Public-private collaboration as an opportunity for the reindustrialization of the territory

Photography BNEW 2023 Mobility


3 de October de 2023

  • The delegate of the CZFB, Pere Navarro, participates in the debate on electromobility together with Ignacio García-Cuenca, Country Manager at Goodman Spain; Carlos Soler, CFO of Hub Tech Factory at QEV Technologies; Carlos Sotelo, CEO & Founder at Silence and Joan Roca, executive president at RocaJunyent, representatives of the companies that will reindustrialize Zona Franca of Barcelona.


  • Large influx of professionals on the second day of BNEW to learn about the latest trends and concepts of sustainable mobility, innovation and business opportunities in the industry of the future.


  • The technological ecosystem, researcher and investor meets at BNEW Digital Industry to provide the latest trends in collaborative and open innovation together with Barcelona Activa.


Barcelona, October 3rd, 2023.- The Consorci de la Zona Franca de Barcelona (CZFB) has reopened the doors of DFactory Barcelona on the second day of Barcelona New Economy Week (BNEW). Today the debate focused on crucial issues that are laying the foundations for a more sustainable and efficient future in cities, such as urban digitalization, electromobility and business collaboration.

Sustainable mobility generates jobs and new opportunities

The most outstanding session of today, of the vertical BMobility, has been ‘Electromobility as a generator of employment and new opportunities‘, moderated by the special delegate of the State in the CZFB, Pere Navarro. It has explored in depth the crucial transition to electric vehicles and sustainable mobility solutions. In the spotlight was the D-Hub, an innovative decarbonisation project established in Zona Franca of Barcelona, praised as an European benchmark in the decarbonisation of the electric vehicle value chain.


Distinguished speakers, including Ignacio García-Cuenca, Country Manager at Goodman Spain; Carlos Soler, CFO of Hub Tech Factory at QEV Technologies; Carlos Sotelo, CEO & Founder at Silence and Joan Roca, Executive President at RocaJunyent, shared their knowledge on how sustainable mobility is not only a path to a greener future, but also a powerful source of employment and new opportunities, thus establishing a new paradigm in Barcelona as in other cities. In the words of Pere Navarro, on the reindustrialization process of the old Nissan plant, he said that, at that time, “we all knew that we had a serious problem to solve. The fundamental element in turning a problem into an opportunity was strong public-private collaboration.”

For his part, Ignacio García-Cuenca, has confessed that “currently, land is a scarce commodity, Goodman works to combine industrial areas and residential areas, optimizing space. The reindustrialization project in the Free Trade Zone will be the most emblematic project, since it will involve the generation of spaces for the industry”. For this reason, García-Cuenca added that “we want the best industrial project at European level to host the best companies and startups, and for this, we have one of the best locations in Europe that combines airport, port and Mediterranean axis connectivity”.

Carlos Soler, CFO of Hub Tech Factory, in addition to announcing that QEV Technologies has debuted today on the Euronext Amsterdam stock exchange, said that Hub Tech Factory “is part of a global reindustrialization solution” and that the disruption of traditional to electric vehicles gives them “an opportunity to develop their business model, create jobs and generate a multiplier effect in electromobility. Creating electric vehicles means pulling a whole series of innovation and new technologies that some are still to be developed.”

Likewise, Carlos Sotelo, CEO & Founder at Silence, has indicated that “today electric vehicles cover more than 95% of the needs of citizens”. And he added that “there are two technological changes: the transformation of current vehicles of more than four meters, to transform them into electric vehicles, and the acceleration of micro mobility between urban areas, to increase sustainability in those areas. Noise, pollution, combustion, overcrowding… These are current problems of big cities, and we must take them into account.” 

Finally, Joan Roca, executive president of RocaJunyent, stated that “systemic challenges are not going to be achieved only from private companies, citizens or public administrations; We have to work together among all the sectors involved.”

Challenges of the DeepTech ecosystem in terms of investment, development and talent

In an intense day of debates, the vertical BNEW Digital Industry has met under the presentation ‘DeepTech Ecosystem Barcelona‘ with the moderator Itziar Blasco, responsible for Programs for Start Ups of Barcelona Activa. This table has tried to generate visibility and knowledge about digital ecosystems and DeepTech, considering the importance of agents in the sector, universities and research centres, companies and investment funds, etc.

Francisco Badia, Managing Partner of Grow Venture Partners, Albert Domingo, PHD: director at UPF Ventures, and Víctor Canivell, VP Strategy at Qilimanjaro Quantum Tech have focused on the importance of this ecosystem and the main challenges to generate collaborative nuclei at a global level.

In the words of Víctor Canivell, “it is important to encourage public institutions to invest in DeepTech, since the first financing to develop the projects comes from grants, and from these the first prototypes are developed”. For his part, Albert Domingo, adds that “technology centres and universities give that technological support necessary to develop projects and make them known. In fact, in Barcelona every university has a program for researchers and students.” Francisco Badia highlights the importance of “having an international vision, while supporting and retaining local talent, making them want to stay and develop their projects in Barcelona”.

Transcending business boundaries for a sustainable future 

This second day of BNEW Sustainability, business collaboration stood out as the central theme in the essential debate ‘Lab3040: shared challenges between corporations‘. With the participation of prominent members of the Lab3040 initiative, this forum was designed from the very core of business for business. In collaboration with Ibercaja, the debate has taken place to address the need for corporations to collaborate closely to overcome not only the challenges of the present, but also those that lie ahead in the future.

Núria Casas, the presenter of the event, guided the conversation while Alexander Phimister, head of Lab3040 of the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, moderated the debate. The participants, José María Santos Figueroa, territorial business manager of Ibercaja; Carmen López Rodríguez, Innovation expert at Naturgy; Fernando Casado, Co-Founder & General Partner at Sorigué-Inclimo; and Vicente Atienza, Innovation Manager at the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, shared ideas on how companies can address sustainable challenges.

In this sense, Vicente Atienza points out that “time is a very important vector in this change. Therefore, all companies must be able to adapt or, otherwise, they will be overwhelmed by the demands of society, legislation or competition, among other actors.” Likewise, José María Santos, highlights the importance of “having a robust ecosystem of innovation and well-defined alliances with purpose to achieve this transformation successfully”.

Today’s conference has completed the first two days of the BNEW focused on the three verticals of Digital Industry, Sustainability and Mobility. During the next 4 and 5 October, panels, sessions and debates dedicated to Proptech and Health – the two new themes of this edition – and Talent will be held. Also, tomorrow, Wednesday, October 4th, the ‘Best BNEW Innovation’ awards will be held, within the framework of the Startup Innovation Hub of this successful fourth edition. The awards ceremony for the six winning startups will be at 7 pm at DFactory Barcelona.


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