Velasco highlights the leadership of Andalusia in the European aerospace industry, with a turnover of 2,071 million euros, more than 12,000 direct jobs and more than 140 companies

The Regional Minister for Economic Transformation, Industry, Knowledge and Universities, Rogelio Velasco, has shown the “unanimous and unwavering” support of the Andalusian Government for Seville’s candidacy to host the future Spanish Space Agency. This has been made explicit after the meeting held with the mayor of Seville, Antonio Muñoz. The creation of this body is provided for in the new Science Law, which was presented to the Council of Ministers in February and has just entered Congress. Spain is the only major European country that does not have its own agency.

Velasco has argued that the presentation of this candidacy is fundamentally guaranteed by the leadership of Andalusia in the field of the European aerospace industry, with a turnover of 2,071 million euros, more than 12,000 direct jobs, more than 140 companies and a contribution from the 1.41% to the Andalusian GDP. In addition, he referred to other qualitative advantages that make Seville worthy of hosting this body, such as “a modern network of infrastructures that allow rapid access from anywhere in Spain and Europe or an ecosystem of science and technology parks that they welcome more than 1,500 companies”.

He has also highlighted the location in Seville of the only Technology Park in Spain that is entirely devoted to the aerospace sector, Aerópolis; as well as the 16 engineering schools that the community has. Among them, that of the University of Seville which, according to him, “is a benchmark of excellence throughout Europe, a pioneer in the transfer of knowledge and with specialized training in aerospace vehicles, air navigation or aeronautical engineering”.

Along with these factors, the Head of Economic Transformation has pointed out that the city and its province also have proven experience in the aerospace sphere. In this regard, he recalled that Seville has hosted important events in the sector: in 2019, it was European Space Capital and held the presidency of the Community of Arianne Cities, and has also hosted such prominent conferences as the Aerospace & Defense Meetings- ADM.

On the other hand, Rogelio Velasco wanted to highlight “the scientific and innovative reference” that constitutes Andalusia in the field of astrophysics and space, with leading facilities such as the Calar Alto Astronomical Observatory or the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia. Regarding this last center, he has underlined that it has the Severo Ochoa award of excellence and that it has international prestige for its scientific research. In addition to the work carried out by these infrastructures, there is also the activity of the Fada-Catec Foundation or that of the ATLAS experimental flight center in Villacarrillo (Jaén), which is already being used to launch HAPS (High Altitude Pseudo Satellites) platforms.

Institutional support to key infrastructures

In his intervention, the head of Economic Transformation has also taken the opportunity to highlight the boost that the Andalusian Government is giving to the various tools that allow connecting the knowledge generated to take advantage of all the opportunities in the space environment. Thus, he recalled the implementation of the Andalusian Aerospace Strategy and focused on the support deployed to promote strategic facilities such as CEUS in Huelva, the Advanced Manufacturing Center in Cádiz, the future UAVs Innovation Center (non-air vehicles manned) and Urban Air Mobility that will have its headquarters in Seville, or the IFMIF-DONES and the Center for Artificial Intelligence, both in Granada.

Similarly, he has alluded to the Regional Government´s commitment to the training required by this type of infrastructure and sectors, “a task in which Andalusian universities stand out in a more than notable way”, he has remarked. In this regard, he has assured that Seville will have the first Integrated Center for Professional Training in the aerospace sector in Andalusia, which will be located in La Rinconada.