Agreement with FC Barcelona for the promotion of the City of Barcelona
We began the year by signing a collaboration agreement with FC Barcelona with the aim of fostering projects of common interest together in order to promote the City of Barcelona. The signing ceremony took place at the club facilities after a meeting between President of FC Barcelona, Josep Maria Bartomeu, and Pere Navarro, Special State Delegate. This agreement seeks to take advantage of the synergies of both organisations through joint projects in various areas, especially in view of the celebration of the World Congress of Free Zones in 2019.
Aragon, Autonomous Community invited by SIL 2019
In January, the “honorary” invitation to the President of the Government of Aragon, Javier Lambán, was formalised to ensure that this community could count on a truly outstanding participation at the SIL event, the leading logistics, transportation, intralogistics and supply chain trade fair in Southern Europe. At a 300-m2 stand, Aragon outlined its full capability and global logistics potential with the aim of promoting itself and publicising the possibilities of the community in order to encourage new investors and companies to establish themselves and grow within the region.
Acceleration programme for startups in the logistics market
Through its innovation park La Salle Technova Barcelona, La Salle Campus Barcelona-URL and the Barcelona Zona Franca (Free Zone) Consortium launched the eDelivery Accelerator in January, an acceleration programme for logistics startups aimed at innovative startups in the logistics sector with B2B and B2C projects, which ran for 22 weeks. The alliance facilitates the contact and subsequent relationships of startups with other companies in the sector and also with investors who may finance their growth.
The III Foreign Trade Award distinguishes Luca de Meo for SEAT’s sustainable mobility
For the third consecutive year, the Zona Franca and ABC newspaper awarded the International Trade Award for international projection, won in 2019 by Luca de Meo, the President of the SEAT automotive company.
The event took place in Madrid under the chairmanship of the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto.
SEAT received this award for its evolution as a company of sustainable mobility solutions and for its results as a leading Spanish company in exports, an aspect that was highlighted by both Special Delegate, Pere Navarro, and Editor of the ABC newspaper, Catalina Luca de Tena.
Minister Pedro Duque officially opened the first European incubator for 3D printing business projects
On 11 February, Minister of Science and Innovation Pedro Duque, officially opened the first high-tech 3D printing incubator on the European continent. The 3DFactory Incubator is a pioneering initiative led by the Zona Franca and the LEITAT Foundation, which has the financial support of the ERDF fund through the INCYDE Foundation of the Spanish Chambers of Commerce. Without a doubt, the inauguration of this unique business facility in Europe, in which €3 million have been invested, was one of the most significant moments of 2019.
The Consortium and INCYDE Foundation organised an event outlining the opportunities available through new technologies 4.0 in our current economy
In February, the Consortium and the INCYDE Foundation of the Chambers of Commerce, with the support of the Barcelona Centre de Disseny (BCD Design Centre), the LEITAT Foundation and La Càmara de Comerç de Barcelona (Chamber of Commerce) held the “INCYDE School Forum, launch into the new economy 4.0” conference at the Consortium headquarters. A high-level conference aimed at young entrepreneurs to boost entrepreneurship, raise awareness of the challenges and opportunities offered by new technologies 4.0, and help transform ideas into viable and sustainable business projects.
Conference held by Cristina Gallach on Sustainable Development Goals in the Free Zone Park
Fifty companies attended the conference held by the High Commissioner for the 2030 Agenda, Cristina Gallach. The topic of the presentation addressed how to meet the common challenge of achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within the framework of the Free Zone industrial area. The presentation was followed with interest by a large audience, particularly many companies linked to the circular economy that the Zona Franca is promoting among the organisations that operate in the area.
Through 4YEARS4NOW, the Consortium demonstrated its work in support of new economy and startups with the 3DFactory Incubator, eDelivery and BMP
Thanks to the advertising promotion carried out by the Zona Franca Consortium, a total of 24 groundbreaking companies in additive manufacturing and 3D printing, Proptech, logistics, delivery, last mile and sustainable mobility sectors displayed their innovative proposals and solutions to the more than 20,000 visitors and 700 global investors who visited the 4YFN over three days.
The Consortium and the employers’ Labour Exchange created a joint channel to promote Economy 4.0
March began with the creation of a joint specialised commission between the Zona Franca and the Labour Exchange to promote economy 4.0 in the business environment. The agreement seeks to support the technological transformation of companies and broadens the collaboration framework that both organisations have established since 1916, at which time the Catalan organisation were already part of the institutional plenary.
The Zona Franca launches its #jotambésocfranca campaign in favour of gender equality
On 8 March 2019, on the same day as International Women’s Day, the Zona Franca launched the #jotambésocfranca campaign to convey recognition and enhance visibility regarding gender equality and the role of women as active members of the Zona Franca Industrial Park. The action was defined within the policy of meeting Sustainable Development Goals and its impact on the entire Free Zone was very notable.
The Zona Franca presented its trade and economy proposal towards 4.0 transformation at the MIPIM trade fair in Cannes
In mid-March, the Zona Franca presented our real estate, logistics and support proposal for business economy 4.0 transformation at the MIPIM real estate trade fair in Cannes (France). During the opening ceremony, Pere Navarro highlighted the need to move towards a more digitalised economy and towards more sustainable and socially supportive urban planning, in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations in the 2030 Agenda.
Conference on inverse logistics as part of the ECOCIRCULAR ZF project
One of the lines of work of the circular economy project is a search for mechanisms that allow the reuse of industrial packaging, which is of high value and, in many cases, single use. As part of this conference, we brought together some 15 companies from the Zona Franca to discuss and find solutions together.
Full renovation of warehouse B in the Customs Free Zone
At the end of March, we began the work of “comprehensive renovation” on warehouse B in the Customs Free Zone, which was previously unused. The building, comprises a built-up surface area of 11,426.98 m2 and consists of five units, with surface areas ranging from 2.000 m2 and 2.500 m2, a loading/unloading dock area of 3.220 m2, and 10.500 m2 of external layout. The renovation involved an investment of €4.2 million, while development of the unit optimised its overall security and mobility conditions by incorporating spaces and chargers for electric vehicles, among other improvements.
First working meeting of the delegates of the Free Zones and the Undersecretary of Finance in Cádiz
The meeting served to establish the lines of work to be followed by managers in Spanish tax areas in the coming months, including a study to improve IT in the customs system. The delegates of the seven free zones and the Undersecretary of the Treasury gathered in Cadiz on the occasion of the event to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Free Zone of Cadiz, which was held at the Palacio de Congresos in the capital of Cadiz.
Zona Franca and the Port of Barcelona promoted dual FP as a tool for business growth and competitiveness
With the presence of Delegate Pere Navarro, President of the Port of Barcelona Mercè Conesa and representatives of the Consell Català de Formació Professional (Catalan Council of Vocational Training), the event aimed to highlight the meeting point between the supply and demand for work in the maritime and port sector: the human resources managers of the companies that operate in the port and the teachers and management staff of the vocational training centres were able to learn about their respective needs to bring training closer to reality.
The first edition of BMP Accelerator, the accelerator programme for startups in the property sector
Eleven emerging companies from around the world that were selected at the 2018 Barcelona Meeting Point participated in the BMP Accelerator, an acceleration programme for startups from the real estate sector, in which the Zona Franca also participated. The objective of this 22-week programme was to provide startups with instruments to carry out entrepreneurial initiatives and innovative projects, as well as to develop market opportunities, obtain investment, prepare them for working together with corporations and promote networking with potential partners. This programme was the fruit of a collaboration between La Salle Campus Barcelona-URL through la Salle Technova Barcelona and the Barcelona Free Zone Consortium.
Summit Barcelona: quality tourism vs. mass tourism
The first edition of Summit Barcelona: Quality tourism vs. Mass tourism, the challenge of promoting and developing a new project for large European cities was raised, from an international point of view, with a focus on the great cities of the Mediterranean in the face of the tourist phenomenon in the XXI century. In this sense, the initiative was seconded by tourism councils, so, on 8 April a “Dialogue between cities” took place. The first Summit Barcelona aims for Catalonia to reach 7.5 million quality tourists in 2021.
The challenges of logistics connectivity in the digital age
The auditorium of the Free Zone of Barcelona hosted a conference on “Logistics Connectivity in the Digital Age”, a meeting promoted by Barcelona Centre Logístic Catalunya and organised by the software company for logistics operators Bytemaster and consulting firm GPA. The event, which enjoyed a high level of public participation, addressed digitalisation of the sector as a key factor for competitiveness, given that “logistics chains are increasingly complex and multiple stakeholders intervene.” Blockchain and collaborative logistics were some of the phenomena addressed during the meeting.
The Zona Franca streets host the 2019 Roller Skating Marathon
For the first time, the streets of the Zona Franca industrial park hosted a sports competition that brought together hundreds of roller skaters, the Barcelona Roller Marathon, which coincided with the world skating conference held in the city. In order to include competitors of all skating levels, the race was divided into four distances (42km, 24km, 10km and 5km for children).
The Zona Franca renews its commitment to the United Nations Global Compact
In accordance with the strategic decision to reinforce the organisation’s commitment to sustainability and the establishment of alliances for progress, the Barcelona Zona Franca Consortium signed the Global Compact Involvement Communication with a commitment to continue implementing this international agreement, encourage other companies and activities to participate in it and host events relating to the areas and principles being developed by this international organisation.
Zona Franca launches a new corporate logo at the Sitges Circle of Economy Meeting
For the first time and together with CaixaBank and KPMG Barcelona, the Zona Franca sponsored the Barcelona Circle of Economy Meeting, which, between 31 May and 1 June, will celebrate its XXXV edition in Sitges. Under the title of “A disorderly world: economies in transition, democracies in danger”, this cycle of the Circle of Economy benefitted from broad institutional representation of both the Catalan and state authorities, such as the Minister of Economy and Business of the Government of Spain, Nadia Calviño, and a closing speech given by Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez.
The Zona Franca: a public agent for technological change and the Sustainable Development Goals
During the celebration of the Circle of Economy Meeting in Sitges, the Special State Delegate of the Barcelona Free Zone, Pere Navarro, highlighted the this Barcelona organisation’s willingness to become a public agent contributing towards technological change in companies and achieving Sustainable Development Goals. Navarro spoke of the need to participate in the creation of a new industrial culture that coexists with the urban framework.
Environmental Awareness event for Consortium employees
The annual environmental awareness event for employees focused on learning about gardening management and the irrigation system for green areas in the Zona Franca. At our facilities we have some 5,000 trees of various species and numerous green areas.
Our ECOCIRCULAR ZF project won the Barcelona+Sostenible prize
The Barcelona Zona Franca received the recognition of Barcelona+Sostenible for its good practices in environmental management thanks to their Circular Economy Project. This project, which began in 2017, focuses on harnessing industrial symbiosis as a practical tool to introduce the concepts of circular economy among companies located in the Free Zone industrial park (PIZF). The vision that guides this project is to make the PIZF an example of a sustainable, efficient and innovative park through the systemic management of its resources.
3DFactory’s balance of success: full employment and 5,000 printed parts in 100 days
The evaluation of the first 100 days since the launch of the first European high-tech 3D printing incubator could not have been more positive: occupation in the private spaces is full and more than 5,000 3D pieces have been printed. The initial objective was to incubate 25 companies per year, an aim that has been far exceeded, given that at 100 days of from its start there were already 19 incubated companies, a figure that demonstrates the success of the initiative. The initiative, located in the Zona Franca Industrial Park, is unique in Europe and has received investment of €3 million.
The world logistics summit achieved a corner stone at SIL, projecting the global image of Barcelona
The 2019 edition of the International Logistics Trade Fair (SIL) acted as a cornerstone of the great logistics event on 26 and 29 June, bringing together thousands of professionals from the world of international trade, logistics and free zones who participated in seven international events. The city of Barcelona thus exercised a capital status that projected its image as a hub of global trade, an occasion that served for networking, debate on the digital evolution of the sector and the need for multilateral agreements on trade policy. Seven events and congresses were organised in Barcelona: the 5th World Free Zone Conference (WFZO), the 21st SIL logistics fair, the 3rd eDelivery Expo & Congress, and, for the first time, the exceptional InTrade Summit Barcelona, which brought together the 36th ALACAT Conference of Latin American Cargo Agents and Logistics Operators, the 3rd Conference of Authorised Economic Operators (OEA), the Meda Logistics Summit of the Association of the Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASCAME), composed of the 17th Logistics and Transport Forum and the 12th Summit of Mediterranean Ports, in addition to the Meeting of the Association of Free Zones of the Americas (AZFA). This huge summit made it possible for the State Delegate of the Barcelona Free Zone Consortium, Pere Navarro, President of ALACAT, Galo Molina, President of the OAS World Association, Antonio Llobet, General Coordinator of ASCAME, Anwar Zibaoui, President of AZFA, Gustavo González, and President of WFZO, Mohammed Alzarooni to sign a manifesto, the “Barcelona Declaration” promoting innovation, sustainability and global trade. The international event included stellar moments such as the majestic gala dinner, “La Noche de la Logística” (The Night of Logistics), an event presided over by King Felipe VI and during which the SIL awards were announced. It was the occasion for Barcelona to “shine as on great occasions”, in the words of Delegate Pere Navarro, and Barcelona to provide its testimony in favour of economic openness and international cooperation, an impressive position as it coincides with a critical and highly significant moment of tension in US/China trade relations. The Free Zones of Spain seek to improve their tax areas in Barcelona. The Under-secretary for Finance, Pilar Paneque, and delegates of the seven Spanish Free Zones met in Barcelona to address issues of common interest and the improvement of their tax areas, an event facilitated by the great logistics summit that was held in the city.
Conference on photovoltaic self-consumption
As part of the EcoCircular ZF project, this conference was held on RD 244/2019 concerning photovoltaic self-consumption, in which State Delegate, Pere Navarro, and Director of the Urban Planning Department, Mario Serrano, participated. At this meeting, public administration, companies and engineers discussed the possibilities offered by the new legislation on photovoltaic energy.
Debates in favour of gender equality with WOMAN magazine
Glass ceiling or cement ceiling? How to break social stereotypes? These two questions were the starting point of two breakfast meetings with female managers and employees of the Zona Franca industrial park that we coordinated with WOMAN magazine. At both meetings, important gender equality issues were discussed, while their conclusions led to articles for the #jotambésocfranca and #womanpower campaigns.
The Zona Franca to sponsor innovation at the CECOT “Nit de l’Empresari” (Entrepreneur’s Night)
The sponsorship agreement seeks to promote and reward effort in business innovation as part of the XXV edition of the CECOT “Nit de l’Empresari” (Entrepreneur’s Night). The Zona Franca commitment to promoting digital transformation in companies and supporting business structure in the field of innovation was the main reason for the outreach between the two organisations, who share the same vision of achieving a leading productive community in the field of innovation.
Collaboration agreement with the Clúster de l’Energia Eficient de Catalunya (Cluster for Energy Efficiency)
The Clúster de l’Energia Eficient de Catalunya (CEEC) and the Barcelona-Catalunya Centre Logístic (BCL) association, chaired by CZFB Delegate Pere Navarro, signed a collaboration agreement to exchange knowledge in their respective fields and promote the organisation of joint activities. Both organisations committed to opening their different activities to the members of the other association and actively participating in conferences, training projects, etc. that are of common interest. In addition, the CEEC will actively join the BCL Sustainable Logistics Commission.
The Institutional Plenary of the Zona Franca met under the presidency of Mayor Ada Colau
Mayor of Barcelona and President of the Institutional Plenary of the Consortium, Ada Colau, convened the organisation’s usual plenary session in order to monitor the corporate responsibility policy and its alignment with the 2030 Agenda. These strategic approaches were prioritised in the organisation under the direction of the delegate Pere Navarro, who saw his decision endorsed to grant the Consortium’s support to companies that defend sustainability in the economic sphere.
The II acceleration programme for logistics startups in La Salle-URL and the Free Zone
A total of eight startups from around the world – selected during SIL and eDelivery Barcelona fairs – participated in this 22-week programme. The second edition of the logistics startup acceleration programme promoted by La Salle Campus Barcelona-URL, through La Salle Technova Barcelona innovation park, and the Zona Franca, was launched in September. The alliance facilitates the contact and subsequent relationship of emerging companies with other companies in the sector, along with investors who finance their growth.
The Zona Franca Consortium took part in the Proptech and Smart Cities debate, the real estate revolution
State Delegate, Pere Navarro, and General Director of the Zona Franca Consortium, Blanca Sorigué, participated in this debate, the result of a collaboration with the Catalan newspaper El Periódico. A meeting in which relevant issues such as the challenge of digital transformation in the sector, global trends in proptech and the concept of smart cities were discussed. In addition, the needs of equipping the labour market with professionals trained and educated to respond to the challenges outlined above were explored.
The Zona Franca took part in the 2019 Concordia Annual Summit in New York
Pere Navarro represented the Zona Franca Consortium at the Concordia Annual Summit in New York, the largest and most inclusive non-partisan forum of the United Nations General Assembly. Opinion leaders from the public, private and non-profit sector, the next generation of alliance builders and decision-makers, gathered to move forward with critical global discussions and to transform conversations into actions of social impact.
The Consortium supporting COCEMFE in organising the Congress on Personal Autonomy
The Consortium supported the COCEMFE association for the organisation of the first Congress on the Right to Personal Autonomy, a turning point to promote the independence of natural persons for the 21st century, guaranteeing the full right to citizenship and representing the cultural change that society needs for improvement of our civilisation. COCEMFE manages the Incorpora Point located in the Zona Franca to promote job placement of people with disabilities and has a collaboration agreement with the Consortium. In addition, the Ricard Vaccaro Awards for Ethics and Commitment were presented at the congress, during which the Innovation and ICT category, sponsored by the Zona Franca Consortium, was awarded to La Fageda for the “La Fageda, special employment centre” social project.
Promotion of SIL and the 3DFactory Incubator in Colombia and FITAC opened the prospect of a logistics trade fair in Barranquilla
Delegate Pere Navarro and General Director Blanca Sorigué led a delegation from the Consortium that travelled to Colombia to promote the 3DFactory Incubator and the SIL trade fair to government and trade fair sector representatives. Navarro also presented the Barcelona DFactory initiative to the FITAC Logistics Agents Congress. The corporate objective was exceeded, as Colombia showed great interest in the Consortium’s expertise and hosting a subsidiary of the 3D incubator in Bogotá. Moreover, an agreement was signed with the Corferias organisation to promote a SIL Americas event in Barranquilla.
Barcelona Industry Week awarded the Consortium 3DFactory Incubator
The Barcelona Industry Week fair event, under the motto “Industry From Needs to Solutions”, was the setting in which the 3DFactory Incubator of the Zona Franca won the award as a pioneering initiative for success in the field of 3D high-tech printing. Our project held a 100+ square-metre stand at the IV edition of this trade fair, which was the ideal platform to demonstrate the commitment that the Barcelona organisation is making in the field of economy and industry 4.0 and its alignment with the 2030 Agenda in order to make the sector more sustainable.
RACC Hop carpool to facilitate mobility for more than 4,000 workers
In November, the agreement was signed to launch the shared car rides service that will improve the mobility of more than 4,000 workers. A total of 10 companies installed in the Zona Franca are involved in the project: FCC, DB Schenker, Cromogenia, Districenter, Serra Soldadura, BASF, Tacsa, Cailà&Parara, Molenbergnatie and the Zona Franca Consortium. The initiative is part of the Free Zone policy that aligns with Sustainable Development Goals.
Minister of Economy Nadia Calviño visits our organisation
Accompanied by the Special State Delegate of the Zona Franca, Nadia Calviño was able to learn about the organisation’s commitment to economy 4.0 and its commitment to Sustainable Development Goals. The Minister of Economy and Business was impressed with the 3DFactory Incubator, the first European high-tech incubator in 3D printing launched this year by the Zona Franca and the LEITAT Foundation.
Mataró and Zona Franca, an alliance for economic and business benefit
The Mataró 2022 Strategic Plan was the setting for the signing of the collaboration agreement between the town council, the TecnoCampus Foundation and the Zona Franca for the creation and implementation of economic activity through joint actions. Among its challenges: the fight against unemployment; generation of quality employment; and equal opportunities for social and territorial cohesion. Other projects that could emerge from this agreement examined the viability of constructing several tertiary buildings near the Ringlera site and conference spaces in the Port of Mataró.
The Zona Franca collaborated with the ERASMUS and INSIGHT project for the development of a professional profile that facilitates industrial symbiosis
The Erasmus Project and INSIGHT (Fostering Industrial Symbiosis through the development of a novel and innovative training approach) collaborate on the development of a professional profile that facilitates industrial symbiosis and the training it would require. In the process, they turned to the Consortium to learn about its experience in applying circular economy in one of the largest industrial areas in Europe.
The MedaWeek 2019 distinguished the Barcelona Free Zone Consortium with the Mediterranean Award
In its 13th edition, the MedaWeek Barcelona granted the award in recognition of the work that the organisation has been fulfilling for more than 17 years in the cooperation between free zones and in the promotion of logistics, transport and real estate as engines of development of the region and Euro-Mediterranean integration. MedaWeek, the Mediterranean Week of Economic Leaders, has been held for ten years and is organised by the Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce (ASCAME), the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, the Union for the Mediterranean and the IEMED, bringing together more than 1,500 entrepreneurs from 30 countries each year.
The Zona Franca as a sustainability and innovation laboratory for the industry in relation to the 2030 Agenda
The Barcelona Free Zone is already a testing ground for circular economy and collaborative projects to advance sustainable mobility, clean energy and efficient production. These are purposes consistent with the objectives of social and economic sustainability of the 2030 Agenda that demonstrate the potential of this productive area for urban and industrial transformation with a focus on economy 4.0. On 27 November, the Consortium organised a round table, moderated and published by La Razón newspaper, to establish a dialogue on sustainability and innovation attended by professionals and managers from organisations such as SEAT, COVESTRO, PACTO MUNDIAL and ECOENERGIES.
The Zona Franca is committed to female leadership to meet the Sustainable Development Goals
Achieving gender equality and empowering women is one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which have become a catalyst for new gender and sustainability initiatives in the Barcelona Zona Franca Industrial Park. This was confirmed by the participants in the Encuentros (meetings) at La Vanguardia session, with the collaboration of the Zona Franca Consortium. A meeting made up entirely of directors of organisations that work to comply with the SDGs in the Zona Franca.
The Consortium and Onda Cero radio acknowledge the work of the Catalan Association of Hereditary Ataxias and ACENCAS
The Zona Franca and the Onda Cero Cataluña radio station, with the support of Renfe, presented the Ciudad Solidaria Award, which recognises the work of NGOs and non-profit social organisations that work in the fields of solidarity, health, child welfare, education and job placement. The winner was the Catalan Association of Hereditary Ataxias, which received a cash prize of €3,000, a commemorative print and a communication campaign on Onda Cero to publicise its activities. ACENCAS, an association dedicated to pathological gambling and other psychological dependency diseases, won second prize.
The Consortium and La Salle-URL put start-ups in contact with large companies
The goal of the eDelivery Accelerator Programme is to create innovative projects and market opportunities for participating startups. To achieve this, in December it drew large-scale companies together such as Desigual, Amazon Web Services, Freshperts and Trison with emerging companies that are taking part of the programme. These meetings between companies and startups were part of the Acceleration Programme for emerging companies in the logistics sector, promoted by the Barcelona Zona Franca and La Salle Campus Barcelona-URL through its La Salle Technova Barcelona innovation park.
Approval of the budget for 2019 with outstanding investments
Under the presidency of the City Mayor, Ada Colau, Zona Franca approved the draft budget for 2019 with a forecast of €8.2 million in profits and an investment budget of €20.4 million. The forecast for 2019 is one of investment in maintenance and modernisation of the properties in the Zona Franca, in addition to investments in new projects, among which the DFactory stands out, whose first phase will require €17 million.