new technologies

Catalan company Abertis to become majority shareholder of the Spanish satellite operator Hispasat

July 25, 2013 09:40 PM | ACN

Barcelona-based telecommunications company has bought 16.42% of Hispasat, which added to its previous shares means that Abertis now controls 57.05% of the satellite operator. The Catalan company has bought the shares from the Spanish Ministry of Defence, paying €172.5 million.  The deal included €153.5million to buy the shares, as well as €19million more to take full control of the operator. The transaction now has to be approved by the Spanish Government and the competition regulation authorities. According to a press release by Abertis, the company pledges to “develop the full potential for growth and value” of the satellite operator. In total, Abertis has invested €475million to obtain its current stake in Hispasat. In 2013, Hispasat is expected to generate €200million in revenue and it has a strategic importance for Spain and Spanish-speaking countries.

Europe's largest telecom satellite uses technology from Catalan company

July 24, 2013 09:10 PM | ACN

On Thursday, the European Space Agency will launch Europe’s largest telecommunications satellite, Alphasat I-XL, into space using technology designed and built by Catalan company MIER Comunicaciones. The device, weighing 6.6 tonnes, will allow secure connections to be made via the satellite and mobile terminals around the world. The company, based in La Garriga (Greater Barcelona), has produced 240 low noise amplifiers capable of receiving signals from mobile terminals up to 36,000km away. The technology created is of a compact design and uses a very low consumption of energy. The satellite will be launched on Thursday from the European spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

Barcelona-based CaixaBank is considered the world's best bank in technological innovation

July 13, 2013 01:22 AM | CNA

The British financial magazine ‘Euromoney’ has named the Catalan CaixaBank the world’s best bank in a technological innovation ranking. Furthermore, the publication considered CaixaBank to be the best Spanish bank for the second consecutive year. The Catalan entity is the largest bank within the Spanish market, ahead of the two world giants Santander and BBVA. Furthermore, CaixaBank leads online banking in Spain with 8.8 million clients.

Gamelab 2013 – Barcelona Videogame International Conference kicks off with top speakers

June 26, 2013 11:50 PM | CNA / Pau Cortina

The 9th edition of the Videogame and Interactive Entertainment International Conference, Gamelab, takes place in the Catalan capital from the 26th to the 28th of June. This year the business fair and conference has moved to a smaller location – Catalonia’s Cinematheque. However, the number of participants remains the same and the expectations generated are probably bigger, since this year’s conference displays a top selection of “frontline speakers” at international level. In fact, Barcelona’s event has gradually become “one of the world congresses with the greatest influence” within the videogame industry and an “international reference” point, according to the organisers.

Mobile multinational Telefónica turns Barcelona into its world innovation lab

June 22, 2013 12:12 AM | CNA

Telefónica’s R&D centre in Barcelona’s 22@ technological district will lead the company’s innovation internationally and will significantly increase its staff numbers, which currently stands at 220 workers. The decision strengthens Barcelona’s position as the Mobile World Capital, as it already hosts the main event of the mobile technology industry at an international level. In total, Telefónica has 6 R&D centres spread throughout the world. Besides Barcelona, the company’s innovation centres are based in Silicon Valley, Sao Paulo, London, Tel Aviv and Madrid. The Barcelona centre is now celebrating its 10th anniversary. In the last decade, Telefónica has invested up to €200 million in its Catalan centre, €28 million of which was in 2012.

Canadian payment systems company Transax to set up business in Barcelona's 22@ technological district

June 8, 2013 12:43 AM | CNA

The company working on creating mobile applications and payment systems will arrive in the Catalan capital in July. It will start by creating 75 direct jobs but its plans are to gradually increase staff figures. Transax will operate from Barcelona to Europe, the Middle East and Latin America. The Catalan Government’s Invest in Catalonia programme has facilitated the Canadian company’s arrival. Furthermore, the Catalan Business Minister emphasised that Catalonia was the European region that received the greatest direct foreign investment in 2012, according to a report by the Financial Times.

Cisco Systems to set up an innovation lab in an old factory of Barcelona's 22@ technological district

May 14, 2013 11:15 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias, emphasised that Cisco’s new centre will put the Catalan capital “in the forefront” of smart city projects. Cisco will invest €4.5 million in its new centre working on electric mobility, smart lighting and other urban projects. On top of this, the American company will also invest another amount, yet to be determined, to renovate the Ca l’Alier factory, which is owned by the City Council and has been transferred to the American company in exchange for the renovation. In addition, Trias – who is on an official trip to the United States – and the Mayor of San Francisco, Edwin M. Lee, agreed to increase the cooperation between the two cities, starting with setting up a regular direct flight connection.

IBM unveils its first technological innovation centre in Catalonia prioritising local talent

March 20, 2013 09:12 PM | CNA / Marc C. Griso / Núria Torres

The IBM Group has opened a software development centre in Reus, a city in Southern Catalonia near the Costa Daurada and Tarragona. The new centre will initially employ 50 highly-qualified professionals, mostly graduates from the local Rovira Virgili University. However, the plan is to reach 100 workers in one year’s time and 250 in two years. The company envisages they might even end up employing up to 450 people in Reus, but they have refused to make any commitment on such an ambitious target. The centre will initially have a 700,000 euro investment and will occupy 600 square metres, but double this space will be used after its enlargement.

The 2013 Mobile World Congress ends with more than 72,000 visitors, an 8% increase on last year

February 28, 2013 11:35 PM | CNA

The world’s main event of the mobile technology industry, which takes place in Barcelona every year, ended on Thursday. This year’s event broke all records, going beyond all expectations. This was the 8th consecutive year the event has been organised in Barcelona, and this year the GSMA Mobile World Congress moved to a new venue in Fira de Barcelona, which has a much larger capacity. “We are very happy with the record results for the 2013 MWC in our first year in Fira de Barcelona’s Gran Via venue”, stated John Hoffman, CEO of GSMA, which organises the congress. Over the four days, senior executives of the world’s main companies of this industry gathered in the Catalan capital. It had an impact of more than €320 million for the local economy.

Catalan mobile companies fill the market with innovative and specialized products

February 28, 2013 10:53 PM | Rosa Soto

Catalan companies at the Mobile World Congress increased their presence in the international event by 40% in comparison with 2012. 56 companies were supported by the Catalan Government, which grouped 48 of them together under the Catalonia Stand. They also introduced to the technologic market new apps in different fields and closed deals with other international companies. Most of them are formed by small teams of young entrepreneurs who were looking for venture capital and were making contacts with international businesses to launch their latest technological projects.

Barcelona hosts the world’s main event of the mobile industry this week

February 25, 2013 11:07 PM | CNA

The GSMA Mobile World Congress, the main international trade fair and congress for cell-phone-related industries, is being held in the Catalan capital from Monday the 25th of February until Thursday the 28th. 70,000 attendees, half of which are senior executives from 200 different countries, are coming to Barcelona to develop new business opportunities and discover the sector’s novelties. With 94,000 square metres of exhibition space, 1,500 participating companies and 300 speakers, the 2013 MWC will break all previous records, and it will be the 8th consecutive year it has been organised in Barcelona. In addition, Barcelona will unveil its new Mobile World Hub by June, aiming to become the world capital of the mobile industries in its own right.

The Mobile World Hub is to open its doors in June in Barcelona’s technological district 22@

February 20, 2013 10:44 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The platform, which is aiming to become one of the world’s main hubs for companies working within the mobile and cell phone-related industry, will start its activities in the Catalan capital in June. The Mobile World Hub aims “to transform Barcelona and Catalonia into the best mobile framework” to enhance entrepreneurship, develop business projects, attract talent, create knowledge and become one of the main world centres of the mobile industry. In addition, it will also work to make of Barcelona an international lighthouse hosting the regulation and standardization bodies for the mobile industry. The Mobile World Hub will be located in the MediaTIC Building, a high-tech venue in the Catalan capital’s Poblenou neighbourhood. The announcement comes five days before the Mobile World Congress kicks off.

Barcelona unveils a new permanent platform for mobile technologies, the Mobile World Centre

February 14, 2013 11:30 PM | CNA

Barcelona plays host each year to the world’s largest cell phone-related technology event, the Mobile World Congress, and the Catalan city is becoming an international hub in this field, concentrating several platforms, business initiatives and cultural projects. In fact, Barcelona was declared the Mobile World Capital, in order to act as a global meeting point and platform for mobile related industry. The Mobile World Centre was unveiled on Thursday in Catalunya Square, in the heart of the city, and will become a permanent lighthouse for mobile technology. It will display human stories of how this technology can help in everyday life, explaining the latest developments and also the history of this industry.

Barcelona’s Mobile World Capital and Sitges Film Festival create an event for films made with cell phones

September 7, 2012 11:55 PM | CNA / David Tuxworth

Phonetastic Sitges Mobile Film Festival will be held next summer and aims to promote new audiovisual media and film distribution. The MWCapital, based in Barcelona as the organiser of the Mobile World Congress, and the Sitges’s International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia are organising lectures and workshops on the subject. It will be held with in the Mobile World Festival’s Summer Week, the week of cultural activities related to mobile technology that will be organised each summer. A new feature at the Sitges Film Festival will be an award for the best short films made using mobile phones and touch tablets.