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What changed in 2020? New challenges for 2021


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From Mobile World Capital Barcelona we started the year 2020 with an eye on MWC Barcelona, but soon it was affected by the consequences of the pandemic, being the first major event cancelled. However, since the foundation firmly believes in the innovative spirit and power of the city of Barcelona as a digital hub, we collaborated with Barcelona Tech City to carry out the Barcelona Tech Spirit. Giving us the opportunity to show that our activity lasts 365 days a year.


From that moment confinement came and all our initiatives and programs adapted quickly and were able to follow their activity remotely, promoting telework and all those tools that we now have so present in our day to day. The MWCapital activity in 2020 has been very intense with high results, as you will discover below.

In addition, from the corporate department, our Mobile Talks became Mobile Talks From Home, creating an optimal format to reach many more people and create value-added content. It has been a difficult year for all, but thanks to our commitment and resilience we have adapted our routines and habits to survive the abrupt change imposed on us by the pandemic.


Now we start 2021 with enthusiasm, new challenges, and a new paradigm of communication, which we invite you to discover on our social networks. The aim is to extend reflection about technology and digital disruption in today’s society. To do so, we will share the opinion of experts, renowned professionals and academics who will analyze the leading topics for a digital society. A reflection powered by Caixabank that will lead to a new format of Mobile Talks, much more ambitious and thoughtful.


All this to follow our main objective which is to improve the quality of life of people through the digital advancement of society.


The Collider: a consolidated model

The Collider focuses on driving technology transfer to create market value. To do so, it identifies and develops highly disruptive technologies and encourage the participation of companies to launch pilots in early stages and open new lines of business helping to increase competitiveness.


2020, has been a year of consolidation of the model, reducing the gap between science and market, favouring collaborations between universities and companies and investors. During the year, 87 scientists from 47 different entities have been trained. In addition, the program has helped in the valorisation of 30 Catalan projects, which have generated more than 200 interviews within the industry to promote proof of concept. It has also consolidated the Catalan scientific-entrepreneurial community with 4 events in each province. For the next edition, The Collider has selected 30 entrepreneurs from 420 applications from 35 countries around the world.


Regarding the Venture Building axis,  as a result of the third edition  5 startups have been created which have launched more than 40 pilots with corporations. In addition, a total of 1.5 billion euros of funds have been raised in 2020 for the portfolio, since mVentures has invested 150k. We have also continued to consolidate The Collider’s reputation in innovation ecosystems through participation in more than 45 events.


In short, The Collider already accelerates projects from all over Spain reflecting the scientific excellence and interest of the industry with the involvement of more than 100 corporations throughout the health, industry, mobility, and energy. 


2021 will be a year where we will begin to lead with the expansion of the model to generate a greater impact in Spain, adding as a novelty the Agri-Food sector in the roadmap. The goal is to help this fundamental sector to become more competitive and create a new technologically based industrial fabric that generates quality wealth and jobs for all. 

5G Barcelona: validation of new 5G use cases

5G Barcelona is a public-private initiative that works to position Barcelona and Catalonia as an innovative and open environment for the validation and adoption of 5G technologies and applications in a real-life environment. 


During 2020, 5G Barcelona has created 8 new pilot projects (such as, industria 4.0, 5G first responders, RailwayLab o 5G Maritime..), to test 5G technology applied to different fields such as mobility, health or industry 4.0. It has also continued to develop key programme activities such as workshops and participation in events. Highlighting the launch of the project “Àrees 5G“, carried out in collaboration with the Generalitat de Catalunya and the Fundació i2CAT, which aims to bring 5G closer to the territory and maximize its impact.


In addition, during the confinement social cutting activities were also carried out, where collaboration with different Hospitals through the donation of SIM cards in collaboration with Vodafone.


The 2021 objective is to influence the work carried out over the past year within the framework of 5G Barcelona with new pilot projects to test the applicability of 5G to different branches. As well as discovering new use cases that help maintain Barcelona’s leadership position as the innovation hub of southern Europe.

Observatorio Nacional 5G: dissemination of 5G technology 

El Observatorio Nacional 5G (ON5G) is an initiative that aims to analyze the 5G ecosystem in Spain and identify its main actors, as well as the initiatives in development at national and international scale.


During 2020, ON5G has met its goal of spreading 5G via the creation of 3 new reports and other activities such as workshops and participation in events related to such technology. Additionally, ON5G is considered a pioneer because of its launch of digital events such as the presentation of the Regulatory Report. Especially with the Annual Event of the National Observatory 5G  where international speakers attended and doubled its public with 300 people registered and more than 860 views. 


During 2021, new reports are expected to be published that will analyse the state of the art of 5G technology in different sectors such as health or industry. In addition, roadshows and workshops will be conducted as part of ON5G’s 5G knowledge dissemination strategy.

Barcelona Digital Talent

Barcelona Digital Talent promotes market competitiveness to address the current digital talent gap. With the aim of positioning Barcelona as a capital highlighted by its talent.


During 2020 Barcelona Digital Talent has awarded more than 800 scholarships, a mentoring programme with more than 200 assistants and 10 training workshops aimed at promoting the digital skills of professionals and promoting their incorporation in the market. In addition, two digital talent speed datings have been organized where a total of 775 interviews were conducted, highlighting the great action of international talent catchment with the participation of 13 companies and 200 professional interviews.  


In this year 2021 we will continue to bet on promoting training in digital skills, so important in the current context, and promoting the incorporation of new professionals in the market to widen the new opportunities of professionals.

Digital Future Society

Digital Future Society, an initiative promoted by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Business and Mobile World Capital Barcelona, its aim is to build a more inclusive and sustainable future in the digital age to improve the impact of technology on society.    


2020 has been a year of consolidation for digital future society. The Think Tank team has published 10 reports about the main themes of the program. On the other hand, the DFS laboratory has launched and participated in more than 10 projects with different partners, such as the Inter-American Development Bank and the Barcelona City Council. Some of the projects are: the analysis of digital labour platforms in Latin America and Spain and an international call to explore technological solutions to reduce the environmental footprint of the technology sector.


The programme has gained international recognition and participated in more than 20 conferences on the future of data ethics and the impact of technology on society in various institutions such as ONU or WEF. In addition, the team has organized several workshops with more than 40 international institutions to prepare for the future Global Summit 2021. It has also added members to its advisory board, both international and local. And finally, interviews have been conducted with more than 80 renowned experts who have given us their vision for the future of society in the face of the rapid digitization we face.


In 2021, and with the aim of positioning Barcelona as the capital of Technological Humanism, the first edition of the Digital Future Society Global Summit will be organized. Famous figures of international recognition in the technological field will discuss the ethical future of the accelerated digitization that we face.

European Projects

During 2020, Mobile World Capital Barcelona’s European Projects department has initiated 3 new initiatives, with a grant of 1.4 million euros, under the European Commission’s H2020 programme: I4MS-4TS, 5GMed and Better Factory. MWCapital leads the role of dissemination and scientific-technological communication, as well as the dynamization of the ecosystem, starting with the creation of synergies with 5G Barcelona and Barcelona Digital Talent programmes.


For 2021 the department aims to increase its cross-cutting support to the different Mobile World Capital Barcelona programmes through participation in new projects financed by the European Commission. To contribute to MWCapital’s legacy through the execution and leadership of European projects by leading up to top partners in the field of digital transformation.