Why Gran Canaria?

Because of its geographical location

Gran Canaria is located on the northeast coast of Africa, 210 kilometres from Western Sahara. The trade winds, the cold Canary Current and its altitude, give it a diverse climate on an area of barely 1,500 square kilometres, featuring semi-desert areas, pine forests and subtropical rainforests; this, along with its oceanic island condition, has led to the evolution of an exclusive biota, making it one of the biodiversity hotspots in European territory.

This natural diversity is now threatened by the effects of climate change, as due to the island’s geographical location, makes it particularly vulnerable. This problem is not merely environmental but poses a risk to the entire socio-economic fabric of such a fragile and dependent territory as the populations of oceanic islands.

Thus, territories like the island of Gran Canaria become the perfect setting to develop initiatives capable of overcoming the challenges of climate change, so we can adapt to it and mitigate its impacts.

In this sense, solutions must be cross-cutting and seek change in our relationship with nature, in our economic model or our mobility. Ultimately, the Canary Islands in particular, and the whole world in general, must shift their socio-economic paradigm towards a more sustainable and environmentally friendly model, while at the same time generating opportunities in new economic niches with green jobs that allow us to reach greater levels of prosperity.

Because it is an international laboratory


Gran Canaria is already a laboratory for this new sustainable paradigm of the 21st century. Important innovative sustainable initiatives are being developed on the island:

The island has become a testing ground to improve existing ocean technologies, from floating offshore wind energy generation to underwater robotics.

Gran Canaria is promoting large projects combining clean energy production and mass pumped storage, enabling high levels of renewable energy to be integrated into the grid and making water available to the agricultural sector.

The island of Gran Canaria is leader in self-consumption and electric mobility, which proves its commitment to move towards sustainable development. Projects are also being promoted to improve the energy efficiency of desalination technologies and two large energy community projects are also underway.

There are also many innovative projects in the field of the blue economy covering a wide range of subjects: high-tech incubators dedicated to biotechnology, big data applications in the port industry, and other circular economy initiatives applied to aquaculture or research in the field of microalgae.

The Gran Canaria Inteligente initiative incorporates digital solutions to address problems such as early fire detection, sustainable water management and mobility.

Our university is at the forefront of research on the impacts of climate change in the marine environment.

Gran Canaria also promotes important international consortia that are innovating in multiple research areas with a special focus on the transition towards a more environmentally friendly and sustainable model.

To this end, Gran Canaria has an innovative ecosystem that enables it to undertake and lead multiple projects in many areas such as energy, water management, mobility, tourism and digitalisation, concentrating in a small territory all the technical capabilities needed to implement and test new adaptation and mitigation measures to limit the impacts of climate change.

    Because of the leadership of the civil society and its public administrations

    An innovative ecosystem, like the one found in Gran Canaria, does not arise spontaneously, but is the result of the joint efforts of different actors. Sustainability requires the leadership and responsibility of citizens, social organisations and companies together with the public sector.

    The Cabildo de Gran Canaria, together with different island institutions, is strongly committed to turn the island into an ideal laboratory for implementing the new sustainability paradigm in Europe.

    But this change is not only taking place from an energy or a natural resource management point of view. The change driven by the Cabildo de Gran Canaria is cross-cutting and inclusive, improving food sovereignty and promoting digitalisation, all while keeping social cohesion in mind, integrating the entire society into this process and, of course, with equality and social rights as the fundamental basis of this change.

    For all these reasons, Gran Canaria is the perfect venue for hosting the first international Ecoislas forum, as Gran Canaria seeks to join forces with other island territories to drive the socio-economic change that is needed throughout the European continent, offering itself as a natural laboratory for the implementation and testing of projects and technologies that pursue this goal.


    Gran Canaria has excellent air connectivity, especially with most Spanish and European cities. With 4.5 million tourists a year, the island has become a major connecting hub in the region, just two hours from Mainland Spain and four hours from almost anywhere in Europe.

    The island has excellent communication infrastructures, which allow it to hold a strong position in global transportation and digital connectivity networks.

    Tax benefits and investment support

    Gran Canaria offers unique advantages to promote investment and the development of business and commercial activities. Among these advantages are many tax benefits, as the island has the best tax regime in Europe.

    Tax benefits and investment support

    Gran Canaria offers unique advantages to promote investment and the development of business and commercial activities. Among these advantages are many tax benefits, as the island has the best tax regime in Europe.

    A committed island

    Gran Canaria, through the Canary Islands 2030 Agenda, is committed to the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; an strategic framework that adapts the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, and their 169 targets, to the reality of the Canary Islands.