The US multinational Cisco Systems has chosen Barcelona to set up its first microchip design center in the European Union (EU). The president Pedro Sánchez and the CEO of the company, Chuck Robbins, have announced the investment after meeting in Moncloa.
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This will be the first center opened by the Californian firm, one of the giants in the telecommunications sector, on European soil, and it will be located in the innovation center that the company already has in the Catalan capital. The news is framed in the context of PERTE –aid for strategic projects– of semiconductors, which has a budget of 12,000 million. “Spain is becoming a key player in achieving the EU’s goal of achieving 20% of the world chip market by 2030,” he said in a statement.
Cisco has highlighted the complexity of the microchip supply chain and the need to take an “active role” in decongesting it. This has been stated by Robbins, referring to the supply crisis of these crucial components for the manufacture of cars, mobile phones, televisions or household appliances.
In addition to Cisco, Intel has also committed to opening an innovation laboratory in Barcelona with an investment of 200 million euros in alliance with the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, a center that has been key to Cisco’s decision.
“Turning Spain into a global benchmark in this field is one of the Government’s great priorities,” Sánchez claimed in a statement released by Moncloa. “This is the most ambitious project of the Recovery Plan due to its transformative impact on the industry and its contribution to reinforcing the strategic autonomy of Spain and the EU in technological matters, a crucial element in the face of the situation in Russia and Ukraine”, he expressed. the president, who had previously met with Robbins in July 2021 and at the last Davos forum.
The President of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès, and the City Council’s Deputy Mayor for Economy, Jaume Collboni, celebrated the news.
Aragonès has claimed the “potential” of Catalonia in terms of innovation and research and has recalled that its Executive had also held recent meetings with those responsible for the company. They met with the CEO at the booth of the firm at the Mobile World Congress and on October 19 Aragonès met with Mark Patterson, vice president of the multinational and Andreu Vilamitjana, the general manager in Spain.
One of the determining factors for Cisco’s final decision was the presence in the Catalan capital of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, which, among its many projects, coordinates an initiative to develop a European open source chip.