The Tenerife’s candidacy is going to have tough competition when choosing to be Headquarters of the Spanish Space and Artificial Intelligence Supervision agencies. The option of the Cabildo will have to overcome 16 other territories in the first case and 17 in the second. Last Friday, all the groups of the insular institution supported working together on the idea of hosting the entity that supervises at the national level the discipline that tries to replicate human intelligence through computers. Of the two options, this is the most consolidated in terms of projects and strengths Barcelona, which announced that it was running two days ago, and Alicante seem to be the main rivals.
On October 5, the orders announcing the report of an advisory Commission created to promote these initiatives of the Government of Spain were published in the Official State Gazette (BOE). The deadline for submitting applications ends next Monday, November 7. The forecast is that in the first quarter of next year both physical locations will already be chosen, in addition to having begun the initial operational phase.
Among the requirements of the National Executive to host these venues are the existence of a High Speed Train station -or its equivalent in the island territories- nearby, an international airport less than an hour away, quality hotels in the surroundings and relatively close dynamic universities. The facilities would occupy more than 3,000 square meters and about 70 people would work in them. For both agencies, the determination of the headquarters will be made according to the principles of structuring, territorial balance and adaptation to the activity sector. It will be valued that the candidatures present a report from the autonomous community supporting their suitability.
Barcelona and Salamanca, just a few days ago, and Zaragoza, last week, are the latest cities that have announced their candidacy to host the State Agency for the Supervision of the Artificial Agency (Aesia). Along with the Catalan, charro or Aragonese capitals and the Island of Tenerife, A Coruña, Santiago de Compostela, Orense, La Rioja, Palma de Mallorca, Burgos, Ávila, Segovia, Valencia, Alicante, Alcoi, Granada and Gijón are applicants. Spain will become the first country in the European Union with a State Agency in this field. It will be valued to have a business and university ecosystem, both for training and research, related to Artificial Intelligence.
The County City.
The plenary session of the Barcelona City Council approved last Friday, unanimously, to present the candidacy of the Catalan capital for the physical headquarters of the future Spanish Agency for the Supervision of Artificial Intelligence (AI). The proposal expresses “the city’s interest in promoting an ethical model of Artificial Intelligence and in contributing from Barcelona and its institutions to leading the European model of technological development.” Barcelona has an ecosystem made up of more than 180 companies that work in this sector, with a turnover of 1,350 million euros and 8,500 workers. During the plenary session, it was argued that the city has one of the “most powerful” ecosystems in Europe in terms of technological innovation. Barcelona argues that it already hosts initiatives with the same purpose, such as the Digital Future Society (DFS) and the Mobile World Capital Barcelona (MWC).
The plenary session of the Alicante Council approved, also last Friday, the official presentation of Alicante’s candidacy as the headquarters of the Aesia. Under the slogan Alicante Suma, the Consell will focus on Artificial Intelligence through a “robust and inclusive” candidacy, with which citizens feel identified. Alicante claims to meet all the requirements, from the ease of connections and infrastructures, to a strong university system specialized in the subject, or a powerful business network. It will be a hard nut to crack as the structural framework of its offer is already well advanced.
The ‘space race’.
The space race has begun in Spain. Not to reach other planets, but to be the headquarters of the Spanish Space Agency. The last city to sign up was Murcia’s San Javier, which has had the General Air Academy for 80 years. The list is completed, in addition to Gran Canaria and Tenerife, by Seville, Tres Cantos (Madrid), Teruel, Huelva, Cebreros (Avila), Robledo de Chabela (Madrid), León, Puertollano (Ciudad Real), Jaén, Fuente de Oliva ( León), Guadalajara, Segovia, Ciudad Real, Cabanillas del Campo (Guadalajara) and Elche (Alicante).
From history to the sun.
The reasons for hosting are very varied. Thus, Gran Canaria draws from history with “six decades of relationship with space”. He points out that in 1969 the Maspalomas station was one of those that received the words of Neil Armstrong taking his first steps on the moon. The 300 days a year of “climate bonanza”, the missions and tests carried out, taxation and the maritime zone are other weighty arguments. For its part, Seville boasts a business muscle, a tradition linked to the aeronautical sector since the last century, tourism and a technology park with many companies in the sector. Tres Cantos, known as Madrid’s Silicon Valley, is based on its strategic location and Teruel turns secular depopulation upside down to point to this process as an opportunity to alleviate aging and the loss of inhabitants. Lastly, Huelva appeals to its 3,500 annual hours of sunshine and to the fact that NASA has been studying the environment of the Río Tinto and its cyanobacteria for years to prepare for the exploration of Mars. Each one shows its own.