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Occupancy rises 2.5% at science and technology parks in 2021

More than fifty representatives of science and technology parks, members of the Association of Science and Technology Parks of Spain (APTE), came together for the 20th International Conference at the Balearic Innovation Technology Park (ParcBIT) in Palma to debate how to contribute to a more flexible, sustainable economic model. Maria Terrades, CEO of the Barcelona Science Park, took part in the event, which also featured a presentation with the latest data on the activity of organisations located at Spanish science and technology parks in 2021.

The return to normality after the pandemic has brought about 2.2% growth for the companies located at APTE member parks and an increase in turnover. The parks closed out last year with a total of 8,145 companies and organisations located on their premises and turnover of €28 billion, up 2.8% from 2020.

Park occupation was also up 2.5%, with a total of 189,039 employees of which 38,223 specialise in research and development.

The ranking of productive sectors with the highest representation of companies at the parks is still led by the ICT sector, with 27% of all businesses; followed by engineering, consultancy and advisory services, with 23%; and the medical and health sector, with 8%.

Plus, R&D activities have a very significant place among the activities at science and technology parks. In 2021, the parks saw joint investment in R&D activities of €1.285 billion, up 3.4% from 2020.

There were 634 new companies in 2021, including ones that were newly created at the parks and those that moved into the parks. Plus, there were 748 companies led by women.

20th International Conference

During the 20th APTE International Conference, held last Friday at ParcBIT on its 20th anniversary, executives from companies in the field of sustainability and technology, as well as representatives of science and technology parks in Spain and abroad, warned that science and technology parks must act to encourage new opportunities moving towards a more sustainable economic model based on knowledge, diversification and resilience.

The event, inaugurated by Councillor for European Funds Miquel Company and APTE President Felipe Romera, featured historian and economist Carles Manera, who stressed the value of human capital and intangible investments in the new vision of the economy, as well as the role of technology districts and parks as tools for diversifying the economy.

Barcelona Science Park CEO Maria Terrades also took part in the event, in a panel discussion with Sonia Verde, head of Asturias Technology Park; Carmen Crespo, territorial delegate for CentreBit Menorca; and Elisabet Jordà, director of UPC Park and XPCAT, in which they highlighted the role science and technology parks must play in tackling the numerous challenges we are facing, as well as the need to bring more companies into their ecosystems to provide valuable services.

» More information on the event on the APTE website [+]