Each year, ACCIÓ supports more than 27,000 clients and assists them with more than 16,700 projects with the aim of strengthening the competitiveness of the Catalan economy. Through the different programmes, an investment of more than 900 million euros has been mobilised by Catalan companies in 2020.
Through ACCIÓ’s network of Trade and Investment Offices, more than 1,970 projects are managed to support Catalan companies as they enter foreign markets. In addition to consolidating their international presence, the offices enable them to find new partners and technology suppliers to carry out R&D projects, to develop new products or services or to export their own technology.
In the field of international business, 518.7 million euros have been mobilised in exports, through projects managed by ACCIÓ, which have enabled the creation of more than 1,572 jobs in Catalonia. Moreover, it should be noted that 6.6% of regular exporting companies in Catalonia went through ACCIÓ in 2020 to expand or consolidate their international presence.
In this area as well, and regarding digitalisation, it should be emphasised that the International eTrade programme was launched at the end of 2020. This initiative allows companies to take advantage of digital channels to expand international sales through awareness-raising, advice and support in the implementation of an international online strategy.
On the other hand, in the field of technological transformation and disruption, ACCIÓ provides services to more than 7,800 clients a year in initiatives such as support for collaborative projects in R&D, knowledge transfer between companies, technology centres, universities and other innovation agents; support for SMEs' access to innovation or support for startups during their growth, consolidation and internationalisation process.
Given the importance of promoting innovation as one of the drivers of competitiveness, ACCIÓ has recently launched programmes, such as Catalonia Exponential, ProACCIÓ 4.0 and ProACCIÓ Green to address the major current challenges of digitalisation and sustainability.
It is precisely these two challenges that should guide the policies of the coming years through the Next Generation EU Funds. In this sense, ACCIÓ has launched the Next Generation Office with the aim of maximising the return of these European funds to Catalan companies.
In terms of attracting foreign investment, 77 projects materialised in 2020, mobilising more than 479.3 million euros and contributing to the creation of 2,278 new jobs as well as the maintenance of an additional 1,144 jobs. As regards impact, 166 euros were attracted for every public euro in the budget.
Finally, another of the mechanisms that ACCIÓ makes available to companies to improve their competitiveness are clusters. At present, the Catalunya Clústers programme boasts 24 associated clusters, groups 2,300 companies and has a combined turnover of 69 billion euros.