04/09/2017
AutoRevista
Galicia innovates to boost the automotive industry
The BFA initiative arose with the objective of identifying specialised projects in the automotive industry. The BFA initiative arose with the objective of identifying specialised projects in the automotive industry.// FOTO: Grupo PSA

Like with other key sectors for the Galician economy, the Xunta supports and promotes different initiatives so that the automotive industry aligns with the new trends currently transforming the sector. Perhaps the most emblematic, even for its name, is Business Factory Auto (BFA), in collaboration with the Vigo Free Trade Zone Consortium and the Galician Automotive Cluster Foundation (CEAGA). Also, with the backing of Grupo PSA, which in June gave backing once again to the second round of this project. The BFA initiative arose with the objective of identifying, accelerating and consolidating specialised projects in the automotive industry and their transformation in viable innovative companies that attract and retain talent.

The councillor of Economy, Employment and Industry, Francisco Conde, notes that “this accelerator is confirmation of how the dynamic industry as a whole, automotive parts companies and knowledge centres work starting from each stock unit to put the Galician automotive industry at the helm of European innovation. It allows Galicia to situate itself at the forefront of technological transition”.

In its second edition a maximum of ten projects were selected, each one of which is endowed with 375,000 euros of public funding for an initial phase of acceleration and a second one of consolidation.
The BFA belongs to the Galician Accelerator Network launched by the Xunta and through which 500 projects have been developed over the last four years leading to the mobilisation of 14 million euros.

Industry 4.0 and training

The Xunta’s commitment to innovation, Industry 4.0 and training, in accordance with the sector, is also expressed in the eight Mixed Research Units that are being developed in the Galician automotive industry; in the 21 innovation projects that are being implemented through the Conecta Pyme project; or the pilot project 4.0 headed by CEAGA to situate the supply industry at the forefront of future manufacturing.

In this line of work, the Programa ReAcciona TIC, which is focused on the automotive industry for the development of the digital economy and the incorporation of solutions 4.0 for S&MEs, or the recent allocation of eight million euros as aid to continue supporting the exports of Galician enterprises, which have registered record numbers, exceeding the 20,000 million euro mark for the first time with growth of 6.4% for 2016, are also notable.

For the next two years, the Xunta will earmark more than 175 million euros to the so-called Galician Industry 4.0 Programme, 22% more than in the previous period, with the aim of implementing more than around thirty actions that will be completed with the proposals of representatives from the Galician industrial sector. During the first two years of this programme, actions worth 143 million euros were promoted, 19% more than what was initially planned, benefiting 4,200 companies, creating 11,500 industrial jobs and mobilising 342 million euros.

Finally, the President of the Xunta de Galicia, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, pushed forward a specific sectorial plan to support training in the Galician automotive sector in the first half of 2017 - “A training plan for the automotive industry and especially for the parts industry to improve employment in accordance with the necessary objectives”.

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