Implementation of a BIC (Business Innovation Network) in a declining industrial territory committed by public and private agents.
Problem addressed:
Cartagena and its area lived in the early 90s a strong industrial crisis that affected more than 500 companies and endangered more than 30,000 jobs. The secondary sector went into decline, the petrochemical and fertilizer sector caused massive layoffs in the area. The sale of the production of these factories in international markets was unfeasible due to the low price of raw materials. The active population of the area focused on the industrial sector had to diversify and seek employability in other sectors.

How objectives are reached:

BIC Cartagena was the answer of the regional ecosystem, with a common agreement between public and private stakeholders, to face the industrial crisis in the area. CEEIC was a public business revitalization tool created to stimulate a new non-existent business fabric based on the technology and services sector.
Since its creation, BIC Cartagena has promoted the creation of companies and promoted innovation within its territorial scope. Providing the same advice for its growth, consolidation and business diversification.
BIC Cartagena reached the objetives throught actions directed to promote innovation and entrepreneurship projects in the regional business network, especially those promoting participation in national, European and international projects. The Regional Administration publishes annually a call for competitive financing for BIC on the strategic axes of action, the regional BICs affected to these funds

Resources needed

• Building Construction BIC (1 million €). Annual Budget 500.000 Euros
• 50% initial investment subsidy (General Direction XVI of Regional Policy)
• Annual Current Budget: 60% regional public financing and 40% private funds

Evidence of success

• BIC Cartagena is recognized as a reference center in terms of innovation and digital transformation by the regional government
• Qualified technological employment has risen in Cartagena since 1993
• BIC Cartagena disseminates regional policies in the productive business of the Cartagena region, knowing first-hand the needs of the entrepreneurs
• Projects Attended: 7.273; Companies Created: 683; Fundings Records: 2.597.000€; Creation of qualified employment: 2.049 employes

Difficulties encountered

• Political instability that conditions the achievement of tasks and objectives
• Need of external financing based on a competitive process
• Building with very high maintenance costs
• Low qualification of entrepreneurs to meet and undertake innovation improvements

Potential for learning or transfer

As a strategic initiative in declining industrial territories, BIC Cartagena is considered a new successful tool agglutinating the economic and social forces of the territory and connecting industrial and economic development policies with the business network. It is located between the Regional Administration, the Universities and the companies, gearing the business system itself and allowing the diffusion of a new culture of innovation. It serves as technical and physical support for entrepreneurial initiatives facilitating their transformation into startups with high scalability potential. They allow efficient use of public development funds, aligning them with the needs of companies and entrepreneurs. They also play a fundamental integrating role among local stakeholders and the executing mechanism of business stimulus policies. Bic Cartagena was an initiative launched by the Regional Government of the Region of Murcia, through its Business Development Agency.

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Main institution
Business Innovation Centre of Cartagena - CEEIC
Región de Murcia,
Start Date
March 1992
End Date


José Carlos García Please login to contact the author.