Sony AI chooses Barcelona to open its newest artificial intelligence center

Business Investments · Tech & Digital Transformation

11 Jun 2024

For its establishment in Barcelona, Sony AI has had the support of the Catalan government through Catalonia Trade & Investment.

Sony AI, a division of Sony Research, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Japanese multinational Sony Group Corporation, has chosen Barcelona to establish its latest Artificial Intelligence development center, its second in Europe. The new office, which will serve as the division's hub in the region, will focus on developing AI systems to assist scientists in complex research to accelerate new scientific discoveries, as well as projects related to gastronomy.

For its establishment in Catalonia, Sony AI has had the support of the Government of Catalonia through Catalonia Trade & Investment- the business competitiveness agency of the Ministry of Enterprise and Labour. Sony AI, which was founded by the Sony Group Corporation in 2020, already has offices dedicated to developing AI in Japan, Switzerland, and the United States.

“Catalonia is home to many research universities with established AI programs and key technology and science organizations”

Michael Spranger, President of Sony AI

According to Sony AI president Michael Spranger, Catalonia is "home to many research universities with established AI programs, as well as key technology and science organizations". Spranger added, "We are proud to expand our work to support creators in this open and innovative environment, and to learn and collaborate with the community".

According to Roger Torrent, Minister of Business and Labour of the Government of Catalonia, "We celebrate that a leading global multinational such as Sony has chosen Barcelona to locate its latest AI development center in Southern Europe: this strategic investment project shows that Catalonia is one of the most developed ecosystems in Europe from a technological and scientific point of view".

"We look forward to building bridges of collaboration between Sony AI and the local ecosystem of universities, research centers, startups and companies to contribute to the development of Artificial Intelligence from Barcelona, the technology that will define business competitiveness in the coming years", Torrent says.

Artificial Intelligence in Catalonia

According to a recent study by Catalonia Trade & Investment, there are currently 488 companies dedicated to Artificial Intelligence in Catalonia, almost three times more than in 2019. According to the document, AI already generates a business volume of 2,155 million euros (60% more than in 2019), the highest among the new exponential technologies in Catalonia. The nearly 500 Catalan companies dedicated to this technology currently generate 14,525 jobs, an increase of 71%.

The Artificial Intelligence ecosystem in Catalonia is nourished by a variety of elements that make it one of the most attractive on the European scene. In fact, Catalonia is the fifth region on the continent and the first in Southern Europe in terms of attracting foreign direct investment in this technology between 2019 and 2023. Specifically, 31 projects worth 475 million euros have been attracted, generating more than 3,000 jobs. During this period, multinational reference companies in the development of Artificial Intelligence, such as NTT Data, Microsoft, Apple, GFT or Sanofi, have invested in Catalonia to set up some of their projects.

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Jordi Sancho

Jordi Sancho

Senior FDI Consultant - Technology Sector - Food & Beverage Industry

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