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REGIONS EUROPE


Aninnovation drive I


Q&A: PERENAVARRO


PERE NAVARRO DISCUSSES WITH JACOPO DETTONI THE FUTURE OF BARCELONA’S FREE TRADE ZONE


nnovation was the name of the game in Barcelona’s free trade zone even before Covid-19, but the pandemic has quickly


accelerated the zone’s vision of becoming a hot- spot for start-ups and new technologies. Pere Navarro, the state special delegate of the Consorci de la Zona Franca (CZFB), the public body that operates the zone, says technologies such as 3D printing are already a reality, while the CZFB is leveraging digital technologies to produce the Barcelona New Economy Week (BNEW) and thus recreate digitally opportuni- ties for business networking.


Q A


The CZFB is making available new space to become a hub for start-ups and inno-


vation.Howis the zone supportingnewforms of production and economy?


The industrial cluster of the zone devel- oped around automotive firm Seat in the


1950s. Back then, automotive was the most innovative industry, and here we are 70 years after, exploring the new economy again. We launched an incubator for start-ups working with 3D printing, where we currently host 40 companies. Besides, we are investing €20min a new property called D-Factory,where compa- nies are going to work on technologies such 3D printing, robotics, the Internet of Things, and blockchain. We are exploring all these new technolo-


gies whose importance has grown, now that we have realised that producing goods closer to final consumers is very important. Technologies such as 3D printing have already allowed us to produce 400 ventilators during the [Covid-19] lockdown. They have been very useful, and adjusted quickly to events that no one had foreseen, and have shown that they are not something for the future, they are a reality today.


Q A


What isBNEW?


In the current circumstances, we had to cancel the physical events we had planned


for 2020. Nonetheless, we want to continue to be a source of opportunities in this respect, which is why we designed a hybrid event like BNEW. It will have five main verticals: logis- tics, digital industry, real estate, e-commerce and economic zones. It’s going to be a busi- ness-to-business event for professionals, par- ticularly from Europe, Africa and the


August/September 2020 www.fDiIntelligence.com


WEHAVE REALISED THAT PRODUCINGGOODSCLOSER TO FINALCONSUMERSIS VERY IMPORTANT


67


Americas, and we are expecting about 10,000 people following it online, and another 1000 people here in Barcelona.


our own digital platform exclusively for this event and everything will be streamed live on October 6-9. It’s going to be our first opportu- nity to recreate business networks after the pandemic – we believe the event can help eco- nomic recovery.


Q A


casing talent and innovation. We will have about 400 speakers that are going to connect with the audience in different ways, be they panel discussions, interviews or fireside chats. With regards to networking, despite the


Q A


many digitalways we use to communicate with each other on a daily basis, there are few chances to replicate business networking digi- tally, which is what we are trying to do with BNEW through a very direct way to establish digital contact. There will be private meeting rooms, there will be a chance to engage with the speakers, and there will be a space where delegates are matched automatically, accord- ing to their own interests. Last but not least, we want to showcase tal-


ent and innovation and we want to give compa- nies a chance to explain what they are doing and how they are innovating. On a broader level, we want to make it a real show to engage with people digitally, we want it to be a senso- rial experience.■


In association with the Consorci de la Zona Franca de Barcelona.


HowisBNEWgoing to be different?


It’s based on threemain pillars: knowledge sharing, business networking, and show-


Why are you doing BNEW?


We are doing it to create opportunities and business networks. We are developing


CURRICULUMVITAE


2018 Consorci de laZona Franca State special delegate


PERE NAVARRO MORERA


Also


Member of the Catalan parliament, mayor of Terrassa


PODCAST


HEARThe podcast at www.fDiIntelligence.com


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