´´Catalonia produces 1% of the world´s scientific output, with 0,11% population´´.

A combination of factors not easy to find in many places in the world

Catalonia combines a series of highly attractive factors that make it a great location for R+D activities and that are hard to find in other areas of the world. It’s capital Barcelona, is a magnet for young professionals, students and researchers from all over Europe due to a combination of quality of education and quality of life.


First and foremost is the availability of top-notch talent, with a wide range of profiles and specialities that adapt to any company’s needs. Catalonia, with more than 1,050 degrees and masters, and more than 236,000 University students, has one of the highest student populations in Europe. Closely linked to Catalan universities, the CERCA research centres have reached levels of scientific excellence in various areas, with research groups run by internationally recognised post-doctoral researchers. Scientific levels achieved by research in Catalonia are demonstrated by the fact that the majority of the financial aid given by the ERC (European Research Council) to Spain is concentrated in Catalonia. Catalonia is the 4th region in Europe in terms of the number of ERC grants per million inhabitants (Biocat).

Scientific publication

Scientific publication has increased dramatically in recent years, and patents and technology transfer collaborations are growing at a healthy pace. With 0.1% of the world’s population, Catalonia accounts for 1% of global and 3.7% of EU-28 scientific production (Biocat). Specifically, Catalonia is renowned for its clinical trials (number one region in Spain) and clinical research in human health, with 18 University hospitals, 9 hospital research institutes and eleven hospitals among the twenty best hospitals in Spain (Biocat).

Industrial R&D

Besides the human factor and the excellence of the research system, both universities and public administration are clearly committed to raising the productivity of the economic base through fostering R+D activities. Efforts have been made to strengthen the facilities and Research and Technology Centres. Also, to adopt a highly advantageous interesting tax regime for R+D activities.

Catalonia has a powerful ICT sector and also an industrial tradition based on medium technological manufacturing industries open to innovation processes. These industries embrace today the 4th industrial revolution that transforms design, production systems and products themselves, creates new business models and redefines the dynamics of global competitiveness in companies and regions. Applied research is being carried out in fields such us IoT, Big Data and analytics, robotics, simulation models, cybersecurity, additive manufacturing, or augmented reality.


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