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Study presentation | Stepping up the green and digital transition in Europe

Tuesday October 17, 2023, from 17:30 to 19:00
Auditorium. Roger de Llúria building. Campus Ciutadella UPF

▶️ The full event is available in video here
📸 Access the pictures of the event here

Catalonia is Spain’s leading region in the development of green and digital technologies. Catalonia and Madrid together account for 60% of the country’s recently developed patents in future technologies like 3-D printing, cloud computing, cybersecurity, and advanced materials. However, there is also substantial untapped potential to develop new green and digital technologies in other Spanish regions. For example, the regions of Valencia and Andalusia exhibit capabilities needed to develop green and digital technologies despite being economically weaker.  

For Spain to excel in the twin transition, it will be important to leverage the untapped potential in all regions. Bridging complementary capabilities by establishing collaborations between leading regions such as Catalonia and Madrid with other regions is crucial to accelerate the development of new technologies. When establishing collaborations between regions, economically lagging regions should be included to not only unleash the untapped potential of technological capabilities in these regions, but also to provide them opportunities to catch up economically. 

This is one conclusion from the study Technological capabilities and the twin transition in Europe produced by the Bertelsmann Stiftung and written by Thomas Schwab (Bertelsmann Stiftung), Ron Boschma (Utrecht University & Stavanger University), Julia Bachtrögler-Unger (WIFO-Austrian Institute of Economic Research) and Pierre-Alexandre Balland (University of Utrecht). The study profiles the capabilities of 288 European NUTS-2 regions to develop 42 technologies necessary to master the twin transition. It also highlights the importance of inter-regional collaboration in the development of new technologies and illustrates where there is untapped potential for collaboration across the EU. 

At this hybrid event, renowned international experts in the digital and green transition and regional economic development will discuss questions such as:

  • How has Catalonia become a leading region in twin transition technologies (as reflected in our study and in other sources)?  
  • What cooperation strategies are in place to connect it with other Spanish and European regions?  
  • What can be done to close the innovation gap between Spain’s top technology regions and the rest? 
  • Why is it important to foster regional collaboration across the EU?  
  • Why is it important to also support less developed regions in Spain in developing green and digital technologies? 

This event is organized by the Bertelsmann Stiftung, the Fundación Bertelsmann and IBEI.


17:30 Welcome words 

  • Jacint Jordana, Director of Institut Barcelona d'Estudis Internacionals (IBEI) and Professor of Political Science and Administration at Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF).
  • Clara Bassols, Director at Fundación Bertelsmann  
  • Meritxell Serret, Regional Minister for External Action and EU Affairs, Government of Catalonia

17.45 Introduction to the Europe's Future Programme & presentation of the study Technological capabilities and the Twin Transition in Europe: Opportunities for Regional Collaboration and Economic Cohesion  

  • Malte Tim Zabel, Co-director, Europe’s Future Programme, Bertelsmann Stiftung
  • Nathan Crist, Project Manager, Europe’s Economy, Bertelsmann Stiftung

18:00 A discussion with experts on the green and digital transition

  • Aina Gallego, Associate Professor at Universitat de Barcelona and Senior Research Associate at IBEI.
  • Andrea Noferini, Academic Director at CEI, International Affairs (CEI-UB), Adjunct Lecturer at Universitat Pompeu Fabra and Affiliate Faculty at IBEI.
  • Genís Roca, Technology Expert. Founder and president of RocaSalvatella, president of the Fundació puntCAT and Director of the postgraduate course in Digital Transformation of Organizations at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Moderator: Vicent Climent-Ferrando, Fundación Bertelsmann

18:20 Open discussion 
18:40 Closing words  

  • Malte Tim Zabel, Co-director, Europe’s Future Programme, Bertelsmann Stiftung

18:45 Networking Cocktail