Today, nine cities from all over the world got together in Donostia-San Sebastián to create the first network for surf as an economic driving force contributing to business, wealth, and job creation. This goal – promoted by Fomento de San Sebastián through the Surf City Cluster– is shared by Arica (Chile), Durban (South Africa), Ericeira (Portugal), Hossegor (France), Gold Coast (Australia), Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Spain), Newcastle (Australia), Santos (Brazil) and, of course, the host city, Donostia-San Sebastián (Spain). These are all surf-oriented cities, understanding surf in a broad sense that goes beyond just sports.
The members of the World Surf Cities Network met at the Kursaal Conference Centre today at a conference on “Surf and Innovation.” The conference was considered to be the first step towards the consolidation of surf as a driving force in local economies, leading to business opportunities and strategic projects for job creation. The event was organised by Fomento de San Sebastián within the framework of the Poctefa 2007-2013 European programme.
“Surf and Innovation” is a two-day event during which the surf network will be officially established and successful international business and research case studies will be discussed. Keynote speakers include Jess Ponting (Center for Surf Research, San Diego State University), José Manuel Odriozola (Wavegarden project for the development of man-made waves), and Urko Esnaola (Tecnalia; development of a high-performance surfboard).
In addition, representatives of Fomento de San Sebastián will talk about the latest activities of the Surf City Cluster, gathering about 50 economic actors, including companies, public agencies, research centres, and universities. The cluster’s coordinated action is intended to meet the challenges of the sector, committing to technology and innovation in all business processes and to adequate training as basic tools to improve company competitiveness and sustainability.