blue bussinesses

The blue economy is one of Barcelona’s key sectors, a city open onto the sea.

Barcelona is a coastal city with amazing beaches located just a short drive or train ride away. Barcelona is a city that has always been known for its beauty, culture, and history. But in recent years, it has also become known for its innovative ecosystem and high quality of life.

Barcelona is committed to boosting the Blue Economy and becoming a global leader in this strategic sector for our economy. The blue economy in the city accounts for more than 1,500 companies, representing over 4% of the city’s GDP, and generates over 16,000 jobs.


Barcelona’s Commitment to the Blue Economy Businesses

Barcelona City Council and the Port of Barcelona are key stakeholders in this sector, defining the Blue Economy as prioritizing activities that are «compatible with the environmental conservation of the ecosystems and favoring sustainable social and economic development.» This commitment manifests in numerous initiatives throughout the city, transforming Barcelona into a hub for innovation, sustainability, and Blue Economy growth.


Innovation Hubs Powering the Blue Economy

  • BlueTech Port: A pioneering space within Port Vell, BlueTech Port fosters the development of cutting-edge technologies for a sustainable maritime economy. Companies across diverse sectors, from traditional industries like shipping to emerging fields like renewable energy, collaborate and innovate within this dynamic hub.


  • Barcelona Maritime Technology Park: This collaborative effort between Barcelona City Council and the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya aims to stimulate business creation and innovation in the port’s Nova Bocana area. The park’s focus on maritime technology aligns perfectly with Barcelona’s Blue Economy vision.


  • Port Olímpic Transformation: This lively area is poised to become a bustling center for blue businesses and entrepreneurs. The transformation plan includes enhancing sports and dining amenities, while establishing the city’s first economic hub focused on maritime activities. Here, innovation and entrepreneurship will flourish alongside established businesses.


Sustainability at the Core of Barcelona’s Blue Strategy

Barcelona demonstrates its commitment to climate tech and blue tech through initiatives like:

  • Nexigen Project: The Port of Barcelona is investing €110 million in Nexigen, a project focused on port decarbonization. By electrifying cruise berths and ferry terminals, Nexigen aims to significantly reduce air pollution and combat climate change, ensuring a sustainable future for Barcelona’s Blue Economy.


  • Largest Rooftop Photovoltaic Plant in Europe: The Port de Barcelona ZAL is taking a giant leap towards a sustainable future with the construction of the continent’s largest rooftop solar energy plant. This ambitious project underscores Barcelona’s dedication to clean energy solutions, powering the Blue Economy with renewable resources.


Barcelona: A Thriving Ecosystem for Blue Businesses

Barcelona boasts a robust Blue Economy ecosystem, attracting leading organizations and institutions that contribute to its growth and international recognition: 

  • World Ocean Council: This global non-profit chose Barcelona as its headquarters, recognizing the city’s dedication to a sustainable maritime economy. The Council’s presence strengthens Barcelona’s position as a global leader in the Blue Economy.


  • Union for the Mediterranean: This intergovernmental organization fosters regional cooperation around Blue Economy initiatives. Barcelona’s participation in the Union highlights its commitment to collaboration and knowledge sharing within the Blue Economy sphere.


  • European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed): Dedicated to promoting peace and prosperity in the Mediterranean region, the IEMed plays a vital role in fostering collaboration on Blue Economy projects. Barcelona’s involvement with the IEMed allows it to contribute to and benefit from regional Blue Economy initiatives. 


 The Blue Economy’s Impact 

The Blue Economy is a significant contributor to Barcelona’s economic landscape, with: 

  • 1,154 companies 
  • 1.5% of the city’s business fabric 
  • €3,826 million in turnover (4.3% of GDP) 
  • 15,806 jobs (1.4% of workforce)


These figures showcase the substantial role the Blue Economy plays in Barcelona’s economic well-being. 

Looking ahead, Barcelona’s Blue Economy holds tremendous promise for the city’s future. By nurturing a culture of innovation, sustainability, and collaboration, Barcelona is laying the foundation for a brighter, bluer future for generations to come.

As the city continues to chart its course towards economic prosperity and environmental stewardship, the Blue Economy will remain at the heart of its journey. 


By leveraging the expertise and resources of Barcelona and Partners, new companies can accelerate their growth and contribute to Barcelona’s vision of becoming a global leader in the Blue Economy. Together, we can create a vibrant ecosystem of innovation, sustainability, and prosperity along Barcelona’s blue coastline.