City of Malaga, Spain - An entrepreneurial smart city

Malaga, Spain, is a Mediterranean city characterised by its wonderful climate, beautiful natural light, extraordinary sunrises and sunsets, the hospitality of its people and 3,000 years of history - but also for being a smart city with an innovative surrounding ecosystem.

With a metropolitan population of 1.1 million (8 % foreign), it is a dynamic southern-European hub and the gateway to the famous Costa del Sol tourist destination.

Malaga has one of the highest GDP growth rates since 2000 and is the third highest-ranking province in Andalusia and Spain in terms of overall growth. Malaga's economic growth was 3.5% in 2015 and 3% in 2016.

We have branded our innovative ecosystem as "Malaga Valley". The most notable aspects of Malaga Valley are:

  • Andalusian Technological Park (PTA) - home to 626 companies and 16,774 workers
  • Smart City pilot projects developed by multinational companies such as Endesa's SmartGrid project and the electric vehicle scheme Zero Emissions Mobility To All (ZEM2All)
  • University of Malaga - the educational facility is home to 37,000 students, the Samsung Tech Institute, and nano-medicine and biotechnology centers, all of which concentrate knowledge and develop qualified people
  • Extensive network of business incubators and accelerators consisting of 14 facilities with a total capacity for more than 300 startups.
  • More than 15 international schools employing the educational systems of the UK, France, Germany, Norway, Finland, Sweden and other countries.
  • Experimental Urban Laboratory where companies can work side-by-side with the city's engineers to test, certify and demonstrate new services and technologies within the Smart City concept.
  • The first Spanish National Digital Content hub. A centre for excellence equipped with the latest 3D animation, virtual reality and graphic design technologies.

Local success stories include Aertec Solutions, Agapea, Freepik, Mayoral Tiendanimal and Uptodown. In 2010, the multinational Ericsson was searching for the best telecommunications optimisation technology in the world and bought Optimi, a company founded in Malaga. Twenty-four years ago, local engineers created AT4 Wireless, which became a world-leading testing and certification laboratory serving the telecommunications and electricity sector. Lastly, eight local entrepreneurs hit the jackpot in 2012 when they sold their company, VirusTotal, to Google.

Malaga-Costa del Sol international airport is the fourth busiest in Spain, exceeding 16 million passengers in 2016 and serving 133 destinations. The main destinations in volume are the UK, Germany and France, which represent 85% of the international traffic in Andalusia. The new runway and terminal T3 have capacity for 35 million passengers a year in the future.

Ultimately, Malaga as a business location can add tremendous value to a company by lowering overall operating costs at the same time as rewarding employees with a high quality of life. Malaga is an excellent nearshoring destination.

  • According to the latest information published by the Spanish Tax Agency, the average annual salary in Malaga province is 17.53% lower than the average annual salary in Spain. Malaga's labour market offers a variety of highly qualified professionals who have been educated and trained in the area.
  • Consumer prices in Malaga are 39.93% lower than in London and 17.84% lower than in Madrid.
  • Local purchasing power in Malaga is 16.26% higher than in London and 19.48% higher than in Madrid.
  • Rental prices in Malaga are 75.05% lower than in London and 39.21% lower than in Madrid.
  • The Andalusian region is still classified as a "1 Objective: Developing Region"; therefore, EU funds are more readily available in Malaga. Thus, access to European grant programmes for new business projects are increasing. Currently, Malaga is eligible for the Funds of the Politics of Regional Development and Cohesion (FEDER, FSE, FEADER y FEMP) for the period 2014-2020.

The city is the birthplace of the great painter Pablo Picasso and the international actor Antonio Banderas. Malaga boasts an extensive network of more than 30 museums including: the museum and the birthplace of Pablo Picasso; Centre Pompidou in Malaga, the Collection from the Russian Museum of Art in St Petersburg; the Carmen Thyssen Museum and the Contemporary Art Centre.

In conclusion, Malaga has all the amenities of a major European capital without traffic congestion, pollution or stress. Low operating and living costs juxtaposed with a culturally dynamic and internationally well-connected city with an excellent work-life balance make Malaga an ideal place to live, work and invest in.

For information, please contact us. The City Council has a duty to advise and assist foreign companies and offers a variety of soft landing services.

Contact Details

Productive Economy Department
City of Malaga
Paseo Antonio Machado, 12
29002 Malaga
+34 (0)951 929 079
[email protected]

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