- For the Government, this is a highly strategic investment that will significantly impact accelerating R+D activity in Catalonia linked to semiconductors, boosting local industry and attracting new foreign investment projects in this sector.
The Government of Catalonia celebrates the announcement of the American multinational Cisco to open a semiconductor design center in Barcelona. The company announced at noon on Thursday that it will be the first infrastructure of its kind in the European Union and that it will be located in the innovation center it already operates in the Catalan capital.
The Government believes that this project will significantly impact the ramping up of R+D activity in Catalonia linked to semiconductors, as well as boosting local industry and attracting new foreign investment projects in this sector. This type of investment has a lot of international competition and will contribute to guaranteeing both Catalonia’s and Europe’s technological independence as well as its reindustrialization.
The government has intensified contacts with Cisco in recent months, given the high strategic importance of the investment. For example, the Catalan President, Pere Aragonès, met during the last Mobile World Congress with Cisco’s CEO, Chuck Robbins; the company's global vice president, Mark Patterson, and the general manager of Cisco in Spain, Andreu Vilamitjana.
More recently, on October 19th, the President met again at the Palau de la Generalitat with Mark Patterson and directors of the multinational to analyze the company’s interests in Catalonia and the need to carry out this major technological step forward in research and innovation in the digital field.
In fact, Cisco – founded in 1984 and based in San José (California, United States) – and this investment project has been supported by Catalonia Trade & Investment, the public agency for foreign investment. The company already has an innovation center in Barcelona.
Thursday's announcement adds to recently made investments such as that made by the American semiconductor company Monolithic Power Systems, creating 150 new qualified jobs with the expansion of its presence in Catalonia.
The company has expanded its semiconductor design center in Barcelona by 1,200m2 and will build a new 3,000m2 building in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat with a testing laboratory. The project of another American firm INTEL is also noteworthy, which will open a microchip laboratory in the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC-CNS).
Specifically, and with the aim of positioning Catalonia in the field of semiconductors, the Minister for Business and Labor, Roger Torrent, is in Japan this week to meet with companies from the regions of Tokyo and Yokohama and learn about pioneering tech projects in this sector.
On Thursday, he held a meeting with the heads of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Japan's leading research center and infrastructure responsible for the implementation of the national semiconductor manufacturing technology development project launched by the Japanese government last year.