The Asturian industrial network has undergone a major transformation and advanced services are taking on a greater role
Next Monday, October 26th, starts the 6th International Forum of the ICT Sector, turning Asturias into the epicentre of this industry. For three days, the participating companies will publicise their potential as generators of innovative projects and solutions, analyse the opportunities offered by the market and exchange successful experiences in different areas.
Industry 4.0, robotics, tourism intelligence, virtual reality or health will be some of the topics developed during the presentations of the Forum, which will highlight the enormous evolution that the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector in Asturias has undergone in recent years, as well as its potential for growth and attracting investment.
The Asturian industrial fabric has experienced a major transformation and advanced services have taken on a greater role. In this new economic reality, the ICT sector deserves a special mention. Asturias has both Spanish and foreign companies that have located in the region especially in the last decade, and their contribution to employment in the sector is very important.
Employment in the ICT Sector in Asturias
In Asturias in 2017, there were 863 companies belonging to the ICT sector (those whose main activity is linked to the development, production and intensive use of information and communication technologies). They employed 7,333 workers and had a turnover that year of more than 900 million euros.
53.65% of these 863 companies that made up the ICT sector in Asturias were in the field of programming, consultancy and other computer-related activities.
One year later, in 2018, the number of employees in the ICT sector in Asturias experienced an increase of 9% over the previous year, reaching 7,997, according to the latest available data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE), published in June 2020. In the period 2008-2018, there was an increase of 23% in the volume of employment generated in this sector (1,500 jobs).
Optical fibre and 5G in Asturias
Asturias has an excellent telecommunications infrastructure and is accelerating the implementation of optical fibre throughout the region. This expansion of fibre will reach Asturians through the power lines. The government of the Principality recently announced an investment of 12.5 million Euros in networks and expects that 97% of the population will have access to broadband by 2021.
Furthermore, our region will end 2020 with one of the highest 5G mobile phone coverage in Spain, according to Telefónica’s plans: by December, 31st., 84% of the Asturian population will be covered, nine points more than the 75% expected on average for the country as a whole, according to the company.
ICT innovation and university training
Asturias also has internationally renowned institutions and R&D&I centres, such as the Information and Telecommunications Technology Centre (CTIC). The CTIC is the headquarters for Spain and Latin America of the W3C (World Wide Web) consortium, the most important international body in terms of Internet standardisation.
Another outstanding entity is the ICT Cluster, one of the organisers of the Forum, which brings together around fifty companies representing approximately 2,500 jobs with the aim of collaborating on projects that will enable them to consolidate their position as a sector with a regional identity.
In addition, the University of Oviedo offers various degrees related to the ICT sector, including university masters in Web Engineering, Automation and Industrial Engineering, Computer Engineering, Telecommunications Engineering and Materials Science and Technology.