The Port of Algeciras was awarded the ESPO Award 2020 in recognition of its successful strategy to attract innovation and local start-ups. Adina Vălean, EU Commissioner for Transport, announced the ESPO Award Winner during a dedicated ESPO Award Digital Ceremony.
The Port of Algeciras won the 2020 Award for its project, “The Journey of Innovation – Travesía de la Innovación-”. Algeciras is on a transformational pathway from the port authority being landlord, operator and regulator to becoming a business and efficiency partner. They have an open innovation portal, organise innovation days, and seminars and innovation awards, a port data lab and real working port challenges are the key tools gifted to start ups, the port partners with the municipality and the regional government, and is developing a connected innovation centre with the university.
Looking back at the selection process in this 12th edition of the ESPO Award, the Chairman of the Jury, Pat Cox said: "On behalf of my colleagues on the jury and I, congratulations to the Port of Algeciras on winning the ESPO Award 2020. Algeciras was the jury’s consensual choice, in the end, because it has developed a successful strategy to attract innovation and local start-ups; has a proven record of achievement; has a strong focus on involving port partners; and has exhibited close cooperation with key national, regional and municipal stakeholders, thus underpinning its successful innovation ecosystem."
Gerardo Landaluce, Chairman of the Port of Algeciras says : "A big thank you for this ESPO Award 2020, and especially thank you to our innovation ecosystem team who has made it possible. Congratulations to all the participants too. Port of Algeciras Bay Authority has been working really hard in the last years in order to consolidate innovation culture as a key business process. And this prize shows us that we are on the right path. In addition to that, this award is so inspiring for us that it will make us work even harder, to boost social integration through innovation. We really think that there is no better social integration than having a good job, and innovation in ports is a must. We know it since Algeciras Port has proved to be crucial in our region to generate employment and our program “Travesía de la Innovación” enormously contributes to improving it."
Out of the seven submissions received this year, the projects of Algeciras Port Authority, Port of Amsterdam (the Netherlands), Port Authority of Lisbon (Portugal) and Puertos del Estado (Spain) had been shortlisted for this 12th edition.