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The Barcelona area is already home to some one hundred technology hubs

These technology centres are generating a 1.4-billion euro impact on the city and providing employment to over 15,000 professionals, 38% of whom are foreign nationals.

20/03/2023 - 12:19 h

Barcelona and its Metropolitan area are a magnet for technology hubs, offering a consolidated and constantly evolving innovative ecosystem. This is confirmed in the Tech Hubs Overview report, published by Mobile World Capital Barcelona in collaboration with ACCIÓ and Barcelona City Council’s City Promotion.

The study analyses centres specialising in technological innovation on an international level that have established themselves in Catalonia. More specifically, it looks at those that have done so under a greenfield-type foreign-investment strategy; that is, by direct investment through a new plant or extended production or service capacities.

The document highlights the capacity for attracting international talent and the availability of local professionals as Barcelona’s key assets. It also points out the existing innovation ecosystem and its strategic geographical location.

The 22@ district, the core of technological development

The results reveal that Catalonia boasts a total of 96 global-technology development centres. Close to 80% of these are located in Barcelona and, of those, 46% are in the 22@ technology district.

The economic impact generated by these technology hubs in the city is currently in excess of 1.4 billion euros a year. The report demonstrates that the investment associated with the landing of a hub comes to around 6 million euros, and each hub has an average turnover of 15 million euros.

What is talent at the technology centres like?

These centres provide employment to over 15,000 professionals. That talent is mainly involved in three sectors, where 65% of all technological activity is concentrated: we are talking about the gaming, the industrial and the health sectors.

The study shows that the average Barcelona hub has a team of around 160 people. Most of these professionals are between 31 and 40 years old and 30% are women (11 points above the European average). The report also reveals that an average of 38% of the team is foreign, with most coming from Europe and South America. Each hub has an average of 18 different coexisting nationalities, with some having as many as 40.

The arrival process of hubs has sped up over recent years, and the outlook for their growth in the city is very positive. The report expects the economic impact of these technology centres to come to over 2 billion euros by 2025 and anticipates that by that year, they will employ more than 20,000 professionals.