Madrid is the centre for research, innovation and technology in Spain assuming 26% of Spain’s R&D&I outlays and 23% of the research-related professionals (INE, R&D&I activity statistics). It provides the ideal conditions for development in these sectors:
The Spanish aerospace sector is concentrated in Madrid’s metropolitan area (Madrid Aerospace Cluster).
of the aeronautical sector
of the space sector
As only a few key companies make up this aerospace sector, it draws suppliers to Madrid including assembly, materials, engines, communications, controlling, simulation, satellites, maintenance, etc. European giant Airbus has plants in the greater area of Madrid contributing to both civil (such as A350) and military (such as Eurofighter) aircraft production providing a strong boost to the industry.
In Madrid, aerospace businesses can find partners for almost every niche of the sector and every type of activity such as research, manufacturing or marketing.
The public sector is also important, with research centers such as Aerospace Technology National Institute (INTA), which is very active in the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) field, or IMDEA Materials.
The main global telecommunications companies are located in the capital and its surrounding area. Madrid is a digital society: 85% of homes have some kind of computer, 88.3% of those with internet access, and 98.6% of residents have mobile phones.
Telefonica manages its global operations from its Madrid headquarters (Distrito Telefónica), and other European operators are based here such as Vodafone, BT (which has a great innovation center) and Orange. Some of the largest international telecommunications manufacturers (Samsung, Alcatel-Lucent, Motorola, Nokia Networks, Huawei or Ericsson) are present in Madrid, as well as Apple which has its largest European store in the city centre.
Spain is a global leader in renewable energy, which represents 57% of the total energy generated in the country (Red Eléctrica de España, statistics series).
In Madrid, 35% of all generated energy comes from renewable sources.
Spain holds the 4th position in Europe for renewable energy generation, and the 4th worldwide for per capita capacity. The main energy companies in Spain have their headquarters in Madrid (Endesa, Iberdrola, Gas Natural Fenosa, Repsol).
Madrid is home to a large range of business associations including APPA (renewable energies), UNEF (photovoltaic), AEE (eolian), UNESA (electric industry), AOP (oil industry), Protermosolar (solar thermal), as well as the main public bodies (Markets and Competition National Commission, CNMC) and Energy Diversification and Saving Institute (IDAE) which have their head offices in Madrid.
All municipal facilities work with 100% renewable electricity and the number of recharge points for electric cars is increasing throughout the city. The city council has defined a roadmap to phase out all polluting energy sources for 2030.
Within Spain, Madrid is is a core biotechnology center representing 24% of the total R&D&I expense (INE–ASEBIO) and providing talent to the sector: 21% of the Spanish biotech researchers are located in Madrid, as well as 20% of the sector’s employees. In 2016 almost 1,000 students obtained degrees related to Biotech and/or Biology (Ministry of Education), that is, 18% of the Spanish graduates in these areas that year.
In 2014, Spain ranked 3rd in Europe for the size of its composites sector, just behind Germany and France. Most members of the Composite Materials Spanish Association (AEMAC), which are mainly research groups, are from Madrid. The city also hosts the Composite Spain fair, which is the industry’s main trade event in Spain.
The aerospace cluster in Madrid gives a boost to new materials research notably through Airbus and FIDAMC, a R&D foundation. Many of the research centres are located in Madrid including the Materials Microanalysis Center in Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, the Structural Materials Research Center in Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and other university centers like the National Metallurgical Research Center or the Madrid Science Materials Institute, as well as IMDEA Materials and IMDEA Nanoscience.