Water technology: Girona’s new plan to attract foreign investment
Girona’s Scientific and Technological Park is working to create relationships between businesses and research groups in the water technology field. Eight months ago, the park began an initiative to attract foreign investors to Girona.
Girona (ACN).- Water is an important resource in the service, industrial and domestic sectors. The Scientific and Technological Park at the University of Girona (UdG) understands the need to do research in this field. Eight months ago, the university began working on an initiative to attract foreign investors interested in water technology to the area.
Water is essential for all levels of life. While water is produced naturally, we now use the processes of recollection, potabilization and treatment and reuse, among others. All of these processes require water technology, \u201Cwhether it passes through a pipe in a home or it flows through an agricultural irrigation system\u201D, explains the assistant manager of the Catalan Institute for Water Research (ICRA), Sergi Sabater.
The variety of applications used in water technology makes it a very valuable element on an economic and social level. \u201CIt is a motor of progress\u201D, affirmed Sabater. In the region of Girona, it has a double function. \u201CIt sustains the agriculture and stockbreeding but also has an important role in the tourism sector\u201D, explained Sabater.
The nutrition and water research pole at the Scientific Park of Girona understands the need to research water technology and apply the results on the market. With the collaboration of the Girona Provincial Council, the Park has initiated a plan to attract foreign businesses with a specialised interest in the field. The businesses that request a space in the park will spend their first year there free of charge. \u201CIn this way, we are making the offer more attractive\u201D, explained the park\u2019s director, Pere Condom. The objective is to create bonds between businesses and research groups in order to give added value to the activities performed by both entities. \u201CIt is so businesses can apply knowledge obtained from research and create joint projects\u201D, explained Condom.
As of now, the Scientific and Technological Park of Girona has around a dozen foreign businesses as a result of the project. The park director is optimistic that this number will increase. \u201CThe initiative has really accelerated the process and allowed us to expand,\u201D said Condom. He added that their efforts to attract foreign investment are centred mostly toward businesses from Northern Europe.
A water cluster
The most evident example of the viability of this symbiosis between businesses and research groups is the cluster Catalan Water Partnership. \u201CIt is a path that we have just begun but are already receiving very good results\u201D, explained Sabater. The water technology based cluster was formed a year and a half ago with the goal of bringing together small and medium sized Catalan companies. \u201CThese are small companies that have little capacity for research\u201D, said ICRA\u2019s assistant manager. \u201CWe are bringing in the research part\u201D, he added.
The Scientific and Technological Park at the University of Girona is the physical space for the Girona water industry. Located in Girona\u2019s Creueta zone, the park consists of six buildings with some 60 companies and 30 research groups.
The principal objective of the park is to promote research and apply the results to the market. The park aims to unite businesses and research groups through joint projects and collaboration centres.