Catalonia ranks third in Europe as the region with the most companies and institutions receiving Green Deal funds

16 Feb 2022

  • According to ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment’s estimates, 50 Catalan companies, universities and research centers have obtained 27.4 million euros to carry out R&D and innovation projects in sustainability areas.
  • This is 3.1% of all companies accessing the funds, even though Catalonia only represents 1.5% of Europe’s population.
  • The Minister for Business and Employment, Roger Torrent, shared these results during a work session with Manuel Szapiro, the European Commission representative in Barcelona.

Catalonia is the third European region with the greatest number of companies and institutions to access the Green Deal call, which is the largest aid plan of the European Commission in the field of sustainability within the Horizon 2020 programme.

According to calculations made by ACCIÓ – Catalonia Trade & Investment - the agency for business competitiveness belonging to the Ministry of Business and Labour- and based on the EC Horizon Dashboard, 50 companies, universities, technology centers, and Catalan research centers have obtained 27.4 million euros to carry out R&D and innovation projects to combat climate change.

Therefore, in number of beneficiaries and out of the over 200 regions within the EU, Catalonia only comes after the Brussels and Paris regions. In fact, despite representing only 1.5% of the population of the European Union, Catalan companies and institutions represent 3.1% of the total beneficiaries of Green Deal aid in 2021 - which are granted on a competitive concurrence basis - and 2.7% of the allocated budget.

Within Spain as a whole, Catalonia represents 25.3% of the total number of companies and entities that have accessed aid and 29.1% of the budget.

TOP 5 regions in number of companies and institutions that have obtained Green Deal funds


Number of receiving companies and institutions

Brussels-Capital Region


Ile de France (Paris)




South Holland Region


Attica (Athens)


 (Source: Catalonia Trade & Investment based on the EC Horizon Dashboard)

The Minister for Business and Labour, Roger Torrent, shared these results during a working meeting held this Monday with the representative of the European Commission in Barcelona, Manuel Szapiro.

According to Torrent, these indicators show "the competitiveness of projects from Catalan companies, universities, technology, and research centers" and that "Catalonia is a key region in the fight against climate change in Europe". According to the Minister, these results "also outline the line of action towards the production model in which we currently immersed, that of the transformation towards a sustainable and digital Catalonia".

In fact, the Minister of Business and Labour stressed that "any business project that wants to make progress in terms of creating wealth and jobs must be focused on the fight against climate change and also promote digitalization". He went on to add, "These kinds of projects will help and support the whole of Europe in its goal of becoming a zero-emission continent".

For his part, the representative of the European Commission in Barcelona, Manuel Szapiro, said that "the Green Deal and the Digital Agenda are the main priorities of the European Commission that we share with the Ministry of Business and Employment". He also pointed out "For us, it is essential that business and innovation ecosystems make the most of European funds: our common goal is to be able to invest in high-impact projects not only to get out of the crisis sustainably but also to strengthen our resilience in the long term".

Szapiro went on to say that today we have seen how successful Catalan companies are in raising funds from the latest call of the EU's research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020, which has more than 1 billion euros to deal with the climate emergency throughout Europe”. The representative of the European Commission in Barcelona also remarked that Spain’s Recovery and Resilience Plan offers us the opportunity to speed up this ecological and digital transition while strengthening social and regional cohesion. As well as benefiting from numerous reforms and investments managed at the state level, Catalonia also manages about 1,579 million euros directly”.

Significant Catalan presence in European consortia

The Green Deal grants, with a total budget of 1 billion euros, have been allocated to consortia made up of members from different countries with strategic European-wide projects and budgets of over 20 million euros. In this sense, Catalan companies and entities are present in 42% of the 73 European consortia that have accessed the funds. Of these 73 European consortia, Catalonia will lead four in the areas of fire management, climate resilience, renewable energy, and coastal restoration.

The Green Deal is the strategy promoted by the European Commission aimed at making the European Union the world's first climate-neutral continent by 2050 and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.

Support to access the funds

66% of all the Catalan companies and institutions benefiting from the Green Deal call were supported by ACCIÓ- Catalonia Trade & Investment thanks to its team specializing in European projects; and that has, ever since the announcement of this plan in 2019, promoted Catalan participation through promotional and advisory actions.

Furthermore, ACCIÓ's network of International Trade and Investment Offices throughout the European Union and the organization of international networking events both helped in the search for partners to push the presence of Catalan companies in consortia from other countries. The agency provided these services as a member of the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) of the European Commission.

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