Barcelona Inspira


Barcelona is "iCapital" of Europe

The European Commission has awarded the European Capital of Innovation ("iCapital") prize to Barcelona (Spain) "for introducing the use of new technologies to bring the city closer to citizens". Barcelona was chosen by a panel of independent experts in a close competition with Grenoble (France) and Groningen (The Netherlands). The €500,000 iCapital prize (IP/13/808) will be used to scale up and expand Barcelona's efforts on innovation. Barcelona was announced as the winner today at the closing ceremony of theInnovation Convention 2014, Europe’s premier innovation event (#EUIC2014).

Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, said: "Barcelona is a deserving winner of the first iCapital award, for its dedication to using new technology for the benefit of its inhabitants. Still, there were many other great initiatives and proposals, and I want cities and regions to join together and share their experiences. Outstanding initiatives at the local level will contribute to keep turning the European Union into an Innovation Union."

In September 2011 Barcelona's city council launched the “Barcelona as a people city” project by introducing the use of new technologies to foster economic growth and the welfare of its citizens through:

  • Open data initiatives, offering valuable information to individuals and private companies;

  • Sustainable city growth initiatives on smart lighting, mobility (e-vehicle) and residual energy (heating and cooling networks);

  • Social innovation;

  • Promotion of alliances between research centres, universities, private and public partners within the scope of the project;

  • Providing better 'smart services' in a flexible, continuous and agile way through ICT –used as means to launch innovation in different areas of the city.


Innovation is central to economic growth and business competitiveness, and is at the heart of the EU'sEurope 2020 strategy. Two thirds of the EU population now lives in urban areas. These areas therefore have a key role to play in making Europe more innovative, and making these areas more innovative makes them a better place to live.

With the European Capital of Innovation Award, the Commission is recognising those cities which are making major efforts to promote innovation and improving the quality of their citizens’ lives.

Abstract iBarcelona

In September 2011 the City Council of Barcelona launched the project called “Barcelona as a city of people” to encompass a global transformational plan focused to introduce the use of new technologies as means of bringing the city closer to the citizen and improve the management of the city, as well as foster the economic growth and welfare of citizens.

This project is focused on replicable processes to bring the city closer to the citizen through opendata initiatives (e.g. City OS, Smart Citizen) which offer value information to citizen and private companies. Also, it is based in generate a sustainable city growth creating initiatives related with smart lighting, mobility (e.g. E-vehicle), residual energy (e.g. Heating and cooling network) between others and it boosts Social Innovation identifying cleavages in the city, researching already tested processes in Europe, choosing the most suitable and effective one, launching and implementing it.

Research and promotion of alliances between private and public partners is within the scope of this project. Currently there are alliances with companies like CISCO, IBM, Telefónica, Schneider and Alcatel-Lucent amongst others, also with research centers and universities such as i2CAT, CESCA, INRIA and Dublin Institute of Technology.

Provide better services to the needs of smart citizens in a flexible, continuous and agile way through ICT is the core of this project. The three main elements that enable the interconnection of all players of an innovative ecosystem: O-Government, Smart Cities and Mobility.