Gibraltar and La Linea team up with WISeKey for cross-border technology research centre

20th September 2021

Gibraltar and La Linea have signed agreements with technology company WISeKey International Holding to develop a cross-border research and development centre to spearhead innovation in the region.

WISeKey, a global company active in cybersecurity, artificial intelligence [AI], blockchain and the Internet of Things [IoT], said the initiative aimed to develop “a joint 4th Industrial Revolution Center of Excellence” and tap opportunities on both sides of the border.

The company confirmed the initiative in a statement on Monday but had already flagged it up with a prominent visual advert, featuring images of Chief Minister Fabian Picardo and La Linea Mayor Juan Franco, on screens outside the NASDAQ technology stock exchange in New York on Friday.

WISeKey, which is listed on the NASDAQ and the Swiss stock exchange, is led by the Swiss-based La Linea-born businessman Carlos Moreira, who tweeted footage of the advert.

@WISeKey is delighted to join forces with @FabianPicardo Chief Minister #Gibraltar and Juan Franco Mayor @Ayto_LaLinea for the development of a joint 4th Industrial Revolution #4IR Center of Excellence #LLG 4IR Center of Excellence) spearheading innovation in the region #NASDAQ pic.twitter.com/X2KxCt8crP

— Carlos Creus Moreira (@CreusMoreira) September 17, 2021

The company has already signed Memorandums of Understanding with the Gibraltar Government and La Linea’s town council for the project, which is still in its fledgling stages but aims to be up and running by the end of the year.

The timing of the announcement comes at a critical time for Gibraltar and La Linea, with the UK and the EU hoping to commence discussions in the coming weeks for a UK/EU treaty on the Rock’s future relations with the bloc.

The UK, Gibraltar and Spain have stated that their hope is to establish a new immigration and, potentially, customs framework that will facilitate the creation of a cross-border “area of shared prosperity”.

The business model of the joint La Linea/Gibraltar 4th Industrial Revolution Center of Excellence [LLG 4IR Center of Excellence] is to assist innovative start-ups in areas such as AI, blockchain, IoT, satellite technology, drones, cybersecurity and quantum computing to perform collective research and development activities.

The centre will seek to promote their technologies internationally, facilitate the rapid adaptation of 4IR-based solutions, foster stronger collaboration between the public, private and academic sectors and cooperate to ensure that the latest technological standards are made available in a safe and trusted manner.

The LLG 4IR Center of Excellence will connect securely with the WISeKey Geneva Center of Excellence and will coordinate with other centres and blockchain ecosystems around the world, allowing all partners to fully benefit from shared experiences and resources.

Each Center of Excellence is expected to develop a particular expertise that can be shared among all centres.

The La Linea/Gibraltar centre will start operations with the launch of WISeSAT Fossa Systems satellites at the end of 2021 with an earth station located in La Linea.

The objective of this pilot project is to enable the joint centre to become a hub for IoT cybersecurity satellite deployment and communication under plans being advanced by WISeKey and Fossa Systems, a company involved in reinventing the design and manufacturing of satellites.

“We are delighted to join forces with Gibraltar and La Línea governmental authorities,” Mr Moreira said.

“Currently, WISeKey is working with several government and leading global companies to establish centres of excellence in selected regions around the world for the creation of a number of interconnected Centers of Excellence and has entered into strategic agreements with a series of disruptive companies working with 4IR technologies.”

“As we can witness with the development of the Malaga Valley, where I was personally involved with the planning and development and have been serving as Vice President since 2015, this part of the world has a unique appeal due to its geolocation.”

In announcing the project, WISeKey said the “4th Industrial Revolution” was changing the dynamics of the technology and value creation chain, cross-border collaboration and the way companies integrate their research and technology to create value for their customers.

New business and cooperation models emerge through integrating business partners and clients, it said.

“We are excited about the potential of the LLG 4IR Center of Excellence which is expected to play a key role in accelerating the digital transformation across Gibraltar, be pivotal in enabling a paradigm shift for our operations through more digital technologies, while unlocking new business and operating models,” Mr Picardo said.

La Linea’s Mr Franco added: “The LLG 4IR Center of Excellence will play a pivotal role in uplifting the technical skills of the regional workforce and bringing advanced technology capabilities to realize the digital transformation of the region.”

“The LLG 4IR Center of Excellence will also benefit from WISeKey’s operational performance to enable greater efficiencies and significant cost savings and help further strengthen their global leadership in 4iE technologies.”

WISeKey has 1.5 billion of its microchips installed in virtually all IoT sectors including connected cars, smart cities, drones, agricultural sensors, anti-counterfeiting, smart lighting, servers, computers, mobile phones and crypto tokens, among other.

The company says it is “uniquely positioned” to be at the edge of IoT.

Its semiconductors produce a huge amount of “big data” which, when analysed with artificial intelligence, can help industrial applications to predict the failure of their equipment before it happens.

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:triangular_flag_on_post: I see a Red Flag with this move.

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The 4th Industrial Revolution was brought to us by Klaus Schwab:

And relates to all the 5G initiatives – 5G for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Look who is its Founder - Carlos Creus Moreira:


Carlos served before founding WISeKey as United Nations Expert on CyberSecurity and Trust Models. He served during 17 years as UN Expert for many leading organizations of the United Nations System including ILO, UN, UNCTAD, ITC/WTO, World Bank, UNDP, ESCAP (83-99).

This "Joint 4th Industrial Revolution Center of Excellence" looks to be a spearheading the surveillance Super State of the Technocrats, of which there should be no doubt on which side the Government of Gibraltar sides.

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27th September 2021

A collaborative initiative to create a technological knowledge centre straddling both sides of the border could act as a catalyst to establish this region as a hub for what the World Economic Forum has termed the 4th Industrial Revolution.

The initiative, launched last week, seeks to bring together companies working in different areas of cutting-edge technology ranging from artificial intelligence to quantum computing, Internet of Things and cybersecurity to grow and develop faster by pooling knowledge and resources.

To the layman, the concept is hard to fathom and littered with complex jargon and buzzwords.

But to Carlos Moreira, the Geneva-based chief executive of WISeKey, the attraction of creating a 4th Industrial Revolution Centre of Excellence – as the initiative is somewhat cumbersomely described – with one foot in La Linea and another in Gibraltar, is clear and straightforward.

WISeKey’s idea is to bring together companies operating in different areas of the 4th Industrial Revolution and the technology that goes with it, to share their knowledge and resources with other members of the centre.

"Think of it as an aircraft carrier where people land, refuel their planes, and fly again," he said.

"Every company doesn't have to build a huge infrastructure in order to accelerate their research."

"In the same way you plug into the grid for electricity, you plug into the Centre of Excellence and you get everything you need.”

The nature and speed of the changes unfolding in the technological world mean that even competitors will be able to work together as "friendly enemies".

"Everybody needs to cooperate these days," Mr Moreira said.

"Nobody can do it alone anymore. This is very complex.”

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

The choice of location is no accident.

For one, Mr Moreira was born in La Linea – his father used to work at the Rock Hotel in Gibraltar – and knows the area well.

But there are other reasons too.

"It's unique in the world," he told the Chronicle.

"You have Gibraltar with [its expertise in] blockchain, artificial intelligence, e-gaming. There's a huge intellectual capital in Gibraltar that could be easily converge into this 4th Industrial Revolution hub."

"And then you have La Linea in Spain, which has availability space which could be used to integrate this kind of dual centre."

"The idea is to start virtually, but as soon as you are start building processes and developing technologies, you will start to have multinationals who would like to join."

Mr Moreira said this was a private sector initiative led by WISeKey, which has signed two MoUs, one with Gibraltar, the other with La Linea.

This is not a “bricks and mortar”, at least in its early stages, but rather a knowledge-based enterprise that taps into new ways of working in the cloud. In time though, the initiative and its pooled resources will act as a magnet for companies operating in these sectors.

Neither is it a new concept. Similar 4th Industrial Revolution Centres of Excellence already exist in many other places including Switzerland, Silicon Valley, India and Singapore, some of them with WISeKey’s involvement.

In setting the centre up in this region, WiseKey will draw on its Swiss experience, which shares many similar aspects to what is envisaged here.

"There's a lot of learning from the Swiss model and how we manage to create synergies with Europe that can be used now in Gibraltar," Mr Moreira said.

"We are basically a Swiss company initiating a collaborative joint centre which Gibraltar companies may wish, or not, to be part of."

Ironically perhaps, the centre will benefit from having one foot on either side of the border, both inside and outside the EU.

"The idea of mixing both creates a unique offering...and will blend the best capabilities in Gibraltar [which is a pioneer in sectors such as gaming, blockchain and non-fungible tokens] with the best capabilities in Europe, because La Linea is the plug toward European innovation," he said.

"That will create an offering that is unique in the world."

The development of the Centre of Excellence is not contingent on the successful outcome of talks for a UK/EU treaty, and Mr Moreira stressed it was a “depoliticised” initiative.

But with the governments of the UK, Spain and Gibraltar all publicly committed to agreeing a framework that will create what they describe as “an area of shared prosperity”, the opportunities that may open up through technological collaboration that transcends borders will be lost on no one.

“Combining a distressed area like La Linea with an economic powerhouse like Gibraltar that needs expansion and needs interactions with Europe is obviously a very powerful model that will fly, especially now with the 4th Industrial Revolution requirements where you can do a lot of things with less space than before,” he said.

Mr Moreira’s enthusiasm for the project and its possibilities is contagious.

And he makes no effort to hide that his background means he brings a different type of engagement too.

"When I come into Madrid and I talk to authorities, I say 'shame on you to have a part of Spain in that situation, you should have solved the problem already'," he said, reflecting on how La Linea has been largely ignored by successive Spanish governments.

"You cannot punish La Linea because of geopolitical issues, that doesn't make any sense."

"You have to protect 70,000 people who have a 40% unemployment rate and are being portrayed by Netflix like the Cali of Europe [a reference to a Netflix documentary about drug smuggling in La Linea]."

"That's pretty sad and it's bad for everybody and it's bad for Spain, because its reputation is engaged with this."

"Our approach is pragmatic. Let's give an opportunity to these people."

4th INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION

The 4th Industrial Revolution is a concept launched in launched in 2016 in Davos by the World Economic Forum, of which WiseKey is a member.

Mr Moreira founded Geneva-based WISeKey in 1999 after working for the United Nations as a cybersecurity and technology expert for many years.

The company is listed on the Swiss stock exchange and on the NASDAQ tech exchange in New York.

WISeKey has for years been investing in companies active in the 4th Industrial Revolution, in areas such as microchips, artificial intelligence, blockchain and quantum computing.

It is about the development of disruptive technology that impacts all areas of modern life and is transforming the way we live.

It underpins too the "metaverse", a new tech buzzword that denotes a communal cyberspace where virtual and augmented reality are applied to the physical space in order to interconnect people, objects ranging from speakers to cars and satellites, and services of all types.

"We are moving away from 'bricks and mortar' types of projects...to develop technologies that are creating a huge amount of new value, but on the metaverse, virtually," Mr Moreira said.

"The intersection of this knowledge, once you combine them, they create more value."

"When you combine blockchain, data and artificial intelligence, for instance, you create digital disruption, you create automation."

"And this is the new generation of companies."

Now, the object is to promote such collaboration in the geographically strategic Strait of Gibraltar region, specifically in La Linea and Gibraltar.

In the 4th Industrial Revolution, "...you are basically disrupting the model by bringing technologies that have the disruptive capability power," he said.

"The first was the industrial revolution, moving from the agricultural to engines, then into machinery, then to the internet and now the conversions of technology are creating an amazing parallax shift."

"WISeKey is one of the companies that encapsulates this 4th Industrial Revolution."

Space NFT will be world first

While WISeKey’s 4th Industrial Revolution Centre of Excellence is still in its early stages, it already has one tangible project under way.

The company has invested in a collaboration with FOSSA Systems, a Spanish company founded by another man from La Linea, Julian Fernandez, and which has developed a miniature satellite.

This strategic investment will allow WISeKey to integrate FOSSA Systems into its Internet of Things framework.

Julian Fernandez, CEO of FOSSA Systems said: “We are pleased to be collaborating with WISeKey to initiate the development of a constellation of low-cost IoT satellites allowing all sort of IoT secure communications, a segment of satellite communications that has a huge growth potential.”

WISeKey and Fossa are currently installing a satellite earth station in La Linea with an antennae atop a municipal building in that city.

In December, WiseKey will launch the world’s first NFT created in space and a satellite will send a crypto key into the antennae in La Line.

"This will be a world first, it's never been done before," Mr Moreira said.

"From the satellite, you send an encrypted key and you create a non-fungible token to something very big that will be announced by the end of the year."

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Did You Know that WiSeKey launched a digital certification platform in March?

WISeKey Launches Digital Vaccination Certificates Platform VaccineTrusts.com, to be Used as a Proof of Evidence for Those Who Have Received Coronavirus Vaccine

The VaccineTrusts integrates Digital Vaccination Certificates (DVC) issued by different third trusted parties and is to be used as a proof of evidence for those who have received the coronavirus vaccines. WISeKey will be announcing in the near future countries joining its VaccineTrusts platform. Vaccine passports, also known as vaccine certificates, have been recently and important vaccine verification solution as countries worldwide roll out their mass vaccination programs. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called for a “global standard to securely record digital proof of vaccination.”

WISeKey has been already selected by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) as its technology partner to secure the ONE Record test platform.

VaccineTrusts platform gets reinforced by the ONE Record platform and becomes a priority in many tourist destinations to reopen tourisms, as the vaccine certificate will be embedded into the travel authorization apps issued by these destinations. Digital Vaccine Certificates (DVC) will facilitate the reopening of businesses and help societies return to normal operating practices, but complexities on the different standards used to issue vaccination certificates make it very difficult for users to be able to prove that they have received the vaccine.

More at link.