Malaga TechPark hosts forum to build a Tech Bridge between Spain and the UK

  • The British Chamber of Commerce in Spain and the British Department for International Trade at the UK Embassy in Madrid have held the second edition of this event.
  • The event, held at Malaga TechPark, brought together senior executives from major British companies with a presence in Andalucía to discuss the potential of Artificial Intelligence and the strong economic and technological links between the UK and Spain.

The British Chamber of Commerce in Spain, a centenary entity and the only independent Spanish-British business organization in our country, has held today together with the UK Department for International Trade the second Technology and Innovation Forum (in Spanish Foro de Tecnologia e Innovacion) in Malaga TechPark.

Under the title ‘Building a tech bridge between Spain and UK’, the second forum organized by the Chamber as part of its series of events ‘Powering Today and Tomorrow’ brought together around seventy attendees, many of them executives from large British companies with a presence in Andalusia, to discuss the potential of Artificial Intelligence and the strong economic and technological links that exist between the UK and Spain.

The forum began with opening speeches by Felipe Romera, Director General of Malaga TechPark; and Derek A. Langley, Regional Vice President of the British Chamber of Commerce in Spain and President of Andalusia Technology Recruitment.

In his speech, Romera focused on the development of the park in the last two years during the pandemic, with the creation of the Malaga TechPark Execs – the park’s club of entrepreneurs and managers – and the creation of the Fundacion Instituto Ricardo Valle de Innovacion, Innova IRV, as an instrument for the development of cooperative projects between large and small companies in the park.

Derek A. Langley, regional vice-president of the British Chamber of Commerce in Spain, highlighted the organization’s commitment to continue building bridges between the two countries, “we are not only talking about bilateral investment or the problems that companies are encountering in the new relationship, but also about bringing best practices in innovation and technology to both countries”.  

The forum was also attended by the Mayor of Malaga, Francisco de la Torre, who gave an institutional telematic welcome to those attending the forum to coincide with the holding of the ordinary Municipal Plenary Session in May. In his speech, the Mayor stressed that “Malaga is an ambitious and dynamic city that never stops dreaming and is a great place to live, work and innovate, and that is why we believe that building a Tech Bridge between Spain, more specifically Malaga, and the United Kingdom is fundamental”. Moreover, he explained that “Malaga is a pioneer in the incorporation of artificial intelligence in medical oncology with the Galeno System created by the University of Málaga and the Virgen de la Victoria University Hospital”; he recalled the “entrepreneurship programme focused on artificial intelligence developed by the City Council and the EOI”, which “offers both training and a pre-incubation plan for business projects in the Malaga Techpark”; the inauguration of a centre of the Japanese company TDK in Malaga to promote its artificial intelligence services internationally; and the opening of the Vodafone Innovation Hub for the development of next-generation digital services in the fields of the five Gs, Internet of Things and of course Artificial Intelligence”; to conclude that “Artificial Intelligence is an important sector in the innovative ecosystem of Malaga” and to congratulate the British Chamber of Commerce and the TechPark Malaga for organizing this type of forum that “are vital to build relationships”.

The mayor’s speech was followed by a panel discussion, moderated by Jose María Blasco, Director of the Infrastructure, Health and ICT Division of ICEX. CEOs and managing directors of major international companies such as Accenture, Innora IRV, DEKRA SE, Darwin Innovation Group, AI Tech North, Chipside Mipermit and Versed AI participated in the debate.

An opportunity to strengthen technology links between the UK and Spain

The speakers presented the strong links that technology companies from both countries maintain in the current international context, marked by the entry into force of Brexit and the needs that the pandemic has exposed within the European technology sector, one of the most affected by the shortcomings of global logistics chains, notably in the field of microchips. In this sense, the speakers highlighted the awareness acquired in recent years of the importance of having a strong technology industry in Europe, capable of responding to demand and mitigating dependence on other markets, offering opportunities to strengthen the growing technological relationship between the two countries.

Furthermore, the role of Artificial Intelligence and its potential to revolutionize the concept of industrial connectivity was highlighted, exposing the current and future strategies of companies through real cases.

Jordi Laguarda, Director of International Trade and Investment for Spain at the UK Department for International Trade at the UK Embassy in Madrid, focused his speech on the links between Malaga and the UK. “These ties we want to extend to the area of innovation. The UK is one of the most innovative countries in the world. Meetings like this one allow international collaboration and build bridges between the two countries to advance global innovation”..

Sarah Roles-Ndibe, Head of Technology – Trade at the British Department for International Trade at the UK Consulate in Barcelona, closed the Forum with a speech in which she outlined a programme of activities and institutional events that will take place in the coming months.

About the British Chamber of Commerce

It was founded in Barcelona in 1908, the British Chamber of Commerce is the only independent British-Spanish business organization in Spain. Its aim is, from independence, to promote and create trade and investment relations between the two countries, playing a key role in supporting new business arrivals. The Chamber, which in the UK is represented through British Chambers, has a unique database of over 800 member companies and institutions. With offices in Barcelona, Madrid and Malaga, the entity also supports and is supported by some of the most relevant institutions in trade matters such as ICEX in Spain or DIT in the UK.