WISekey Valencia Hub
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WISekey Valencia Hub

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Articled published in english by Swiss Style

Articled published in english by Swiss Style

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WISekey Valencia Hub WISekey Valencia Hub Document Transcript

  • SUSTAINABILITY BUSINESS STYLE t THE SPANISH CONNECTION »»» by Karin Sun WATCH STYLE LIFESTYLE CAREER STYLE The Spanish connection Will Valencia be the new technological hub of the Mediterranean? tion in local industry as well as contrib- uting to the region’s security, educa- tion, health services, industry, logistics platform and financial infrastructure. Mobilizing venture capital In many ways, the city of Valencia is an ideal candidate to become Europe’s next major technological epicentre, since it already possesses both the at- tractive physical environment and in- ternational significance vital to its com- mercial development. The host of two America’s Cup races and several Formu- la One competitions, the port of Valen- cia boasts architectural beauty, tourist attractions, a warm climate and a rich, comfortable lifestyle that could poten- B tially attract the attention of wealthy old new plans for Spain’s personalities on Valencia’s technologi- foreign investors and entrepreneurs. technological future may have cal potential as a regional hub. Because of its extensive trade and been hatched at the 33rd America’s The public panel discussion, in business relations with countries such Cup competition in Valencia last which Swiss Style CEO John Béguin was as Switzerland and Brazil, the Span- month. Carlos Moreira, the founder invited to participate, focused chiefly on ish port city also has the potential to and President of the Swiss-based plans to transform Valencia into a major become Europe’s principal “gateway” Internet security company WISeKey SA, technological hub. Featuring bilingual to Latin America and offer Switzerland journeyed to the Spanish port city on debates and presentations from local with a strategic access to the sea. 15 February to support Geneva’s Alinghi and foreign entrepreneurs, the round However, substantial measures team, of which his company was one of table centred on strategies to mobilize still need to be taken in order to fully the two official corporate sponsors, with the innovation, capital and human re- develop the city’s commercial potential Hublot, in the much-anticipated global sources needed to drive this transforma- under the leadership of the local govern- racing event. tion. A joint venture between the Valen- ment. The first and most obvious step is However, Moreira also took advan- cia government and key players in the to attract talent and more foreign ven- tage of the occasion to re-establish con- Spanish, Swiss, Brazilian and American ture capital to the region’s fledgling in- tact with local officials and to organize private sectors, the Valencia initiative dustries. To this end, Moreira and John a round-table discussion with several could greatly facilitate future innova- Rossant, Executive Chairman of Publi- 27
  • SUSTAINABILITY BUSINESS STYLE t THE SPANISH CONNECTION »»» WATCH STYLE LIFESTYLE CAREER STYLE cisLive, proposed a major World Entre- preneur Forum to be held in Valencia at the end of this year plus the launch of a Hub-to-Hub connection between Valen- cia and Rio to be announced at the next World Economic Forum in Cartagena de Indias in April. The World Entrepre- neur Forum, which Moreira and Rossant hope to turn into an annual event, aims to match international investors with local entrepreneurs in Valencia and to provide a forum in which international business leaders could propose innova- tion and new technology projects, and discuss the multinational policy needed to position Valencia as a major Euro- pean commercial hub. PublicisLive, the Swiss company responsible for organiz- ing the annual World Economic Forum Meeting in Davos, has agreed to assist ety for Interbank Financial Telecommu- tives ranging from marketing the city’s the government of Valencia in organiz- nication, the company that developed image to revising immigration policy to ing the launching of the event. the initial SWIFT code for international building a new international business bank transactions 25 years ago. school to educate the city’s future busi- Developing human capital In order to attract more techno- ness leaders, both Spanish and foreign. Perhaps the most effective way to logical and commercial know-how to “We have to attract more mobile intel- mobilize capital to the region, however, the region, Valencia authorities must lectual capital to Valencia,” says Claude is to first attract intellectual talent and make the city immigration-friendly and Beglé, the former president of the Swiss an educated labour force. “Money goes develop its global reputation as a Span- postal service. “We can do this by rep- where there are ideas,” says Leonard ish “Silicon Valley”. licating the lifestyle of America’s West Schrank, the director of the World Soci- This involves a number of initia- Coast – sun, sea, and universities.” 28
  • As a capstone effort to mobilize funding for the Valencia Innoempresa ing identification to provide completely both financial capital and human tal- programme, a business development secure access to transactional services ent, business leaders at the Valencia programme jointly financed by the Va- such as online banking and government round table in February proposed the lencia local government and the Span- services. Valencia officials plan to make opening of a branch of the World Trade ish government to promote innovation thousands of Citizen’s Keys available to Centre in Valencia. among small and medium-sized enter- local residents this year. prises in Valencia. Others at the round With Valencia leaders looking for- Public reactions to the Valencia initiative table in February expressed similar ward to the unique challenges ahead, To date, Moreira’s proposal to trans- opinions about the indispensable role their partnership with WISeKey may form Valencia into a technological hub that innovation will play in Valencia’s give them an important head start in has been well received by the city’s of- transformation. expanding the city’s technological hori- ficials. Although a similar proposal had “Innovation is a means of survival zons. ««« failed to garner much public interest in for many of Valencia’s industrial sec- 2007 due the focus in Spain at that time tors,” says Cristina del Campo, the direc- to large infrastructural projects, local tor of Network of Technological Insti- authorities in Valencia seemed much tutes of the Valencian Community. “We more enthusiastic the second time are looking for the companies most like- around as a way to move Valencia out ly to become the next Google, the next the crisis. In the aftermath of a major fi- dizzying technological success story. It’s nancial crisis in Europe, the ideological vital that local institutions protect these fissure between the local government of companies and allow them to innovate.” Valencia and the Spanish national gov- ernment on issues relating to business A head start investment and innovation has grown As plans for developing local in- considerably. dustry take shape, the Valencia govern- Vicente Rambla, Valencia’s local ment has reached an agreement with Minister of Industry, Trade and Inno- WISeKey to launch the Biometric Citi- vation, criticized the Spanish govern- zen’s Key, a digital product developed by ment’s decision earlier this year to cut WISeKey that uses personal fingerprint- 29