Barcelona is one of the most cosmopolitan, modern, dynamic and stylish capitals in the world. A Mediterranean climate, beaches, parks, splendid leisure time and cultural programmes, 4,500 educational institutions, a modern and accessible health system composed by 6 big public hospitals and about 10 specialized private clinics, an strategic geographical location and an extensive transport infrastructures make Barcelona the European city with the highest quality of life. Catalonia has 12 universities in total, with a student population of around 235,000. Of these, eight are situated in Barcelona, with three making the top 250 of the latest World University Rankings.
Sixth best urban area for business in Europe, Barcelona has also an international commercial reputation and is a major economic hub and a centre of talent, creativity and entrepreneurship in southern Europe. It attracts nearly 40% of foreign annual investments in Spain and is home to more than 3,400 international companies, most of them related to innovation and high-end technology services. Over 2,000 national and international conferences take place every year in Barcelona, making the city a hub of connections which encourages the exchange of ideas, teamwork between people, companies, knowledge centres and institutions and, in short, progress. These capacities all together have helped Barcelona to become Mobile World Capital, a living lab to create and spread the latest mobile technologies to society.
Ranked the 5th best city in Europe for scientific production, Barcelona is also the driver of medical technology and biomedical research in Spain. The BioRegion of Catalonia has more than 800 biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical technology and related services companies, 41 research centres and near 800 consolidated research groups engaged in the field of life sciences, most of them based in Barcelona. New therapeutic products, medical devices and in-vitro diagnostics are the focus of most of these groups and companies. However the city also stands out in nanotechnology, clinical research, structural biology and technological platforms applied to key fields like oncology, neurosciences, personalized medicine and cardiovascular disease.
All these elements position Barcelona as one of the leading cities in the development of a global knowledge-based economy at present and in the coming years.