Top Innovation Companies in Barcelona: Why Barcelona is a Hub

Innovation in Barcelona

In today’s ever advancing and evolving business market, there is a trend in Barcelona, that is getting worldwide acclaim. In conversation, Barcelona ignites images of Sagrada Familia, Parc Güell, and sandy beaches along the Mediterranean Sea, but the city should also promote a vision of a smart city, widely acknowledged as a world mobile capital and an international benchmark in the use of technology. Barcelona, over the past years has become a beacon in the way a city can be managed intelligently. It is the number one smart city in Spain and ranked fourth in Europe.

Barcelona’s desire to be ever more intelligent is transforming the business landscape into one of the most luring cities in the world regarding business innovation and startup investment. Not to mention, Barcelona, an iconic tourist destination, also has a great brand acclaim and a lifestyle that can hardly be beat.

In 2014, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) reported three of the world’s 15 most innovative companies in the field of smart cities resided in Barcelona. The top innovation companies are all Catalan and centrally headquartered within the city.

1. Sensing & Control Systems

A SME innovation company located in Barcelona was founded in 2006, and in 2014 had acquired a staff of 16 employees. Sensing & Control Systems is a service provider for the general public. Their project is a IT platform that provides solutions for the management of electricity, gas, water, security, comfort, and home automation.

According to Mr. Narcis Avellana, company managing director, individuals are empowered to make knowledge based decisions, are more efficient and can improve their well-being by the offerings their company provides. The service provider is "a really powerful piece of software, when it is combined with sensors, it allows your home to take decisions".

Mr. Avellana also noted that being named on the American list of international innovation companies "is very important, because it gives you global positioning". This is a viable statement, as many startups and established firms are looking for the right opportunity to be acknowledged on an international scale. Their future looks bright, but it is not all about the recognition. The company and its employees are passionate and enjoy what they do, which adds value to the company and the direction it is going.

2. Urbiotica

This tech company founded in 2008, had hired 30 employees by 2014 and are still growing. This company designs and produces sensors for managing real-time information about availability of parking places, traffic, waste, products, and the environment with the primary mission of optimizing the management of cities. They are not only developing projects in Spain, but are expanding to France, Germany, Austria, Brazil, and Chile. Antoni Brey is the managing director.

3. Bismart

Bismart is an innovation company that develops and markets data management systems with the objective of creating predictive systems that help local administrations improve the services they offer their citizens and local companies.

The role of the company is to collect information from city councils regarding traffic, climate, commentaries on social media, and energy consumption. They work with the Barcelona City Council where they have created a control panel for a set of indicators that enables the general public to select what city is the best city to live in, study in, and work in.

Being the third company selected for New York City Economic Development Corporation’s report on the world’s most innovative companies is no surprise as they were also awarded the "Best Worldwide Partner Award for Business Intelligence" by Microsoft.


Breakneck technological advancements, the information revolution, and expanding globalization of business has increased competition among countries for export markets, capital, R&D, and skilled workers. The development of services, information, and knowledge-based societies is a progression that may be compared to the emergence of the Industrial Revolution during the nineteenth century in terms of the social impact it had on the world. With the advent of the knowledge society comes innovation – the ability to implement a new or significantly improved product, good, service, or organizational method to enhance business practices, workplace organization, or external relations. The perception of innovation as an important production factor is becoming significantly more widespread.

Thanks to the Government of Catalonia and its commitment to promote strategic new projects, Barcelona has transpired to be the innovation hub in Spain. The government and the city’s aim is to focus on the knowledge economy, positioning Barcelona as the center of innovation with powerful knowledge centers and intensive mobility infrastructures. District 22@ Barcelona project has transformed 2-hundred hectares of industrial land into an innovative neighborhood offering modern, contemporary spaces for the strategic concentration of meticulous knowledge-based activities. This initiative is also part of an urban refurbishment project and is considered a new model city in Europe, providing a response to the challenges posed by the knowledge-based society.

Create an innovative project with GBSB Global Business School’s Master in Business Innovation

GBSB Global Business School offers a masters program focused on innovation, creativity, and design thinking. The Master in Business Innovation is geared at nurturing and fostering innovative managers competitive in today’s evolving business climate. Many companies are actively looking for managers who can monitor, evaluate, and manage their company’s innovation and development processes. This Master in Business Innovation provided at GBSB Global Business School will take you through the creative processes of how to generate new breakthrough ideas, like the companies listed above, and how to assess these projects critically in terms of potential added value to society and its prospective impact.

Be the founder or managing director of your own innovative business or collaborate with a group of individuals. The possibilities abound in this time of great change and evolution. Technology will serve to take you to great lengths in your career. Invest in a degree that will provide you with the tools and knowledge needed to succeed. For more information on GBSB Global Business School’s Master in Business Innovation checkout our website or contact one of our admissions representatives.

Written by Emily Dawn Szajda, GBSB Global Business School Content Manager

Icon of webform success



The admissions department at GBSB Global Business School will be happy to answer all of your questions. This online form is the first step you have to take if you want more information.

By sending this form, you confirm that you have read and agreed to our Privacy Policy
I give my consent to receive informative emails about GBSB Global´s programs