Semiconductors in Catalonia: a sector made up of 4,400 professionals and 104 companies and research centers

Catalan Economy

20 Dec 2022

The president of the Government of Catalonia, Pere Aragonès, held a work meeting with 50 companies, universities, and other economic agents to highlight Catalonia's assets in the semiconductors field.

The semiconductor ecosystem in Catalonia is formed by 4,400 professionals and 104 companies and research entities, according to a study by ACCIÓ - Catalonia Trade & Investment.

The president of the Government of Catalonia, Pere Aragonès, presented the report at a work meeting with 50 companies, universities, and other economic agents at the Palau de la Generalitat.

The aim of the meeting was to highlight Catalonia's assets in this field, share future projections and analyze the industry on a global scale, as well as join efforts between the administration, the research sector, and the private sector.

According to the ACCIÓ -Catalonia Trade & Investment report, 81% of the companies in the semiconductors sector in Catalonia are SMEs (and 8% are startups). Moreover, 37% have an annual turnover of more than 10 million euros.

The document points out that the semiconductor industry is in a development phase in Catalonia and has significant growth projections. This analysis does not yet include the projects announced in recent months by some multinationals such as Cisco and Intel, as they are still not fully implemented.

Catalonia Trade & Investment is working with a portfolio of 22 potential foreign investment projects from multinational companies in this sector. If they all materialized, they would represent an investment of more than 1,600 million euros and the creation of 1,800 new jobs in the next two to three years.

For the Catalan Government, semiconductors have become essential and sensitive components for the technological sovereignty of countries on a global scale, since chips are strategic for most industrial value chains. It is indeed a type of investment with high competition internationally and is strategic for the Government.

As the report drawn up by ACCIÓ -Catalonia Trade & Investment points out, currently, no country in the world has the entire value chain of the semiconductor industry (design, assembly/testing, and manufacturing).

In this sense, Catalonia is already positioning itself as one of the most dynamic environments in southern Europe in the field of design. This is evidenced by recent investment announcements by Cisco, Monolithic Power Systems (MPS), and Intel, which have chosen Barcelona to locate their microchip design centers there.

Catalonia is a key area for developing a dynamic ecosystem in the entire value chain, which makes it possible to advance the needs of Catalan and European industry and which has a strong effect on the generation of intellectual property.

The assets of Barcelona-Catalonia in the field of semiconductors

During the working meeting at the Palau de la Generalitat, the president of the Government of Catalonia explained that Catalonia is the territory that brings together the most assets to be positioned as the base for developing the semiconductor industry in Spain and southern Europe.

Especially, he said, for having one of the most solid and diversified industrial fabrics and the most mature technological and digital ecosystem in the entire region. Furthermore, Catalonia has infrastructures of international reference - such as the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) and the ICFO- and the ability to generate and attract talent.

In this field, it is noteworthy that Catalonia has 12 technology centers with R&D activities in semiconductors and 6 Catalan universities that offer training in this field.

Precisely, the Catalan company IDEADED announced yesterday the opening in Viladecans (Barcelona) of the largest private semiconductor clean room in southern Europe, a project that will involve an investment of 12 million euros and the creation of 100 highly-qualified jobs.

Other investments that were made public recently are from American companies Cisco and Monolithic Power Systems (MPS). Cisco chose the Catalan capital to open the first semiconductor design center in the European Union. On the other hand, MPS will create 150 new jobs with the expansion of its presence in Catalonia.

Also noteworthy is Intel’s project, which will open a microchip laboratory at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC-CNS).

 

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