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Unveiling Partners and Regions – Galicia

By Project BEST DIH

One of Spain´s 17 autonomous regions, Galicia is located in the north west corner of the Iberian Peninsula. It covers 29,574 km2 and has around 2,700,000 inhabitants. It is a distinguished region with its own language and culture, whose capital is Santiago de Compostela, a Unesco World Heritage destination which receives more than a quarter million travellers each year along the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trails.

Historically, Galicia strongly depended on agriculture and fishing until the 80s last century. Reflecting that history, the region has the largest fishing fleet in Europe. Due to this fact, the European Fisheries Control Agency is based in the territory. Nonetheless, today the service sector occupies more than 50% of the labor force. Industry is specially strong in agrofood, automotive, fashion-textile, shipbuilding, forestry and biotechnology and health. Moveover, Galicia has also become a significant tourist destination, with more than 5 million visitors every year.

The region has a consolidated innovation ecosystem with knowledge generation as one of its core elements. Three public universities, with their 8 research centres and 1.700 researchers, together with 8 private innovation and technology centres, articulate the research and innovation scenario.

The implementation of the DIH strategy has brought together the R&D&I Galician ecosystem stakeholders, which are jointly promoting the digitazation of the industry in that strategic areas defined in the RIS3. The aim of the plan is to allow the greatest possible number of SMEs to take advantage of the technology platforms and gain access to methods, tools, software and prototype solutions.

Two Galician DIH have been labelled as strategic for the region and both applied to become (E)DIH, and one of them succeeded to get it and the corresponding EC funding. Thanks to this opportunities the productive system of the region will have better access to programmes such as Digital Europe. Likewise, the collaboration with other European DIH and the benefit of their complementarities opens up a wide range of resources available for companies in their digital transformation processes.

Today, DATAlife is the Galician (E)DIH, which covers the agro-sea food, biotechnology, forestry-wood and healthcare value chains, and is expert in technologies such as Artificial IntelIigence and High-Performance Computing or Internet of Things. The other strategic DIH, DIHGIGAL, integrates more than 450 entities from the food, automotive and shipbuilding sector to support companies in their digital transformation processes and to connect the technological demand of industrial companies with the technological and knowledge suppliers .

Finally, Galicia takes part in the Vanguard Initiative and ERRIN, two Brussels-based networks of innovative regions in the European Union. By connecting innovation ecosystems and sharing knowledge, Galicia is involved in interregional collaboration with other advanced industrial regional, stimulating innovation investments, strenghen open innovation and speeding up the introduction of disruptive technologies.