Case Study: Synchrotron, Parc
Tecnològic del Vallès
Pleasant working environment
Access to good workforce
Proximity to other high-tech firms
Supportive local authorities
Locational factors in high-tech
industry (Source: Gripaios, 1989)
The Synchrotron has knowledge as its raw material. These
High-tech knowledge labour skills tend to be narrowly concentrated in El
Vallès, where a Science and Technology incubator Park (Parc Tecnològic del
Vallès) has been developed and the nearby university specialises in turning out
students with applied science skills. The success of any high-tech enterprise
depends on its ability to recruit and keep highly skilled research scientists,
engineers and technicians.
The government has invested heavily in support
infrastructure, including a new materials training institute, University
Department of Artificial Intelligence Research and Calibration and Research
High-tech employees are often very selective when it
comes to where they are prepared to live and work. An environmentally attractive
location (good climate, landscape, housing, services, etc.) is essential to
hiring the right kind of labour (see Table above). Companies must therefore go
to where workers want to live. In Europe, it is increasingly the Mediterranean
High-tech industries require an area that can offer excellent
leisure facilities. There are high quality leisure amenities in the area,
including nearby Natural Parks, golf courses, etc.
Large areas of low-cost greenfield sites
As new high-tech firms locate in areas where high-tech labour
skills are available, they encourage yet further clustering and agglomeration
through links with suppliers and services and 'spin-off' start-ups from
established incubator firms.
High-tech industries require an excellent communications
network. El Vallès has a highly accessible location with road (A7 motorway),
rail, port and airport links: 14 km from the centre of Barcelona, 25 km from the
airport and 15 km from the Mediterranean beaches.
Hotels have been constructed in the area which offer conference
facilities and cater for company executives, many of whom work for TNCs.