Barcelona is home to innovations in the pharmaceutical field and green technologies, among other spaces.
Continuing our series exploring tech hubs around the world, we take a look at what Barcelona’s tech scene has to offer
At this time of year, it is normal to dream of living in a warmer climate. We begin to imagine ourselves working by the pool. We imagine having our morning coffee in a bustling European city or going to the beach every weekend. For the people of Barcelona, this is their reality.
For decades, Barcelona has attracted both tourists and workers and it’s not hard to see why. The capital of Catalonia is located on the beautiful Iberian Peninsula. With a population of around 1.6 million, this makes it the second largest city in Spain, just after Madrid.
As a port city, Barcelona enjoys an excellent geographical location with fantastic infrastructure and public transport. Of course, the area’s main draw is the laid-back lifestyle, delicious food, and glorious weather.
These combined factors attract many multinationals and foreign companies, creating many opportunities for job seekers, especially for people who speak Spanish and/or Catalan alongside English.
In fact, one in five Barcelona residents was born abroad, according to recent figures. If you want to join them, first check out our guide for everything you need to know.
The pharmaceutical industry is one of Barcelona’s biggest industries thanks to the city’s impressive network of medical institutions, hospitals and research centres. In fact, Catalonia has the densest pharmaceutical ecosystem in Europe and exports 45% of the industry’s total in Spain, according to the Invest in Spain website.
The region is also home to Spain’s five largest pharmaceutical companies (Almirall, Esteve, Ferrer, Grífols and Uriach) and home to over 1,000 life science companies.
Founded in Barcelona in 1943, Almirall now operates in 21 countries around the world. The company primarily focuses on medical dermatology and skin health. It currently has nearly 2,000 employees and for available roles check here.
Green tech is a growing industry around the world, and Barcelona is no different. This is evident in the Barcelona Green Deal, an economic roadmap for the city (it extends to 2030). As part of this plan, 672 million euros will be invested to reactivate the city after the Covid-19 pandemic while helping the environment along the way.
As a result, a number of notable sustainability startups have started here or are hiring in the area. They aim to create a better place to live while also contributing to the economy. One company to watch is Planetwatch.
It is building the world’s first real-time air quality registry by leveraging blockchain technology to create a global network of outdoor air quality sensors and environmentally conscious people. Interested? Check available Planetwatch roles here.
ICT is a growing sector both in Barcelona and in Spain as a whole. In recent years, the city has invested a lot of time and effort in promoting ICT both nationally and internationally. According to Barcelona City Council, the area now has more than 2,150 ICT companies, 210 technology parks, research centers and facilities, and nine international facilities such as the Barcelona Supercomputing Center.
In fact, Catalonia accounts for a quarter of all IT companies in Spain and generates 20% of national ICT turnover. Some of the major players to watch include Amaris, BairesDev and, of course, among the biggest ICT companies of all, Amazon.
Amazon once described Barcelona as the “ideal city” for a tech hub. The company has significantly increased its presence in Catalonia in recent years, with 10 operating centers in the region by the end of 2021 (seven logistics stations, three logistics centers, a distribution center and an urban center). You can view vacancies at Amazon on the Information Age jobs site.
We can’t talk about the Barcelona tech scene without mentioning the Poblenou district. Just like Shoreditch in London or Silicon Docks in Dublin, Barcelona has an entire district in the city dedicated to innovation and technological development called [email protected] Barcelona Innovation District.
In 2000, [email protected] began as a government initiative. The city hoped to transform the dilapidated historic cotton district of Sant Martí, an area of Poblenou, into a thriving center of knowledge.
Fast forward 22 years, and Poblenou is one of the most exciting and dynamic places to work in Barcelona. Once a very traditional part of the city, it is located east of the center between the Glòries district (which has its own London-style pickle, the Torre Glòries) and the beach. Here you will find exciting startups, huge research centers and large corporations, as well as housing, facilities and green spaces. It has to be one of the best places to build your tech career in Europe.
Find your next job in Barcelona on the Information Age Job Board.
Pippa Hardy is content creator and writer for Amply by Jobbio. She’s a work-from-home enthusiast who loves all things travel and tech. When she’s not writing her next post, she’s usually hiking or spending an entire afternoon on Pinterest.
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