Catalan participation in the MWC and 4YFN grows by over 8% in 2024, reaching a record figure of 360 companies

Catalan Economy · International Events · Tech & Digital Transformation

21 Feb 2024

69 Catalan companies, technology centers, and entities will have a stand at the MWC and 291 at the 4YFN, which is celebrating its 10th edition this year.

A total of 360 Catalan companies will participate this year in the MWC Barcelona and 4YFN, the world's most important tech event, which will be held next week at the Fira de Barcelona Gran Via in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat. This figure represents an 8.1% increase compared to the 2023 edition and is the highest on record. Specifically, 69 Catalan companies, technology centers, and entities will have a stand at the MWC and 291 at the 4YFN, which is celebrating its 10th edition this year.

This was announced this morning by the Minister for Business and Labour, Roger Torrent, during a meeting with around thirty of the Catalan emerging companies that will participate in the event with the support of the Catalan Government. Accompanied by the Secretary of Digital Policies, Gina Tost, and the Secretary for Business and Competitiveness and CEO of ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment, Albert Castellanos, Torrent was able to learn firsthand about the projects that these companies and startups will present during the congress.

“The congress will continue positioning Barcelona and Catalonia as a pole of attraction for talent and technological and disruptive projects, and a hub of international reference for the startup ecosystem.”

Roger Torrent, Minister of Business and Labour of Catalonia

The Minister of Business and Labour stated, "We want the MWC and 4YFN to be a barometer of the dynamism and growth of Catalonia's entrepreneurial ecosystem and startups". In this sense, Torrent added that "the congress will serve to continue positioning Barcelona and Catalonia as a pole of attraction of talent and technological and disruptive projects, being a hub of international reference for the startup ecosystem". The minister emphasized that "all the companies that will participate in the event at the government premises have a business project that coincides with the country's growth strategies".

The Catalan Government will host the stands of 107 companies, technology centers, entities, and startups in the spaces it promotes at this year's MWC and 4YFN, a 2% increase from the previous edition. Of these, 45 will be located at the Catalonia stand at the MWC, promoted by the Government through the Secretary of Digital Policies and ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment. It is expected that these stands will generate a business volume of 6 million euros. The Digital Catalonia Alliance (DCA), which brings together and serves more than 550 companies and agents in the ecosystem of advanced digital technologies (TDA), will also have a place at this stand.

In the 4YFN space, of the 61 emerging companies participating through the Government, 37 will do so at the Catalonia stand and other spaces managed by ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment; 12 will do so through BioCat within the Catalonia Health Innovation Ecosystem Pavilion; and 12 more will be accompanied by the Catalan Institute of Cultural Enterprises (ICEC) and will be located at the Catalan Arts stand. According to calculations by ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment, the emerging companies with a presence at the fair will hold more than 1,400 meetings, with a potential business volume of 4 million euros.

The objective of promoting the presence of these companies at the MWC and 4YFN is for them to meet potential new partners and clients, both local and foreign investors, gain visibility, and open up new international markets. The names, descriptions, and locations of the companies, entities, and startups present at the event with the support of the Government of Catalonia can be found in the virtual catalog 'Catalan Exhibitors MWC24 (.PDF document)'.

Supercomputing like you've never seen it before, at the Catalonia MWC stand

With the slogan 'Catalonia: Shaping the Future with Supercomputing', the demonstration space at the Catalonia stand at the MWC will offer a unique proposal with a humanistic approach, contrasting with the hyper-technological environment of the conference. The demo uses the metaphor of a grain of sand to illustrate the importance and transformative power of supercomputing in addressing major global challenges and building a more humane and sustainable society of the future.

The demo will officially launch at the Catalonia stand on the first day of the MWC and will be accessible throughout the four days of the conference, from February 26th to 29th. BSC staff will accompany visitors during the experience and direct those who require more information to the BSC space at the Government stand (booth 21), where they can learn about some of the most advanced technologies being developed in various fields, such as superconductors, health, language technologies, or climate services.

As well as the company stands and the demo showcasing the power of supercomputing, the Government's Catalonia stand at the MWC will also feature a space dedicated to promoting the institutional campaign "Catalonia Connects Us" from the Ministry of the Presidency. It will also host an America's Cup simulator and a virtual reality experience related to this event by the Catalan Tourism Board.

As regards this year's Government Catalonia stand at the 4YFN, the space has been designed to be a meeting point for the emerging business ecosystem, both those participating in the conference thanks to the Government and those who are not. At the stand, five startups will offer interactive experiences to visitors to present their projects and attract potential new partners or clients.

The significance of the MWC for the Catalan business community

Since the first edition of the MWC in Catalonia in 2006, the Catalan Government has facilitated the participation of 408 Catalan companies and technology centers in the event. Regarding the 4YFN, 183 startups have participated in the conference and presented their business projects since 2015.

Within the framework of the MWC, ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment organizes the Open Innovation Challenge, a series of meetings where large Catalan and international companies present technological challenges for Catalan startups to propose the most innovative solutions. The objective is to connect emerging companies with the more consolidated business community.

This year, 45 companies (25 of which are foreign) are participating, such as AstraZeneca, ACCIONA, Fujitsu, LG, Rabobank, Samsung, Turkish Airlines, and Volkswagen, among others, presenting around eighty technological challenges. According to ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment's estimates, approximately 1,000 meetings between companies, startups, and solution providers are expected to take place during the congress.

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