Barcelona has proven that it is a magnet for technological talent. Two technology firms, Satellogic, a leading Argentinian company in high-resolution imaging micro-satellites, and Moodle, the Australian educational software company with 180 million users, have both opened their European headquarters in Barcelona. Moodle has announced the creation of forty jobs, while Satellogic is planning to create one hundred.
New technological investments arrive in Barcelona. Two companies, Satellogic, from Argentina, and Moodle, from Australia, have established their first European offices in Barcelona. Satellogic gave a presentation on its European headquarters on 17 May at the Fabra Observatory, in the presence of Ada Colau, the Mayor of Barcelona, and Gerardo Pisarello, the First Deputy Mayor. A few days earlier, Moodle announced it would be opening its first European offices in the city.
Both companies are major technological players. Satellogic is a leading Argentinian company in high-resolution imaging micro-satellites. The company was founded in 2011, and is building a constellation of low-cost nanosatellites which make it possible to observe the Earth using high-resolution and high-frequency imaging, which provides images and information that can benefit corporations, organisations, governments and the general public.
Access to space for everyone
Their objective is to make access to information and space more democratic for everyone in the world. To this end, they have designed low-cost satellites (which cost 1,000 times less than traditional ones) and use open-source software, so that even the poorest states “can find out, in real-time, how many hectares of soya they are cultivating or how much damage a typhoon has caused. They can also find out if a reforestation plan is working, monitor illegal fishing or estimate the movements of refugees”, according to Emiliano Kargieman, the founder and CEO of the Argentinian company.
Kargieman explains that Satellogic has chosen Barcelona “because it is a magnet for specialised talent”.
Satellogic has moved into 22@ with an ambitious project in hand: building a constellation of 200 orbiting micro-satellites within the next three years. By mid-2020, Satellogic believes it will be able to produce a completely new map of the planet every week, and observe points of interest every few minutes. Their machines don’t produce any space debris, as they disintegrate upon re-entering the atmosphere.
Open-source educational software
The Australian company Moodle, founded in 2003, with headquarters in Perth, has developed open-source educational software that can be customised and is distributed free of charge. The platform allows people to do online courses and has 180 million users, including Google, the United Nations and the London School of Economics.
Moodle’s Barcelona headquarters are its first offices outside Australia. They will be dedicated to developing software and apps for mobile phones, among other things. Their CEO, Martin Dougiamas, has stated that the office will be “a gateway” for expansion into Europe and South America.
Barcelona will also be the venue for MoodleMoots, a series of international congresses for education professionals and platform users. Barcelona will host this event from 2019 onwards.
Microsoft Quantum Laboratory
Microsoft also has its eye on Barcelona to open one of its Design Centre and Quantum Labs, creating jobs for up to sixty people, including highly-qualified mathematicians, engineers and physicists.