Barcelona, first European iCapital

Last March 11, during the 2014 Innovation Convention, organized by the European Commission, Barcelona was named the first European Capital of Innovation. The Catalan capital has prevailed over finalists Grenoble and Groningen in a contest that also involved Paris, Espoo and Málaga. The winning project highlights the predominant role of the city in promoting new technologies and bringing together government bodies and citizens, in order to enhance sustainable economic growth and improve the people’s welfare. The award, endowed with € 500,000, will be used to expand and scale Barcelona’s efforts in innovation.

There is no doubt Barcelona has a lot to offer to its people and visitors: it is a great city to work in, to live and to enjoy and discover the beauty of life. The city is continuously reinventing itself and this creates and attracts talent. Outside, the Barcelona brand it is very positive as well.

However, the city it is suffering from the economic downturn and unemployment rates associated with Spain. How do local experts value the innovative capacity of Barcelona? Does the city deserve de award? Is Barcelona ready to become a world-leading region in innovation such as Silicon Valley? What it lacks?

Barcinno, an online platform to share the stories, knowledge & events of Barcelona’s startup and tech communities, made a round among different change makers, influencers and innovation practitioners to hear their story. They are Catalans, Spaniards and Internationals working at different sectors divided across three pillars: knowledge, government and industry. Jorge Juan Férnandez, Head of Academics at Moebio was among the experts interviewed.

The publication resumes the four big needs addressed by experts that Barcelona should solve to become an innovation hub and highlights the strengths of some of its clusters to create new opportunities for innovation. The report is divided in two parts. The first one is accessible here. The second one, here.

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