Gómez Villamandos and Paradela ensure, during the visit to the future headquarters of the Spanish Space Agency, that this instrument will promote the revitalization and competitiveness of the sector

The Regional Ministry of University, Research and Innovation, in collaboration with the Regional Ministry of Industrial Policy and Energy, will have the Aerospace Action Plan ready in the first semester of 2023, which will allow the deployment of actions and available economic resources aimed at promoting revitalization and future competitiveness of this sector, which includes the space segment. This was revealed in Seville by the councilors José Carlos Gómez Villamandos and Jorge Paradela during a visit, together with the Minister of Science and Innovation, Diana Morant, to the Center for Advanced Business Resources (CREA), a building that will house the Spanish Space Agency.

Gómez Villamandos explained that “the Junta de Andalucía is already working on the development of this instrument that will execute the Andalusian Aerospace Strategy 2027”, a document approved in 2021 with the aim of planning, evaluating and developing public actions in support of this sector. economic. Said strategy foresees an investment of 572 million euros, of which 279 will be from private contributions and 293 million will be public funds, coming from the set of institutions and administrations and from the new European financing framework 2021-2027.

The Action Plan will be in charge of channeling this public financing and for this it will implement various mechanisms, among which are a line of incentives for the execution of innovative projects in this field and an R&D&I loan program for the development of products and services. Another of the key axes will be the Public Procurement of Innovation, which will make it possible to reinforce the collaboration of public-private capital. This is an innovative contracting system with which the regional administration intends to satisfy a demand for advanced services and products not yet available on the market, thus encouraging responses from the private initiative.

The University Regional Minister stressed that “both the Strategy and the Action Plan will be decisive tools for structuring this industry of a strategic nature for the Andalusian economy, in which the space sector has great projection and growth capacity.” “It is an activity that is characterized by a huge load of added value, generating knowledge and driving force for other economic activities”, he added.

Gómez Villamandos wanted to highlight that “the designation now of Seville as the headquarters of the Spanish Space Agency will allow to complete and give new impetus to this line of work already started by the Junta de Andalucía since the previous legislature”, a commitment that, In his opinion, “Andalusia has become a pioneering community in the development of this type of instrument”.

For his part, Jorge Paradela has emphasized that “Andalusia has a broad system of knowledge and enormous experience in the aeronautical sector that it now wants to project and make the most of towards the space industry”.

Paradela has congratulated the city on the designation and has highlighted that Seville “presented what has turned out to be the best candidacy among more than 20 cities that presented themselves to host the Spanish Space Agency” and has recalled that the Government of the Junta de Andalucía supported it “from the beginning”, since already in the month of June there was a first agreement of the Governing Council in this regard.

Along these lines, he has stressed that the Aerospace Strategy implemented is “unique, very complete, developed hand in hand with the sector, which has a very significant economic endowment”. A strategy that he, he has considered, “will serve as an umbrella for the development of the entire aeronautical and space industry.” “It is time to take advantage of the generation of added value of the technologies that are going to make possible the development of this industry dedicated to space and Seville and Andalusia will be in that race. The arrival of the Agency in Seville will be an economic engine for the positioning of our land in this last frontier”, he stated.

Thus, he has ensured that the good news for Seville and Andalusia continues with the recent announcement that the community will receive, through Airbus, “significant support for the development of unmanned aircraft.” “It is one more example that shows that the circumstances exist to take full advantage of future technologies both in unmanned systems and in the development of space systems.”

Attraction capacity

José Carlos Gómez Villamandos has also stressed that the establishment of the Agency in Seville will mean “a very valuable opportunity to consolidate the community as a national and world benchmark in this field”. In this sense, he has assured that, although in the capital of Seville and in the rest of the community there already exists “a thriving business ecosystem with activity in the space sector, said state body now allows us to focus on Seville and Andalusia, thus attracting new private initiatives in this field that will be able to establish synergies with the fabric already installed”.

Both Seville and the rest of the community have a series of strengths and advantages associated with their historical tradition in aerospace and drones. It constitutes an industry that drives economic growth and competitiveness that invoices more than 2,000 million euros a year in Andalusia, is supported by a business fabric made up of more than 140 companies and generates more than 12,000 direct jobs, which translates into a contribution from 1.26% to the regional GDP.

Specifically, and associated with space activity, around 50 companies, eleven public institutions and more than 70 research groups are currently identified, with a presence in all Andalusian universities. All this adds up to around 130 agents with some relationship with this industry.

Apart from this economic and business strength, the region has other competitive factors such as the extensive network of science and technology parks that provide an ideal environment for R+D+I, among which is Aerópolis, located in the municipality of La Rinconada (Seville), the only enclave specialized in the aerospace sector in the country as a whole. To this is added the public university system, made up of nine academic institutions with a wide range of training in the field of Aerospace Engineering that generates specialized human capital. Regarding the R+D+I that is deployed in the community and that is related to this activity, almost 80 research groups are identified.

Together with these actors, other centers, organizations and infrastructures with guaranteed activity in some of the areas of interest to the space sector carry out their work. Among them is the Andalusian Center for Aerospace Technology (CATEC), located in Seville, which specializes in aerospace and is the only one of its kind in the country, or the Atlas Experimental Flight Center in Villacarrillo (Jaén), which will be added to the CEUS project (Test Center for Unmanned Systems) in Huelva. This action promoted by the Board and the Ministry of Defense will be ready in 2023.