Technology From Amsterdam to Spain
Amsterdam, March 1st 2023– Can Málaga then rightfully claim the title Silicon Valley of Europe? In any case, the city is located in a valley, but otherwise?
Romera: ‘The past 33 years have taught me not to look too far ahead. What I dare to say is that our growth curve will go even steeper in the next 2 years.”
van Pinch thinks that is possible. “Málaga certainly has a lot of potential. When I walk through the city I feel a tech vibe, events, kick-offs, brainstorms. Companies strengthen the technical university and vice versa. Even the universities of Granada and Seville are now starting to participate in this development. That’s good for everyone.’
Yet it is also somewhat threatening: ‘I want to keep good people, prevent them from going to the neighbour. As tech companies in Málaga, let’s not try to eat each other’s piece of the cake, but let’s work together to make the cake bigger and bigger.’
21 seconds of video changed the future of Málaga
Google’s new cybersecurity center will be located near the port of Málaga, in a former military complex. That sounds more robust than it is. When Google acquired it from the Spanish Ministry of Defense, it turned out to be so outdated that it was largely scrapped first. There was also no question of a robust lobbying plan to bring Google to Spain. Google was not approached by the local government or Málaga TechPark.
Bernardo Quintero did. In 2012, he sold his company Virus Total to Google. During the takeover negotiations, he stipulated that Virus Total would always remain based in Málaga. The company analyzes suspicious files, URLs, domains and IP addresses to detect malware.
Thanks to its short lines of communication with the Google top, Quintero already knew in 2018 that Google was looking for a location for its new cybersecurity center. In December 2018, Quintero and his 40 colleagues gathered for a Christmas party, next to the military complex.
Quintero took a 21-second video of it with his cell phone and sent it to his Google CEO in California.
He saw people in shirtsleeves, in December, an evening twilight with beautiful colors, palm trees, a wide view of the sea, an ideal climate for Google.
A few days later, Quintero was instructed by California to discuss the purchase of the military complex.