Tech Hubs Overview
Barcelona, European capital of tech hubs


The present report is promoted by Mobile World Capital Barcelona in collaboration with ACCIÓ (Catalan Government agency for foreign investment and business competitiveness) and City Promotion, a Department of the Area of Economy, Resources, and Economic Promotion
at Barcelona City Council.

Technological hubs can be defined as specialized centers that, by promoting development and technological innovation, provide responses to services, solutions and business functions. The attraction of these centers in a territory is considered strategic due to their positive impact in areas such as the recruitment of highly specialized local and international talent, the dynamization of the economy and local service providers or other intangible effects importing knowledge associated with innovation and digitalization.

This report analyzes the hubs that have been implemented in Barcelona through a greenfield foreign investment strategy (ie, direct investment in a new plant, or expansion of productive or service capacities) and that develop international scope. The information focuses on three dimensions of these companies: their context, the nature of the activity they carry out in their technology centers, and the profile of the digital talent that is part of their workforces.

Barcelona has a total of 96 global technology development centers. The impact of these investments has accelerated in the recent years. Since 2018 the number of hubs has more than doubled. Nearly 8 out of 10 companies have been physically established in Barcelona (municipality),and of theses, 46% belong to the 22@ technology district. The attractiveness that the city offers to attract international talent and the availability of local professionals are the main reasons for selecting Barcelona. In this process, the main competing cities are located in the Iberian peninsula (Lisbon and Madrid) and in central Europe (Paris, London, Berlin, Amsterdam).

The economic impact generated annually by the hub ecosystem is situated at over €1,400 billion and is expected to exceed €2,000 billion by 2025. The investment involved in establishing a hub is on average around 6 million € and according to 2022 figures, the annual billing of each center is around 15 million. More than 65% of these centers belong to three sectors: gaming (32%), industrial sector (21%) and health (13%). The total number of technology centers employ more than 15,000 professionals, and by 2025 there are expected to be more than 20,000 workers. In any 2022 the average hub in Barcelona had a team of around 160 people, in fact, in recent years almost 40% of the hubs have more than 100 people in their staff.