Renowned for 24-hour party people and iconic sunsets, the Balearic Islands are the top tourist destination in the western Mediterranean and a thriving business hub. This island of Ibiza is peppered with multi-million dollar mansions and villas owned by royalty and celebrities, and it is the centre of the world’s clubbing scene for four months of the year. More than just an idyllic holiday spot where the party is very much on, however, the Balearic Islands are also an ideal location to access both European markets and the rest of the world’s growing markets.
In 2012, foreign investment brought more than €400 million into the Balearic Islands, with most of those funds coming from countries around Europe. The islands are home to the affiliates of numerous foreign corporations, particularly those associated with the transport and tourism sectors. In 2012, the Balearic Islands were home to 85,372 companies, 77% of which formed part of the services sector. The Balearic archipelago has the densest business fabric in Spain, with the bulk of companies being individual entrepreneurs.
The islands occupy a strategic position in Spain’s most dynamic business area. With nearly 22.7 million passengers in 2011, Palma de Mallorca’s Son Sant Joan Airport is one of Europe’s leading airports. The islands are home to some of the most important freight and passenger ports in the Mediterranean and southern Europe.
The Balearic Islands have a young, highly skilled, well trained and extremely motivated workforce. Human resources production is currently in full expansion in the islands. A vital role is played by the Balearic Islands University, which offers a wide variety of professional degrees to satisfy the needs for specialists in all areas of business and industry. The Balearic’s commitment to the training and education of its human capital has led the region to become one of Spain’s leading autonomous communities. Its human capital activity rate is also one of the highest in Spain.
The Balearic Islands have a consolidated production sector that is coordinated through an extensive network of industrial parks that produce footwear, clothing, fashion accessories, fashion jewellery and processed foods. Leading companies in these sectors have set up headquarters in the Balearics, alongside the multinational corporations of the tourism industry. Initiatives have been launched to take full advantage of the potential of telecommunications in an aim to attract clean industries and activities with high added value in the areas associated with scientific research.
One of the primary sources of the Islands’ outreach to the knowledge society is the Balearic Technological Innovation Park. The natural setting of the park is a privileged backdrop for research and development, which accounts for much of the park’s activity. The park also houses a technology business incubator, which serves professors, researchers and entrepreneurs and offers them the opportunity to generate technology-based spin-offs.
Due to their infrastructure and beautiful natural setting, the Balearic Islands are the ideal backdrop to combine business with pleasure. With stunning beaches and scenery, they are the perfect location for meetings and conventions. There a wide variety of activities for groups to enjoy, and each of the five islands provides a very different experience. Fine dining with great service and hotel and conference facilities are a given.
The islands boast a strategic position in Spain’s most dynamic area. Just across the water, Barcelona, a city with more than 2,000 years of history, is the principal Euro-Mediterranean metropolis. It is the economic, cultural and administrative capital of Catalonia and one of the principal motors of activity in Spain and the European Union. Its privileged location, two hours from France by road and well connected to the major cities of Europe, makes it one of the favourite destinations for international investment in southern Europe.
With a long industrial tradition and a strong entrepreneurial fabric, Barcelona is committed to a knowledge-intensive economy and activities, especially advanced services and new economic activities. The growth model for the 21st century is increasingly based on services, where new projects are more knowledge-intensive and employ highly qualified workers.
In this regard, Barcelona is in a process of orderly transition to a knowledge economy that will provide a response to future challenges. Advanced activities such as services to companies, cultural industries, audio-visual production, information and communication technologies, biotechnology and the sustainable-mobility industry and aeronautics are on the rise in Barcelona.
Thanks to their geographical location off the coast of Barcelona, the Balearic Islands are perfectly located for getting at European markets as well as wider worldwide markets
An important driver of innovation is the Barcelona Science Park, which was the first science park in Spain and is an international point of reference today in the promotion of innovation. With more than 2,000 professionals working there, the park aims to manage effectively and efficiently the spaces that the University of Barcelona has allocated for its development. It provides quality services to its clients and users that facilitate the transfer of knowledge between the university and the research and business sectors.
One success story from the park is SOM Biotech. SOM was established in the park with the mission to discover and develop new indications of already known drugs through a profitable private company committed to its shareholders, employees and society. Repositioned drug access implies discovering, pre-clinical validation, patenting and licensing already known drugs for their commercial use in unknown medical uses. SOM’s proprietary virtual screening platform is based on a computerized approach, and the drug development is driven by a dedicated team of experts and strategy advisors.
Barcelona has extensive links to the Balearics, which themselves have an extensive transport network that facilitates local connections. Barcelona and the Balearic Islands are a leading cultural haven thanks to their rich historical legacy, as well as their architecture and heritage, which gives them a special personality and charm. This explains the innovative spirit that permeates the region and positions it as a benchmark for international culture.