MADRID, July 19 (Reuters) – Spain on Monday announced the creation of a new venture capital fund that is expected to raise up to â¬ 4 billion for public-private investments in technologies such as cloud services , big data, artificial intelligence and blockchain.
Called Next Tech, the fund will support digital startups and foster public-private partnerships in high-demand areas of the tech industry, including machine learning, cybersecurity and the Internet of Things (IoT).
The Spanish government will hold up to 49% minority stakes in the various digital projects and companies, and will initially invest up to â¬ 2 billion over a four-year period, Spain’s economy ministry said in a statement. .
Public funds will come from the European Union’s stimulus package and will be managed by the ICO, one of Spain’s largest line of credit programs, while the remaining â¬ 2 billion is expected to come from investments private.
Business and state interest in technologies such as machine learning, which trains algorithms to perform new, specialized processes, or biometrics, which uses biological data in identification services, has skyrocketed at the moment. amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as economic activity moved online.
Spain will be one of the main beneficiaries of the EU stimulus fund after being particularly hit by the pandemic, although a recent increase in its labor market suggests better days may be at hand . (Reporting by Clara-Laeila Laudette; additional reporting by Belen Carreno; Editing by Andrei Khalip and Paul Simao)