Bimonthly report (May-June 2023): Alicante, Mediterranean Hub: Productive environment and investment trends in the city.

The employment outlook in Alicante shows a positive trend in the reduction of unemployment. According to the most recent employment report, in May 2023, there were 8,707 fewer unemployed compared to May 2022, and 2394 fewer compared to in the previous month. This reflects an increase in job opportunities and the impact of economic growth policies.

These positive data encourage investors, as a stable labor market provides greater opportunities for growth and development for companies and entrepreneurs. In this context, this third bimonthly report combines a detailed analysis of Alicante’s productive environment, with a focus on its strategy to become the digital hub of the Mediterranean, along with an assessment of business capital investment. These key factors provide a comprehensive overview for investors interested in taking advantage of the opportunities in this booming region.

Unbeatable geolocation and a large infrastructure network

Alicante is located in a privileged geostrategic location in the Mediterranean Arc. Its more than 251 kilometers of coastline offer the perfect setting to enjoy an enviable quality of life. It is also strategically located between Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, making it a meeting point between continents and cultures. In addition to this, Alicante has a large network of infrastructures. Among which the following stand out:

● Alicante – Elche Miguel Hernández Airport. In 2022 it reached a traffic of more than 13 million passengers, consolidating its position as the fifth national airport in terms of passenger volume. For the data from January to March 2023, Alicante-Elche airport has already collected traffic of more than 2.6 million passengers, surpassing the accumulated for the same period for 2019 (year with better levels).

● The port of Alicante and the High Speed network. During 2022, the port of Alicante, the province’s main logistics platform, recorded a total of 3.23 million tons. This outstanding position places the port of Alicante among the top fifteen ports in the country in terms of freight traffic. It also represents a positive variation of 10.83% compared to 2019, which places the port of Alicante as the fourth port in Spain with the greatest recovery.

Added to that, regarding land transport, the province has a solid rail connection to the interior and the main cities, including the High Speed Line (AVE) that connects Alicante with Madrid, and a future connection with Valencia and Barcelona is foreseen. Also, RENFE is working on a direct connection between Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria and the Basque Country, and on El Corredor Mediterráneo which will be key in the connection from Murcia to Castellón with the AVE.

● Technology centers and parks, universities and programs and spaces for entrepreneurs. Alicante has a solid educational network involved in improving employability and promoting entrepreneurship. To this end, it has 8 universities located within a radius of 100 kilometers. It also has 3 science parks; The UA Science Park, which has managed to attract more than 20 million euros in investment, has more than 150 employees, more than 40 PhDs and a total of 30 innovative companies as a whole, The UMH Science Park, which has advised more than 750 projects, has 74 companies, has promoted more than 160 spin-offs and start-ups, 8 international companies have emerged and have registered 8 patents and The Elche Business Park, which has more than 2. 700,000 m2 of space, more than 700 companies and more than 13,000 employees. It also has the Chamber of Commerce of Alicante and the Spanish Institute of Foreign Trade (ICEX), this institution has 98 offices deployed in 77 countries.

Positioning as the leading digital hub of the Mediterranean

Thanks to successful public-private collaboration, Alicante has become a center of digital innovation. The outstanding Digital District of the Valencian Community, based in Alicante, currently houses 500 companies and entities related to innovation and technology from various economic sectors. Thus consolidating itself as a benchmark in the “Mediterranean Corridor of Innovation”.

In addition, the Alicante Futura GovTech Hub promotes digital entrepreneurship, accelerates public decision-making and fosters technological governance in the region.

Finally, Alicante stands out for emblematic projects such as the Torre Juana OST, AlicanTEC, the 1,070Km Hub project and the Ellis Foundation, which drive digital transformation and collaboration in the province. In addition, leading global companies, such as NTT Data, Accenture and Vector ITC, have established their presence in Alicante, consolidating the region’s attractiveness as a technology hub of reference.

New investment trends for 2023

Currently, there is a marked trend in the investment markets in the sectors of fintech, health technology, business sustainability, food and energy, as well as solutions in artificial intelligence and other disruptive technologies. These are the sectors that have received the largest rounds of venture capital funding and the most representative sectors in the “Top 100 Next Unicorns” list.

In this context, Alicante has numerous success stories of promising ventures in trend sectors:

● For its part, in health technologies, ICU Medical Technologies, a company of the UMH Science Park in Elche, has achieved an important milestone in its financing by selling its first ticket of 50,000 euros to the investment fund Vincle Capital. This transaction is part of an open financing round with the goal of reaching 250,000 euros. Vincle Capital’s financial backing will enable the startup to further develop and manufacture its Kronosafe medical device, an innovative pacemaker clamping solution using 3D printing.

● In business sustainability, Bumerania Robotics has achieved a prominent position in the hospitality sector in a short period of three years. Recently, it has secured significant funding from Álamo Futura, an investment company. Through this investment, Álamo Futura acquires 49% of Bumerania’s shares, giving the startup the opportunity to boost its growth and expand internationally.

● Regarding energy sustainability, Hydros Power, a startup from the Alicante Science Park focused on the development of renewable hydrogen generating stations, has successfully concluded an investment round with a post-money valuation of €1 million. This achievement gives it the opportunity to continue its research and development in the field.

● Meanwhile, the foodtech against food waste, Oscillum, has received €1.5 million in funding from the Center for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI) through the program Ayudas PYMES Sello de Excelencia. This investment will allow the company to continue with the development and improvement of its innovative SmartLabel, which detects the level of decomposition of food and provides information on its safety for consumption.

● Within the fintech sector, Facephi, has reached a strategic agreement with the US fintech Orokii to license its biometric technology, strengthening its presence in the United States. In addition, Facephi has announced another agreement with the Swiss fund Nice&Green, becoming its largest shareholder with 11% of the capital. This agreement provides Facephi with up to an additional 20 million in financing, aimed at boosting its organic growth in key markets such as Latin America, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia.

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Dynamic Note #6: June 2023 Global Investment and Trends
Bimonthly economic report July – August 2023: ALICANTE’S COMPETITIVE SITUATION