APTE Chair, acknowledged the model developed by espaitec, and defined it as a fourth generation park based on services for companies. During his speech, Paco Negre, espaitec’s General Director, offered a quick presentation of espaitec by specifying the short-term strategy to adopt.

The 2013 APTE statistical data (link)

Despite the current economic crisis, Spanish Parks have grown by an average 33% during the 2008-2013 period, which shows the efforts made by these organisations to promote economic and social growth in their surrounding areas.

Since 2008, the number of entities set up in Spanish Parks’ facilities has increased by 36.8%. In employment terms, growth has been 15.8%, but it is necessary to stress growth in Research and Development (R&D)-related employment because it has increased by 64.4% during the same period. The turnover indicator has also increased by a mean of 15.3% since 2008.

The number of entities set up in Spanish Science and Technology Parks (SSTPs) grew by 1.3% in 2013, which means that there are 6,286 companies and entities located in APTE-Member Parks. Of these, 320 are companies with foreign owner capital and 806 are firms that started out less than 3 years ago. Moreover, 874 companies have been recently created or have decided to set up in STPs in the last year.

The data showing the progress made by Parks in 2013 also offer positive information, and it is worth noting the creation of employment in R&D. Employment also grew by 0.73% and Parks employed 147,740 people in 2013. The indicator that has grown the most in 2013 is employment in R&D, with 30,978 people working in R&D in STPs. This figure reveals a 6% increase compared to the previous year. Likewise, it is necessary to point out that employment in R&D in Parks represents 20.9% of all the jobs in Parks, which has increased by almost 1% since the year before and reflects that the entities in Parks clearly opt for quality qualified employment.

If we compare the progress of R&D-related employment with the data collected by the Spanish National Statistics Institute (INE), we can see that the overall trend of recent years indicates a 3.1% reduction in R&D-related employment during 2010-2011 and of 2.9% for 2011-2012. Thus SSTPs reverse this trend by presenting increasing percentages of employment in R&D.

Similarly, it is worth stressing that APTE-Member Parks contributed 14% of employment in R&D that the INE recorded in 2012.

The turnover indicator is still adapting as we see a slight drop in Parks’ income, almost 21,125 million euros last year, which is a decrease of 2.1%.

As for the sectors in which Parks accumulate a larger number of entities, the ICT sector is at the top of the list for yet another year with 23.3%, followed by the Engineering, Consultancy and Counselling sector with 16%.

In 2013, Parks also invested 1,431 million euros in R&D activities, and the Park-linked entities applied for 162 patents and were granted 305.

New Executive Committee

While the General Assembly took place, the Executive Committee was renewed and grew to include 15 members. This new management team faces five basic challenges: reinforcing the work to represent Parks nationally and internationally; outlining a partnership model that considers the various park models; promoting valuable services to the Parks network; positioning APTE within the new R&D+I policy frameworks; generating useful information.

The new Executive Committee is made up of: Felipe Romera as Chair, José Miguel Corre as first Vice-Chair, Francisco Negre as Treasurer and Francesc Martos as Secretary. The other Vice-Chairs are: Itziar Martín, Josep M. Piqué, Luisa Pena, Joan Bellavista, José Luis Virumbrales, Francisco Mora, Txaber Ouro, Teresa Sáez, Antonio Verde, Bernardo Veira and Miguel Ángel López.