Inside Spain’s Andalucía, in the south of the country, you will find Malaga. As one of Spain’s most important cities (and a former part of the Kingdom of Granada), it has a lot of tourist attractions, such as Malaga’s cathedral and Malaga’s museum, the Alcazaba, the Picasso Malaga Museum and the Gibralfaro’s castle among many others. Although perhaps lesser known, Malaga’s Tech Park is also highly important. But why is that? Here we propose a guide.
What is a Tech Park?
Also goes by the names “university research park”, “technopark” or “technopole” and “technology park” or “science and technology park”. It can be considered a closed neighborhood, yet it is not the usual town you know. Though you can find everything you would in any street, such as residential homes and residential facilities (recreational, educational, hospitals, to name a few), a Tech Park is characterized by the large presence of Information Technology buildings (those who combine the work at Information Technology, Information Technology Enabled Services and Communications Technology with the business factor). That is to say: companies aim to nucleate many offices, laboratories and supporting buildings to develop technology and science in a reduced area. Thus, having both work and home in a space of a few blocks, they can focalize and invest money on developments and research (the close bond to universities is also essential). Therefore, they reflect what is known as the “knowledge economy”, in which governments, universities and companies work alongside. This activity is meant to draw the attention of investors and it aims to make possible the setup of new businesses, for startups can find a fertile ground to rise.
Malaga Tech Park: an introduction
First conceived in 1985 as a core of Andalucia’s and Malaga’s technological dynamization in order to boost industry, it opened its doors in 1992 as Technology Park of Andalusia (Parque Tecnológico de Andalucía or PTA) in the district of Campanillas. In 1998 it became a part of Spain’s Scientific and Technologic Park Association. Its 2.000.000 square meters house a large amount of offices related to the Communication and Information Technology. Some of the main fields it covers are Electronics, Information, Computing and Telecomunication (all of the former are included in the category “Information Technology”) and Engineering. It also provides law facilities for consultation and advice. Over 600 enterprises, over a 100 startups and over 60 foreign companies reside here. It also holds a close relation to Malaga’s University, for one of its aims include research’s development.
Since it was first opened, it has made a significant difference in the job market by offering numerous possibilities, as well as an economic upraise and impact in Spain’s economy. Its weather (warm yet not too hot, with little rain percentage), its comfortable buildings and facilities (not only golf courses, but also highly valued schools and universities) and its great health system, makes it one of the main targets when choosing a place to work and live.
From its origins, it valued connections with foreign entities. Some of the multinational companies that reside here are Ericson, IBM, CGI and Huawei. Even considering it already had a strong connection with the rest of the world (its inhabitants come from over 100 different countries), as of 2020, it changed its name to “Malaga TechPark” in order to achieve further international projection and identification with Malaga. Though their educational system is mostly international, it is advisable for those who wish to live there to learn Spanish Malaga. If you look towards a deep understanding of the local language, click here.
Why is it so important?
Besides the economic and technological boost it has given to both Malaga and Spain (nowadays, its over 620 organizations and its over 20000 workers make a profit of over 2 billion euros), as we have previously named, it has helped Malaga to be seen internationally as a tech hub, which is a community that promotes innovation for technology companies. Recently, Google has announced the opening of new offices in the city. This made several other companies start thinking about moving to Malaga as well, which is likely to increase the 10000 tech jobs that are currently held in the area.
Furthermore, the recent launching of Malaga WorkBay has helped attract remote workers and digital nomads (people who work online in several locations). This area was always a highly valued tourist destination and it is also referred to as Costa del Sol (Sun Coast), mainly characterized for its average of 20 degrees of temperature, its scarce rain percentage and its beaches. It does not fall short on varieties of local cuisine and, as we stated, its large cultural offer (from contemporary museums to moor castles). After the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced people to work from home, workers discovered they could choose where to work from and companies also started moving to more comfortable locations, which put Malaga, where the business environment meets the holiday view, in the international eye. Malaga WorkBay means to help people change their lifestyle by aiding them to live in Costa del Sol. They offer information about work spaces, accommodation and any other assistance they require. In some cases, the province itself offers free accommodation to digital nomads and helps them with their Visa. This kind of approach to business and the increase in both companies and remote workers that inhabit here, has also helped develop coworking, where different teams from different companies converge in a single space. Promalaga Workspace was developed as a way to encourage these new ways of working and its workers. The overall frame makes that whatever the park generates impacts favorably in the regional economy and it is expected to keep growing.
Malaga and Malaga TechPark have survived many economic crises and are now regarded as an island of innovation that keeps drawing global attention. Their international cultural patchwork is raising the importance of learning the local language. If you are aiming to move to Costa del Sol, remember to look for Spanish Language Schools beforehand.