Where innovation is happening

Participants of the ALL DIGITAL Summit on 5 October will get a unique opportunity to attend the Innovation tour of Poblenou, the tech neighborhood in Barcelona.

Innov Tour 3

When talking about Barcelona, many of us first of all think about the sea, beaches, mind-blowing Gaudi, beautiful avenues and exquisite Art Nouveau buildings. There is more to it – it is indeed the city of Innovation, Tech, and Start-ups.

Did you know that Barcelona …

  • is the Mobile World Capital and hosts the Mobile World Congress?
  • is the number one smart city in Spain and ranked fourth in Europe?
  • is home to the MareNostrum supercomputer, one of the most important research infrastructures in Europe.
  • in 2016 was the fifth hottest startup hub in Europe after London, Berlin, Paris and Amsterdam, and it is continuously growing?
  • boasts of its 22@Barcelona, one of the most ambitious urban projects, which transformed dilapidated area of Poblenou into a thriving centre of innovation?

Innov Tour 2

Poblenou is the geographic center of the city of Barcelona, which in the 19th century was the centre of Industrial revolution with factories and textile mills and the first steam machine in Spain on 1833 – hence called the Catalan Manchester. In the 20th century  the ‘New Village’ (as ‘Poblenou’ means in Catalan) got into a decline as most of the factories were abandoned, fell into disrepair and buildings were used by squatters and artists.

Thanks to the City Council-led project named 22@, aiming to foster a new economy based on ICT, the Poblenou was transformed from an industrial graveyard to a very attractive neighbourhood. Today it is helping to redefine the future of cities and, the model is a benchmark in urban, economic and social transformation in cities like Rio de Janeiro, Boston, Istanbul and Cape Town.

Innov Tour 1

The project was developing around 5 specific “knowledge clusters”: ICT, Bio-Medical, Design, Energy, and Media. The idea was to connect both the international and local communities by creating physical and social networks to facilitate collaboration, capture talent and develop a sustainable business ecosystem. Now the neighborhood is a center for software tech companies, research centers, universities, digital fabrication laboratories (Fab labs and Maker spaces) and citizen associations.

The delegates will visit some of the most remarkable spaces in the neighborhood to see and experience the digital transformation taking place in the city of Barcelona.


The spaces we will visit are:


Private non-profit industrial association, LEITAT is a Technology Center with the  objective to collaborate with companies and institutions by adding technological value to both products and processes. It is focused on industrial research, development and innovation (R + D + 2i). LEITAT promotes market-oriented R & D projects in the chemical, energy and environmental sectors, biotechnology, the acquisition of new materials and nanomaterials, and the productive improvement of industrial processes.


The Association Poblenou Urban District was founded in early 2012 with the aim to promote the Poblenou area as the new Art and Creativity district of Barcelona. It is in Poblenou where ultra modern buildings such as the Agbar Tower or the Design Hub of Barcelona coexist with old warehouses, art galleries, organizations, design studios, advertising agencies, higher education centers, production companies, hotels, and restaurants.

Since its inception, the association Poblenou Urban District has worked to establish the neighborhood as the latest cultural and business epicenter of the metropolitan area of Barcelona, following similar companies in other cities such as the Wynwood Arts District in Miami or the Meat Packing District in New York.


Fab Lab lives inside the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia and develops different educational and research programmes related to the multiple scales of the human habitat. It is also global, in collaboration with the Fab Foundation and the Center for Bits and Atoms of MIT, of the coordination of the Fab Academy program. The Fab Academy is a distributed platform for education and research, in which each Fab Lab works as a classroom and the planet as the campus of the largest University in the world, where students learn about the principles, applications and implications of the Digital manufacturing technology.


Almogavers Business Factory (ABF) is a public-private incubator for new innovative companies. The equipment aims to contribute to the development of new companies from various sectors and activities, offering incubation and pre-incubation spaces, as well as different programs of strategy, management, internationalization and business financing. These allow promoters of new companies to improve the knowledge and skills that contribute to the consolidation of their initiatives and to business excellence. The collaborating entities of ABF are in charge of defining the profile of companies that want to incubate and of the entry requirements.

Innov Tour map