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Zabala Innovation, chosen Company of the Year 2023

Spanish Chamber of Commerce Belgium Award 2023

The Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg has awarded Zabala Innovation with the Company of the Year award, on two decades since the inauguration of its offices in Brussels. Through this award, now in its ninth edition, the Chamber rewards “the exemplary trajectory” and “the mastery in innovation management of Zabala Innovation,” according to a press release issued by the organisation on Friday.

“We are very proud and grateful to the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce,” said Erik Zabala, CEO of Zabala Innovation, on receiving the news of the award. “It was in 2003 when my father, José Mª Zabala, founder and current president of the company, had the vision and the courage to open an office in Brussels in order to be close to the European Commission and offer a better service to our Spanish clients,” he recalled.

Brussels, strategic point, and business lever

The European DNA has been present in the company since its beginnings and currently the Brussels office is Zabala Innovation’s most strategic office, with a team of 20 experts in European projects of five nationalities and a key factor in achieving a 40% success rate in European projects. Erik Zabala stressed that the presence in Brussels has been a real lever for the company: “It has helped us to position ourselves in the European ecosystem of innovation promotion policies, managing the secretariats of several European technology platforms and counting on the fact that 40% of the European projects we present are contracted by European entities from other countries, among which are companies, universities and research centres of great international prestige”.

“Thanks to its extensive knowledge of the range of European Commission programmes, in the last three years Zabala Innovation has helped to attract more than 2,000 million euros in European aid for its clients, of which 1,000 million come from the Next Generation EU funds, and another 1,000 million from programmes managed by the European Commission from 2021,” the Chamber of Commerce highlights in its note. “Within the scope of these programmes, Zabala Innovation has also become a benchmark partner for implementing innovation, sustainability, management, dissemination and exploitation of results,” they add.

Ninth edition of the Company of the Year Awards

On 27 November, the Deputy Director of DG Research & Innovation of the European Commission, Signe Ratso, together with representatives of the Chamber, will present the award to Zabala Innovation, in an event that will bring together a hundred people from the European institutions and the innovation ecosystem in the EU.

The Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg has been contributing to the commercial and economic relations between these three countries for more than a century. Its main objective is the development of trade and investment between Spain and the states within its territorial competence. It offers its more than 300 companies various trade promotion services, information, advice, logistical and administrative support, essential information on the different markets in Spain, Belgium and Luxembourg and facilitates business networking among its members.

The Chamber is part of the Federation of Spanish Chambers of Commerce in Europe-Africa-Asia-Oceania (Fedecom) and maintains a permanent link with the Official Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Services and Navigation of Spain, which allows its members the possibility to take advantage of the worldwide network of official Spanish chambers of commerce. It is also supported by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism of the Spanish Government and collaborates in the Plan for the Internationalisation of the Spanish economy.

With its award to Zabala Innovation, “the organisation aims to contribute one more year to the promotion of Spanish economic and business development in Belgium and Luxembourg, rewarding the experience and demonstration of leadership and competitiveness of companies in their sector of activity.”