Marketing Manager, Entrepreneur
Líder de Proyectos, Slow Studios
Bringing people together
If there is one feature capable of uniting all the different people in a city like Barcelona, it is technology. The talent in the city stems from its history and its current facilities and we are now beginning to see fresh growth.
The startup sector in Catalonia has raised more than €750million so far this year, more than all the investments in 2020: this reflects the clear commitment of investment funds to our ecosystem.
Barcelona is also home to many companies in which technology plays an essential role. These companies work in a range of different sectors, including:
- The Smart-delivery" - Glovo
- The automotive industry (Cupra/Seat)
- Printing (HP), at Sant Cugat
- Robotics (Pal Robotics), and the increasingly important video game sector (IGG).
And what are the factors that make Barcelona an ideal place to generate such a pluralistic "tech" environment?
Barcelona and Catalonia offer the perfect environment for this diverse range of tech companies. It boasts a deeply-rooted entrepreneurial spirit, outstanding talent from excellent local universities, and infrastructures such as the Barcelona SuperComputing Center that act as a magnet for foreign talent.
1. The Catalan spirit of enterprise
With the Industrial Revolution ushering in a new age of technology and economic growth, Catalonia’s economy grew significantly as Catalans began to produce for external markets, adopting technology mainly from Britain. Barcelona itself became home to the new printed textiles sector.
The Olympic Games sparked a second revolution in Barcelona, with new technologies spreading throughout the Eixample district of Barcelona. At the time, this put it ahead of the Spanish capital, Madrid. The advent of 5G technology is prompting a further technological revolution and Barcelona must take advantage of its characteristic drive in order to pioneer Smart City initiatives and retain its position as an international benchmark.
En gran parte, la llegada de la tecnología 5G supondrá una nueva revolución tecnológico-industrial y Barcelona debe saber aprovechar ese ímpetu inherente que históricamente ha demostrado para aplicar las iniciativas de Smart City y seguir siendo punta de lanza en el panorama internacional.
Investment in sensors for Barcelona—the 5G capital of Europe—is essential for transforming our urban facilities. Light sensors for smart street lighting, humidity sensors to detect moisture levels, and capacity sensors for smart waste collection are just a few examples of existing technologies that need to be implemented.
It is also essential to generate public-private initiatives, channeled and led by the public sector.
2. Talent attraction
There is no doubt that technological breakthroughs that were expected to take 10 years have accelerated during the pandemic and are now likely to take no more than two or three years. This means we need to understand that talent, just like 5G, is an essential part of the value chain. And Barcelona has the capacity to produce the talent and leadership needed to make the city a beacon of technology.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution not only has an undeniable impact on GDP, but also on “new jobs” and new trends within a co-working technological ecosystem. When companies develop products collaboratively, it is much easier to achieve results that are successful for the whole city.
It is essential to create the most favorable conditions to attract talent and encourage private initiatives. Barcelona Tech City is one organization that does just that.
We need infrastructures that make it possible able to work both in Barcelona and in any part of the world. In order to do so, connectivity for all is absolutely essential.
3. Infrastructures, a magnet for technology
The main objective of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, just one of the city’s many infrastructures, is to offer supercomputing infrastructures and services to local and European scientists and so generate knowledge and technology that can be transferred to society. A facility of such high quality in the unbeatable environment of Barcelona clearly attracts talent from around the world.
Technology has clearly already changed everything and will continue to do so; this implies numerous new opportunities and innovations. And so Barcelona needs to produce and attract talent in order to demonstrate to the world that it is still the Tech City it has always been And, for this it will be necessary to bring together local talent to work on joint projects so that, rather than competing, synergies are generated that lead to the outstandingly successful projects.