This week, meetings were held between the CNTA Governing Council and the AIDISA (FUDin by Ctic Cita) Board of Directors, which approved the creation of a working group to analyse in detail a possible process of integration of the two centres and, if necessary, take the decision to present this option to the Governing Bodies at the end of 2023. The integration would take place at the beginning of 2024.
The agri-food sector is a structural and strategic sector for the Spanish economy, with one of its focal points in the Ebro Valley. This sector, like others, faces major challenges in the coming decades and innovation and technological development are key to being able to face them with certain guarantees. It will be necessary to promote a more sustainable food system, the demand for personalised nutritional solutions integrating the concept of food and health, as well as the objectives of digital transformation, sustainability, food safety, circular economy, new alternative protein sources and changes in consumer habits.
FUDin by Ctic Cita and CNTA involve leading companies with a vocation to contribute to driving the necessary changes in the sector. In this context of transformation of the sector, Technology Centres play a critical role and are no exception to the identified need to gain size in order to be able to compete and support the identified challenges with solvency.
In recent years, both in Spain and in Europe, integration processes of technology centres have been taking place, such as TECNALIA in the Basque Country, EURECAT in Catalonia or IDONIAL in Asturias, which have given way to larger entities, a fundamental aspect for developing their activity and competing in highly demanding and global environments, which demand integral solutions to the technological challenges required by companies and regions.
The union of both centres will be a pioneering experience in Spain, being the first case that integrates Technology Centres located in two different Autonomous Communities, such as La Rioja and Navarra, to decisively promote technological support to a commonly strategic sector and thus become the epicentre of the transformation of the Agri-Food sector in Spain.
The complementarity and synergies between the two centres will be used to generate the first private technology centre specialising in the agri-food sector in Spain and with great potential to be among the first in Europe, becoming a benchmark centre in fermentation technologies, alternative proteins and texturization; and food preservation, as well as in supporting the emerging Foodtech ecosystem.
In a preliminary study, by the year 2030, the future Centre is expected to have revenues of €30m, with 300 highly qualified professionals. A significant volume of investment of around €30m would be considered, both in talent and technological equipment, retaining the existing talent in both organisations and maintaining the current work centres (San Adrián, Pamplona, Madrid, Logroño, Alesón and Calahorra) and workforce.
This growth will undoubtedly result in being a focus of attraction for new companies and projects, as well as the creation of highly qualified employment in line with the evolution of the primary sector and rural development.