Minister Torrent announces a new investment project in the Industry 4.0 sector in Catalonia

02 Nov 2021

  • The British company Unmanned Life (UM Autonomous Systems) has chosen Catalonia to install its main technology hub
  • The company will move to Barcelona the hub it had until now in Brussels, with 15 workers, and plans to create more than 20 new jobs next year
  • Unmanned Life has developed an advanced robotics technology that allows the management of large fleets of robots and drones

The Minister of Business and Labor, Roger Torrent Ramió, announced this Tuesday a new investment project in the Industry 4.0 sector in Catalonia. The announcement was made during a business trip to London, where Mr. Torrent held several meetings with executives of multinationals and companies linked to industrial investments to position Catalonia.

The British company Unmanned Life (UM Autonomous Systems) has chosen Barcelona to install its main technology hub. The company has developed advanced robotics technology that enables the management of large fleets of robots and drones. This innovative technology makes possible the creation of new solutions for smart cities and smart factories, as well as the advanced management of large infrastructures.

Minister Torrent valued very positively the investment of Unmanned Life and highlighted “the driving capacity of our economy, the availability of talent and a long industrial tradition that combined with technological and sustainable innovation, make Catalonia a unique place for those companies that seek to grow and expand in the international market”.

Nicholas Zylberglajt, CEO of the company, has explained that Unmanned Life will move to Barcelona the hub that, until now, the firm had located in Brussels (Belgium), with 15 workers, and has the forecast to create more than 20 new jobs next year. Most new contracts will be software and robotics engineers. A sales and marketing team will also be created.

According to Mr. Zylberglajt, access to qualified talent, the importance of the ICT sector in Catalonia and a business-friendly environment are the main reasons for the establishment of the new hub in Barcelona: "We are big believers of Barcelona as a leading technology hub from where we can grow and scale our operations in Europe. It is the perfect complement to our London headquarters where we will focus on international markets like the Middle East and North America. I could not be happier to have made this choice. Our customers and partners are waiting in line to come and visit us in Catalonia.”

The climatic conditions in Catalonia, more favorable for drone flights than those of its old hub in Brussels, are another reason for the move, according to the company. Founded in 2015, Unmanned Life has clients all over the world, mainly in Europe.

Business meetings to attract new investments

In addition, this Tuesday the Minister also met with the British company Ananas Anam, which specializes in an innovative natural fabric Piñatex® made from waste pineapple leaves. During the meeting, they discussed about the plans of the company to develop their operations in Catalonia in order to scale up the production of Piñatex®. The company stated that they consider Catalonia for the investment, as it holds important assets for the textile industry in terms of tradition, skills and knowledge of the industry.

Roger Torrent has also met with consultants specializing in international investments to present the strengths of the Catalan economy as a foreign investment destination. The Minister explained that “we are interested in receiving investments, especially those that have an impact on our productive fabric and on the creation of qualified jobs. Catalonia and Barcelona have a high capacity to attract international talent and this is one of the elements that multinationals value most when choosing a location ".

One of the consultancy firms that attended the meeting was CBRE. Stephen Fleetwood, head of talent and location advisory of CBRE, highlighted that “Barcelona-Catalonia has been and continues to be part of many of our location selection projects, and today’s session was a good opportunity to discuss with Minister Torrent the strengths of talent and the business environment of Catalonia to attract new investments”. During the meeting, the Minister was accompanied by the Director General of Industry and CEO of ACCIÓ, Natàlia Mas Guix, and the Director of Catalonia Trade & Investment in London, Òscar Martí.

British investments in Catalonia

The Minister of Business and Labor explained that in the last five years, Catalonia has attracted 2,110 million Euros of foreign investment from British companies and that the projects from the United Kingdom that have been interested in being implemented in Catalonia have tripled. "Since the Brexit referendum took place in 2016, the number of projects in the UK has been on the rise. In the last five years, the number of projects that have materialized has more than quintupled compared to the previous five years. This shows that Catalonia is an attractive destination for international companies, and we need the Government to work to make it easier for “intentions” to be transformed into “decisions” and for these investments to materialize”, said Torrent.

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