The objective of the dynamic notes of Alicante: Open for Business of ALIA, Oficina de Atracción de Inversiones de Alicante, is to evaluate and make known, in a thematic way, the elements available and the features that define Alicante and that may be of interest for the location and investment of companies, entrepreneurs and highly skilled professionals.
Within the framework of the dynamic notes of Alicante: Open for Business of ALIA, Alicante’s Investment Attraction Office, the employment report of the Alicante Local Development Agency (ADL) is aligned with this objective by providing a detailed and current perspective of the city’s labor dynamics.
The report reveals significant changes in Alicante’s labor market during the period analyzed. Among these, a positive trend in the reduction of the number of unemployed is observed. The latest data (April 2023) show a decrease of 536 unemployed compared to March 2023, and 939 fewer unemployed compared to April 2022. These figures reflect, in turn, an increase in the creation of job opportunities in the territory, and evidence the impact of the policies and strategies implemented to stimulate economic growth and job creation. Furthermore, although all sectors show a decrease in the number of unemployed, the services sector, key to Alicante’s economy as it concentrates the majority of its active population, is the sector with the greatest reduction (in April, 494 fewer unemployed than in March 2023). Although all the economic sectors show this trend, the services sector -key for Alicante’s economy because it concentrates most of its active population- stands out, registering 494 unemployed less compared to March 2023.
In this context, this fifth dynamic note presents an analysis of the productive environment of the province of Alicante, through its location, its infrastructure network, the presence of technology parks or innovation centers and its strategy to become the digital hub of the Mediterranean.
Alicante enjoys a privileged geostrategic location in the Mediterranean Arc, connecting Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. With more than 251 km of coastline, representing almost half of the Valencian coast, it is one of the Spanish provinces with the longest coastline. The province has good communications through its international airport, port, high-speed train and railroad, which makes it an interconnection point for Asia, Europe and America. This favorable position encourages the opening of Alicante to contact with other territories and its participation in a global system of intermodality.
Alicante has a large network of infrastructures
– Alicante – Elche Miguel Hernández Airport
The province’s international airport plays a fundamental role in the transportation and growth of Alicante’s economy. In 2022, it recorded traffic of more than 13 million passengers, recovering from the drop due to the pandemic (3.7 million passengers in 2020) and approaching pre-pandemic levels (15 million passengers in 2019). According to the latest updated data, the Alicante airport has already recorded more than 2.6 million passengers in the first quarter of 2023.
In this context, Alicante-Elche Miguel Hernández airport continues to position itself as the fifth national airport in terms of total passengers, only behind Adolfo Súarez Madrid-Barajas (50.6 million), El Prat Barcelona (41.6 million), Palma de Mallorca airport (28.5 million) and Málaga Costa del Sol airport (around 18.4 million).
It is worth mentioning that Alicante’s airport is still 12.3% below 2019 levels, although it is getting closer and closer to them. Although it has shown an accelerated recovery with respect to airports such as Adolfo Súarez Madrid-Barajas (where 2022 levels are 18% below 2019), or El Prat in Barcelona (-21%), its recovery has been slower than others such as Palma de Mallorca (-3.9% in 2022 with respect to 2019) or La Costa del Sol, which already shows a positive figure of 8.7% with respect to 2019 levels.
For the data from January to March 2023, Alicante-Elche airport has already collected traffic of more than 2.6 million passengers, exceeding the accumulated for the same period for 2019 (2.56 million passengers). This fact shows a positive trend that confirms the recovery of Alicante tourism after the shock of the pandemic.
– The Port of Alicante and the High Speed Network
The port of Alicante is the main logistics platform in the province and specializes in freight traffic. The port system is completed with the network of ports of the Generalitat Valenciana, providing support to a wide range of commercial, fishing and nautical-sports activities. The latest available data place the port of Alicante as the fourth port in Spain with the greatest recovery. In 2022, it registered 3.23 million tons, which represents a positive variation of 10.83% compared to 2019.
As for the freight figures, in 2022 it recorded 1.52 million tons compared to 1.29 million tons in 2021, which represents a positive variation of 17.91% in one year and places it in the top 15 ports of the State with the highest freight traffic, behind ports such as Valencia, Algeciras, Barcelona, Las Palmas, Baleares, Bilbao, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Cadiz or Vigo.
In terms of land transport, Alicante has rail connections to the hinterland and major cities, including the AVE to Madrid and the future connection with Valencia-Barcelona1. The Mediterranean Corridor will be key, connecting from Murcia to Castellón with the AVE. RENFE is also working on a direct connection between Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria and the Basque Y, which will improve the accessibility and connectivity of the territory by allowing direct frequencies without changing trains.
Technology centers and parks, universities, and programs and spaces for entrepreneurs.
The province of Alicante stands out for its favorable environment for the development and attraction of talent, both for emerging sectors and for traditional industries in search of professionals trained in digital concepts. The province has a strong educational network involved with improving employability and fostering entrepreneurship, attracting an increasingly international pool of university talent. With 8 universities located within a 100-kilometer radius, it offers a wide variety of programs in science, technology, social sciences and humanities, as well as rigorously topical specialization courses.
In addition, Alicante has 3 science parks and collaborates with the Polytechnic City of Innovation, the Science Park of the University of Valencia and the Espaitec of the Jaume I University.
– The UA Science Park has attracted more than 20 million euros in R&D&I investment, with more than 150 highly qualified workers and more than 40 PhDs. In 2022, 4 new companies have been linked, bringing the total number of innovative companies to 30.
– The UMH Science Park has advised more than 750 projects and has 74 companies in R+D+i (40 physically located in the Science Park facilities). It has promoted more than 160 spin-offs and start-ups, advised more than 1500 entrepreneurs and houses around 80 companies. It has given rise to 8 international companies and has registered 8 patents. It employs over 300 workers, with 42 interns in 19 companies in the park. *Currently in the process of construction work.
– The Elche Business Park specializes in industry and logistics. With more than 2,700,000 m2 of space, more than 700 companies and more than 13,000 workers employed in more than 100 different sectors, it is positioned as a benchmark in attracting productive investment.
The province also has an outstanding institution, the Alicante Chamber of Commerce, which plays a fundamental role in promoting trade and business in the region. It offers a wide range of services and programs to support local businesses, including business advice, training, internationalization programs and access to financing. With more than 130 years of history, the Alicante Chamber of Commerce has consolidated its role as a reference entity for the business fabric.
Another key player in promoting international trade and the internationalization of companies in the province is the Alicante office of the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade (ICEX). The institution currently has 98 offices in 77 countries. Having an office in the province facilitates the connection between local companies and international markets, promoting the export of quality products and services, which in turn contributes to the economic development of Alicante by fostering international trade and the consolidation of local companies in the global arena.
Positioning as the Mediterranean’s main digital hub
Public-private collaboration has boosted Alicante as a center of digital innovation. Its open economy, geostrategic position and Mediterranean collaborative structure make it an attractive business and innovation hub. The Digital District of the Valencian Community is based in the province, and already has 500 companies and entities related to innovation and technology from various economic sectors. Thus, it has established itself as a benchmark in the “Mediterranean Corridor of Innovation”.
It also has the GovTech Hub of Alicante Futura, which promotes digital entrepreneurship, streamlines public decision-making and promotes technological governance through projects such as the Dynamization Program and the Laboratory of Ideas. It also offers technological education and training in the Alicante Futura Academy.
Alicante has several projects that seek to attract talent to the province. These include Torre Juana OST, which hosts technology companies and disruptive projects, and AlicanTEC, which has promoted more than 240 technology companies. The 1,070Km Hub project, for its part, promotes synergies and the internationalization of digital actors, creating networks with nodes specialized in digitalization in the Mediterranean Arc. Finally, Alicante’s export economy and its business ecosystem are strengthened by initiatives such as the Ellis Foundation, which addresses challenges in AI and seeks to attract and retain research talent in the region through public-private funding and commitments from the administrations.
Leading companies such as NTT Data, Accenture and Vector ITC have established their presence in Alicante. Or that the Alicante City Council’s Department of Innovation, IT and New Technologies has received up to nine proposals from leading technology companies – including these companies – to improve access to the City Council’s electronic headquarters and web content.
– National Geographic Institute
– National Institute of Statistics
– State Ports
– University of Alicante
– Miguel Hernández University
You can download the note here :https://aliainvestinalicante.com/centro-de-recursos/