The Canary archipelago has positioned itself as one of the top R&D&I locations in Spain. This is due to the unique advantages it provides for innovative projects and its technological infrastructures.
At Canary Island Hub we work to maximize the potential of the Canary Islands in every sector, especially R&D&I. One of our main tasks is to spread the word about the benefits and possibilities the islands offer to potential investors and international clients, thus furthering our goal of making the Canaries a haven for innovation.
Specialized public R&D&I enterprises
Some relevant examples are:
- PLOCAN: The Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands focuses its studies on furthering the knowledge and sustainability of the ocean.
- PCTT: Science and technology parks drive innovation and entrepreneurship on the islands and in the surrounding areas. There are two such parks in the Canary Islands, one in Gran Canaria and the other in Tenerife. It is worth highlighting the role they play in fueling the economic and technological development of the region, given that they foster a favorable environment for innovation, research, and the development of new technologies. They also encourage collaboration between companies and universities, which can create synergies and promote knowledge transfer.
- ITC: The Canary Islands Institute of Technology is a public enterprise subsidized by the regional government to advance research and R&D&I on the islands.
- ITER: The Institute of Technology and Renewable Energies promotes sustainable development and innovation on the island of Tenerife.
- PROEXCA: This public enterprise supports Canarian companies throughout their processes of opening up to new markets. This furthers the objectives of diversifying the regional economy, strengthening the Canary Islands’ business sector, and promoting job creation. It also attracts strategic investments to the Canaries.
In short, the work of PROEXCA and the science and technology parks are complementary, with the shared goal of diversifying the regional economy, strengthening the Canarian business sector, and attracting strategic investments to the Canary Islands.
These public enterprises have built a strong foundation for the culture of innovation in the archipelago, promoting the awareness of the R&D&I sector throughout the community and encouraging its expansion.
The Canary Islands have a flourishing entrepreneurial ecosystem thanks to their strategic location at the crossroads connecting three parts of the world: Europe, Africa, and the Americas. This has also favored the development of technological infrastructures in the form of communication and transportation systems, giving rise to a wide network of international companies and organizations that are basing their innovative projects in the Canaries. Another determining factor is the islands’ year-round good weather, along with its beautiful landscapes and natural resources. These benefits attract millions of tourists and drive the creation of all types of businesses while continuing to fuel the region’s long-standing hospitality industry. The quality of life in the Canary Islands deserves a special mention. High-quality public services and a diverse offer of leisure, culture, and sports activities enhance the community’s sense of well-being. All of these things contribute to the cosmopolitan, open-minded, multicultural, and progressive atmosphere that makes the Canaries one of the best R&D&I locations.
Local Canarian talent
The Canary Islands has a young and highly qualified population that is clearly an attractive asset for investment companies with R&D&I projects that require skilled employees with an interest in innovative technological infrastructures. The Canary archipelago has amassed substantial know-how in key sectors. In addition, it is home to a workforce with great potential to meet the needs of the companies that operate here.
ZEC Zone, Free Trade Zone, and Ports
The Canary Islands Special Zone low tax zone (ZEC) is a created within the framework of the Economic and Fiscal Regime of the Canary Islands and approved by the EU. Its objective is to promote the economic and social development of the archipelago and diversify its production structure. For example, companies that work in the R&D sector in the Canaries can benefit from a 45% reduction in corporate income tax during the first 4 years they are active, and a 35% reduction for the following 4 years.
The Free Trade Zone refers to a concrete area within a region in which certain tax and fiscal benefits apply, such as the elimination of import tariffs on goods. In the Canary archipelago, this area encompasses the two main ports.
The port installations found on all the islands have a variety of quality services and powerful infrastructures. For example, La Luz Port in Gran Canaria is the most important port in the Mid-Atlantic. Thanks to its strategic location, it has become an established logistics hub that connects more than 30 maritime lines, which in turn connect more than 180 ports across the globe.
Universities and vocational training centers
The Canaries have two public universities located on the two capital islands: the University of La Laguna in Tenerife and the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in Gran Canaria. More than half of the students study scientific and technical subjects, which drives the creation of jobs in R&D&I and, similarly, of training centers specialized in these areas. As mentioned previously, this strengthens the local talent and internal promotion within the islands. These specialized skills in the technological sector are a great attraction for employers and investors who want to move to the Canaries.
In addition to the two public universities, there are also numerous private universities in the Canaries that offer a wide variety of undergraduate degrees in the technology and innovation sectors. These universities are located in different cities around the islands and have become a popular option for students pursuing a high-quality specialized education in these areas.
These private universities offer undergraduate degrees in fields such as engineering, computer science, design, multimedia, business, and health science, among others.
The Canaries offer an excellent communications system within this sphere, thanks to its maritime and air facilities. The main ports of the Canary Islands are La Luz Port in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the largest in the archipelago, and the port of Tenerife, located in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. They have a privileged location in the Atlantic. Both ports have earned high positions in the rankings of ports with the most tourist and commercial traffic at the national, European, and global levels.
In terms of airspace, the islands have a total of 8 airports. The main two, Gran Canaria and Tenerife South, offer direct flights to more than 140 destinations and work with the main national and international companies.
With all the resources and benefits the Canary archipelago has to offer, we can safely say that it is currently one of the best R&D&I locations. Thanks to the economic growth and expansion of the Canary Islands, more and more clients and companies are deciding to invest in this destination. At Canary Island Hub, we promote innovative projects for the growth of technological infrastructures. Our goal is to give potential investors access to these services and resources.
If you are looking for places to base your R&D&I business or carry out other digital activities with the possibility of remote work, the Canary Islands are your best option. Learn about all your possibilities on our website and bet on a safe investment.
The Canaries are home to a diverse range of R&D projects in different fields, of which we can highlight:
- Digivolcan Project. This is a research and development project in the field of volcanic and seismic technology. It is being carried out in the Canary Islands Volcanology Institute (INVOLCAN) and aims to implement an early warning system that monitors volcanic activity in the region.
- NEOTEC Project. This is a research project in the field of biotechnology. It is being conducted in the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and aims to study and use microorganisms and marine enzymes to develop new products and technologies in different sectors, such as food, energy, and health.
- ECOLAB Project. This is a research project in the field of marine ecology. It is being carried out in the University of La Laguna and aims to study the effects of climate change and pollution on the region’s marine ecosystems, and to develop related conservation and restoration strategies.
These are just a few examples of the R&D projects being carried out in the Canaries, but there are many more in different fields, which demonstrates this region’s potential in research and development.