As Catalonia scoops the FDI Strategy award for large region, local investment agency Catalonia Trade & Investment (CT&I) is tasked with attracting financial support and promoting the region to companies around the world. Supported by a strong team, the agency has an international vision, and prioritises its efforts by countries, top sectors and the types of investment.
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- fDi’s European Cities and Regions of the Future 2018/19 – FDI Strategy (Cities)
- fDi’s European Cities and Regions of the Future 2018/19 – LEPs
Its USA Plan initiative is primarily focused on attracting companies involved in future technologies and US unicorn start-ups. It is intended to encourage start-up companies that will eventually be valued at more than $1bn. The agency’s international start-ups programme aims to put the region on the international stage and attract unicorn start-ups from around the world.
Major events planned for the region include Mobile World Capital and Congress and the Smart City Expo, which are contributing to the region’s reputation as a digital and start-up hub.
Relevant investors can also take advantage of a multitude of research facilities, living labs and testing facilities, which include smart cities, autonomous driving facilities and a global 3D printing hub. The region is home to MareNostrum4, Spain’s premier (and Europe’s third largest) supercomputer.
Companies that invest in Catalonia – 146 of which did in 2017, according to data from investment monitor fDi Markets – have access to an aftercare manager at CT&I, who holds meetings with all companies post-investment to assess their requirements and challenges and help find solutions. Companies can also participate in networking events organised by CT&I, as well as international trade fairs and roadshows.
Greater Copenhagen has ranked first in the mid-sized region category. Copenhagen Capacity, Copenhagen’s promotion and investment attraction agency, has recently welcomed major international investors including US-based IBM and Japan-based Hitachi.
Copenhagen Capacity is proactive in assessing the global economic landscape, and works to ensure Greater Copenhagen is on investors’ maps. In April 2017, the agency brought together 70 fintech companies based in the UK to explain the advantages and opportunities offered by Greater Copenhagen in a post-Brexit era.
In June 2017, the region hosted Copenhagen Fintech Week, which attracted 1000 start-up companies and investors from 30 countries. The agency promotes other high-value FDI sectors, as the region is home to Copenhagen Science City, a €1bn science facility for business and research, as well as the European Spallation Source. One of the world’s largest science and technology infrastructure projects it is jointly hosted by Sweden and Denmark in Greater Copenhagen.
Heaven in Helsinki
Greater Helsinki, which incorporates the Finnish capital of Helsinki and its urban area of Espoo and Vantaa as well as some commuter towns, has ranked first of all small European regions for FDI Strategy. Helsinki Business Hub, which is involved in the promotion and attraction of investment, operates a close network with local private and academic sectors, as well as public bodies, to offer investors a comprehensive service.
The agency is seeking to build on the region’s reputation as a destination for innovative and hi-tech companies, a region that boasts 116,000 ICT professionals (75% with advanced programming skills). Investors in R&D projects can access grants and loans as part of the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation, while Helsinki’s Kalasatama neighbourhood offers companies a smart city platform, where solutions can be tested in an urban environment.
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