Catalonia, a key innovation hub in Europe

Barcelona-Catalonia enjoys a competitive environment that makes it a great location for innovation, entrepreneurship and R&D activities. With leading scientific facilities, it will help you achieve your innovation goals.

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Research and Innovation

Catalonia has all the assets of a powerful innovation economy.

Thanks to its dynamic research culture Catalonia is today consolidating its role as an industrial, R&D and tech investment magnet. Not only is it, in fact, the region that received the most R&D investment projects in all of Europe (fDi Markets, 2021), tech investment itself has grown 85% over the last five years with a record figure of 320 projects.

The Government of Catalonia is committed to innovation

Today, Catalonia is home to the highest number of innovative companies in Spain. It also leads the way in European patent applications, while over 50% of Catalan exports show high to medium-high technological levels. It leads within Spain in R&D investment with 44.6% of total investment in 2021 according to fDi markets.

R&D activity is part of Catalonia’s DNA

With only 0.1% of the world’s population, Catalonia produces 0.79% of worldwide scientific production and 4% of EU-27 scientific production. That’s why, when one thinks of innovation hubs in Spain and in Southern Europe, one thinks of Catalonia.

Between 2014-2020, thanks to our talented research ecosystem, we benefited from 2.57% of the total budget of the EU’s Horizon 2020 program, receiving over €1.7B. An ecosystem that companies like Microsoft, Hankook and Veritas Intercontinental have all chosen to locate one of their innovation hubs in Europe.

A powerful magnet for R&D investment

If you want to know why Catalonia is the best place to invest in R&D in Spain and in Europe, just remember that half of the 50 main innovative global companies are present in Catalonia.

From Amazon to AstraZeneca, global business leaders have chosen us to place innovation hubs and R&D centers in Europe. In fact, Barcelona and Catalonia had the 2nd best tech investment strategy in 2020 according to the Financial Times Group.
 

“Barcelona is an appealing city to live and work in and a great hub in terms of innovation and talent attraction”

Jordi Ribas, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft

  • 4.1% scientific production

    Catalonia represents 4% of EU27 scientific production

  • 20.7% innovative companies

    Catalonia concentrates 20.7% of Spanish innovative companies

  • 33.4% European patents

    Catalonia represents 33.4% of European patents in Spain