In continuation of our series exploring tech hubs around the world, we take a look at what the Barcelona tech scene has to offer
This time of year, it’s normal to dream about living in a warmer climate. We start to picture ourselves working by the pool. We imagine grabbing our morning coffee in a bustling European city or going to the beach every weekend. For the residents of Barcelona, this is their reality.
For decades Barcelona has been attracting both tourists and workers alike and it’s not hard to see why. The capital of Catalonia is located on the stunning Iberian Peninsula. With a population of around 1.6 million people, this makes it the second biggest city in Spain, right after Madrid.
As a port city, Barcelona has a great geographical situation with fantastic infrastructure and public transport. Of course, the main draw to the area is the laidback lifestyle, delicious food, and wonderful weather.
These factors combined attract plenty of multinationals and foreign businesses creating lots of opportunities for job seekers, especially for people who speak Spanish and/or Catalan alongside English.
In fact, one in five Barcelona residents were born abroad, according to recent figures. If you’d like to join them, take a look at our guide first to find out everything you need to know.
Pharmaceuticals is one of the biggest industries in Barcelona 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 per cent of the industry total in Spain, according to the Invest in Spain website.
Founded in Barcelona in 1943, Almirall now operates in 21 countries globally. The company’s prime focus is medical dermatology and skin health. It currently has almost 2,000 employees and for available roles, check here.
Greentech 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 stretches to 2030). As part of this plan, €672m will be invested to reactivate the city after the Covid-19 pandemic while also helping the environment along the way.
As a result, a number of notable sustainability startups have begun here or are hiring in the area. They aim to create a better place to live while also contributing to the economy too. One company to look out for is Planetwatch.
It is building the first global real-time air quality ledger by leveraging blockchain technology to creating a global network of outdoor air quality sensors and people who care about the environment. Interested? Check Planetwatch’s available 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 both national and international ICTs. According to the Barcelona City Council, the area now has more than 2,150 ICT companies, 210 technology parks, centres, and research facilities, and nine international facilities like the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre.
In fact, Catalonia accounts for a quarter of all IT companies in Spain and generates 20 per cent of national turnover in ICT. Key players to look out for include Amaris, BairesDev, and of course, among the biggest ICT companies of them all, Amazon.
Amazon once described Barcelona as the “ideal city” to set up a technological centre. The company has significantly increased its presence in Catalonia over the last few years, with 10 operations centres in the region by the end of 2021 (seven logistics stations, three logistics centres, one distribution centre and one urban centre). You can check out open roles at Amazon on the Information Age Job Board.
We can’t talk about the Barcelona tech scene without mentioning the Poblenou neighbourhood. Just like Shoreditch in London or Silicon Docks in Dublin, Barcelona has an entire district in the city dedicated to innovation and tech development called the 22@ Barcelona Innovation District.
In 2000, 22@District began as a government initiative. The city hoped to transform the dilapidated historic cotton district of Sant Martí, an area within Poblenou, into a booming knowledge centre.
Fast-forward 22 years, and Poblenou is one of the most exciting and vibrant places to work in Barcelona. Once a very traditional part of the city, it is located east of the centre, between the area of Glòries (which has its own London-style Gherkin, the Torre Glòries) and the beach. Here you’ll find exciting startups, huge research centres and large corporations, as well as housing, facilities, and green areas. It’s got to be one of the best places to build your tech career in Europe.
Find your next role in Barcelona on the Information Age Job Board.
Pippa Hardy is a 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 up her next article, she’s usually hiking or spending a whole afternoon on Pinterest.
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