The counselor for the Ecological Transition and Sustainability of the Junta de Extremadura, Olga García García, has highlighted that renewable energies are a great leg of the funds in her intervention in the first month held at the Next Generation Fund Conference that held this morning in Cáceres organized by elEconomista and sponsored by Extremadura Avante, Ibercaja and Ingenostrum, which is currently taking place in Cáceres. The counselor has revealed that at this time Extremadura has already been granted 105 million of the funds.
Extremadura companies and institutions that have analyzed the arrival of European money have also participated in the table: Mario Celdrán, executive director of Phi4TeCH, Miguel Bernal Carrión, general director of Extremadura Avante, Miguel Ángel Leal, president of AEEF, Mónica Tierno, of Agrupación of Cooperativas del Valle del Jerte, and Roberto Ledesma, director of the Ibercaja Extremadura y Sur territorial area.
Olga García, counselor for the Ecological Transition and Sustainability of the Junta de Extremadura , one of the great legs of the Next Generation EU funds and the flagship project of the Junta. They define three growth points: digital transformation, sustainability and equal opportunities, with spectacular growth.
Olga García highlighted “the relevance of the green component in recovery funds”. “The ecological transition becomes the main axis of recovery, a disruptive element, a new lever for growth.”
For this growth to the greatest crisis in a century, the Minister of Ecological Transition and Sustainability speaks of “structural reforms” thanks to the historical response that Europe raises. “The funds deserve an intelligent execution and at the height of the moment,” says García, who also claims to be living a vibrant moment in his concierge.
“The short and medium-term future of growth in Extremadura goes through renewable energies, in addition to the implementation of mechanisms to deal with climate change,” says García. “We are intensively deploying photovoltaic technologies, and also promoting energy savings,” he says.
In the long term, Extremadura speaks in 2030 with the climate agenda that they presented this June. “Recovery funds come at a time when Extremadura is underway, so the funds are a guide for us to comply with our policies and develop our strategies. We must value the investment role of European funds in our region and its role of dynamism for employment, as well as to face the demographic challenge present in our region “, affirms the counselor.
“Traditional technologies, such as nuclear or hydroelectric, have contributed to the growth of Extremadura and could even have done more. Now we see renewable energy as an opportunity for the future”, a resounding sentence Olga García, who speaks of the “optimism” of the arrival of funds.
Equitable distribution and by projects, not territorial
Miguel Bernal Carrión is the CEO of Extremadura Avante, a group of public companies whose objective is to advise Extremadura companies in emerging productive sectors to help industrialization. “The Junta de Extremadura has a tool, Avante, whose objective is for Extremadura to have more and better companies in our community. This is related to the opportunity that is being given to us at the moment with European funds.”
It is a group with a high value in the region, in the words of Bernal Carrión, “in 2019, the last year of pre-academic normality, in Extremadura Avante we analyzed investment projects worth 140 million euros that requested Extremadura Avante’s action: investment , industrial land, help to internationalize ??. Companies passed by that were going to invest that money in a year. Today,
“Personally, I have been very happy that there is no territorial distribution. There will not be. In Extremadura, in the month of September we began to see how other communities began to create offices to select projects with the funds that arrived territorialized. first moment here we were clear that there would be no territorialization of the funds and we bet that there would not be.
I want someone from Extremadura to compete on equal terms with a man from Navarra “, said the general director of Extremadura Avante, betting on a distribution by projects and criticizing territorialization.
Miguel Bernal: “I want someone from Extremadura to compete on equal terms with a man from Navarra”
They emphasize the importance of the arrival of European money. “The volume and intensity of investments in this region has multiplied by ten. Of course it has to do with the opportunity of European funds.” The general director of Extremadura Avante speaks of a “completely historic” decision for Europe “due to the volume of aid and the mutualisation of risk, of debt”. He does not mince words and says that “Extremadura is going to take advantage of this great opportunity”
The funds will be of great help to Spain as a country and Extremadura as a region. Talk about realities, development, projects and investment. Everything is in the hands of Extremadura, for Bernal Carrión: “It is up to us to take advantage of the arrival of European funds. From the magnificent entrepreneurs.”
Avante operates in a diversified manner, from the agri-food sector to energy, vehicles or the services sector. Even so, Bernal Carrión advocates a productive transformation of Extremadura and justifies it in the metal and chemical industry. “Fortunately we have diversified our production,” he says, to conclude with the “optimism” generated by the arrival of Next Generation EU funds to Extremadura.
Mario Celdrán, executive director of Phi4Tech , a Castilian- Manchegan company that has bet big on Extremadura with the creation of the first factory of cells for lithium batteries thanks to the Cañaveral mine, as well as another project in Cáceres. Celdrán talks about his commitment to Extremadura and the opportunity of Next Generation funds .
“We are going to opt for the funds as the main actor in projects of the PERTE of the electric car,” says Celdrán, in order to receive the European manna. His business group is dedicated to the research of nanomaterials, especially those related to storage. He talks about the situation in the region and says that “when a company like us chooses a site, we want there to be agility and ease in procedures to be recognized.
Mario Celdrán: “We are going to apply for the funds as the main actor in PERTE electric car projects”
They began to develop the lithium cell project before the pandemic and emphasize the seriousness and rigor of their company. In the funds and their work they see “a very important milestone, since Extremadura is the largest lithium producer in Europe . ”
They must adapt and transform to compete outside the region. “Geopolitics forces you to integrate the supply chain to compete with producers from South Korea or China. Transport has become more expensive and when you analyze to do a long-term project, because we want to create industry, the one that lithium is nearby is a very relevant plus point “.
The transformation is linked to sustainability. “We chose the sustainability of rail transport, it is very relevant in addition to having access to the ports of Lisbon or Huelva,” he says, justifying the location in Extremadura, ensuring that they take into account “geopolitics, sustainability and the location of lithium.” Extremadura’s support is total for Celdrán: “The community is sincere, because on this side you want clarity and certainty for the project to work.”
The family business is also represented in the forum organized by elEconomista . Miguel Ángel Leal, president of AEEF (Extremadura Association of Family Business), attaches great importance to training and reindustrialization, as well as the transformation of the region.
“The change is being made. I represent 91 partners with more than 300 companies in the region and we have a lot to say and contribute to the region. In the European funds we see they have the same spirit as AEEF: viable, quality projects, reinforcement of training, territorial adhesion and wealth creation in that territory. The family business also thinks that it is an opportunity that we must take advantage of because it is not something magical. We have to create viable and quality projects in the long term, “says Leal, showing the AEEF’s opinion.
Miguel Ángel Leal: “In the European funds we see they have the same spirit as AEEF”
Leal, from AEEF, talks about the need for concretion to materialize the arrival of the funds and take advantage of them, although he is optimistic. “We have a unique opportunity to write another Extremadura, but we must materialize it . I am convinced that it will be used, but from the point of view that we must work on it,” he says in this newspaper’s forum. In addition, he adds to all without exception:
“The big projects and the small ones are parallel paths that drive the entire region, including the emptied part.” Fernández Vara, president of Extremadura, spoke of a groundbreaking spirit, and Leal believes that the business mentality in Extremadura is changing and gives exports as examples.
From agri-food to financial support
Mónica Tierno, general director Agrupación de Cooperativas del Valle del Jerte , as a representative of the agri-food sector, talks about the transformation of the sector. “It is my turn to vindicate the agri-food sector and, in turn, I believe that it benefits us that all sectors are strong in the region.” In addition, it claims the value of agri-food, which Tierno says has not stopped and also “have adapted.” Extremadura also claim to contribute “the fixation of the territory in our region with the various 15 cooperatives.”
Mónica Tierno: “Agri-food has adapted and hasn’t stopped from day one”
“Our cluster is an important transformation center. We have a large annual investment in machinery to combine the tradition of the field with industrial transformation,” he says, speaking of a great milestone for European funds. In addition to industrial transformation there is climate change.
Agri-food is a “vulnerable” sector that “depends on the weather and we are concerned about the uncertainty generated by climate change, the provocation and opportunity of resources generates doubts,” according to the general director based in the Jerte Valley.
Of course, celebrate the arrival of the funds. “We believe that they are positive, but we consider that the speech is translated in how to take advantage of the resources”. They are already at work and have “different projects that we believe will fit well with the line of funds and it would be positive to carry them out.” One of them, a great challenge: that of digitization: “We see as a challenge the speed with which it will be carried out, as a medium-sized company we see a difficulty”
Roberto Ledesma, director of the Ibercaja Extremadura y Sur territorial area, talks about the Next Generation opportunity . As a bank and private sector, it will support investment during this time. “Our purpose as a company is to be part of the lives of people and companies, and that is how we understand European funds. We must have a strategy of being facilitators, being the solution.”
Roberto Ledesma: “Our purpose is to be part of the lives of people and companies, and that is how we understand European funds”
“With Next Generation we have four objectives, first informational in events like this. Second, we have to be useful in events that we believe provide added value and interest . Third, transparency, we feel that we are an important actor in Extremadura, but we cannot enter into all projects because we are a national medium-sized company. Finally, rigorously, “says Ledesma, representative of the bank in this forum.
“We have to try to be an actor that helps turn the project into reality,” he says, assuring the role that Ibercaja Extremadura y Sur hopes to have in the medium term.
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