Barcelona continues to consolidate itself as a hub for technological entrepreneurship in Europe

The Barcelona Observatory 2023 report, an initiative promoted by the City Council and the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, provides an overview of the city’s strength in economic and business indicators, placing it as the 8th most attractive city in the world for visitors and entrepreneurs.

Vista aèria del Port de Barcelona.
08/05/2024 - 13:17 h - Smart City Ajuntament de Barcelona

The 2023 Barcelona Observatory report, now in its 21st edition, consolidates the Catalan capital as a leading city in sectors such as technology, science and research, reaffirming its attractiveness to international talent.

In a complex economic context, amidst post-pandemic recovery and marked by inflation and tightening monetary policy, Barcelona maintains positive macroeconomic indicators and demonstrates resilience as a city. This is evident from the 35 indicators collected in the report, which refer to the following areas: economic activity, quality of life and social cohesion, labour market and training, knowledge society, tourism, and prices and costs. And this year it includes, in addition, two new indicators: resilience and innovation.

Barcelona climbs one position in the global ranking of preferred cities for working abroad, according to the 2024 Decoding Global Talent report by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), placing the Catalan capital in the eighth position on the list ahead of cities like Tokyo, Los Angeles and Paris. Barcelona has therefore progressed among the top ten cities preferred by global talent. This study on the workforce and its preferences in a globalised world is based on an extensive online survey (the Global Talent Survey) with responses from over 150,000 people in 188 countries.

Barcelona is also the 10th most attractive city in the world for digital experts looking to work abroad, according to the Decoding the Digital Talent Challenge report by BCG.

Barcelona ranks as the 13th digital city globally and the 6th in Europe, according to the first edition of the Digital Cities Index published by Economist Impact of The Economist group. Similarly, Barcelona ranks second in the global urban intelligence ranking, just behind Seoul, according to the Smart Cities Index Report 2022.

Innovation and technological ecosystem

The Catalan capital ranks 9th among European cities in terms of innovation according to the 14th edition of the Innovation Cities Index, where it once again finds itself in the Top 10 on the continent surpassing Oslo, Helsinki, Istanbul and Moscow, and in 26th position in the global ranking.

With regard to the technological ecosystem, Barcelona retains its position as the third preferred city in Europe to set up a startup, for the sixth consecutive year, according to the Startup Heatmap Europe Report 2023.

Barcelona also remains the leading startup ecosystem in Spain and the 6th in Europe in 2023 (according to StartupBlink). It enters the Top 5 of emerging ecosystems worldwide and ranks 4th globally, according to The Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2023 by Startup Genome. Moreover, it is the 11th city in Europe in terms of attracting technological investment (Atomico).

In the field of research, Barcelona ranks seventh among European cities in scientific academic production according to the Knowledge Cities Ranking 2022, compiled by the Centre of Land Policy and Valuations of the UPC, which places it 22nd in the global ranking.