Last modified: 29/04/2014

Barcelona connects innovation and public procurement

Barcelona City Council is inviting local and international companies to propose innovative solutions to six challenges focused on improving the quality of urban life and municipal services

BCN|Open Challenge is aimed at local and international entrepreneurial companies that have developed innovative solutions to solve challenges that have an impact on citizens, like mobility, urban innovation, commerce, culture and social services, among others. The deadline for submitting projects ends on June 16. 

One of the distinctive features of this programme is that it links public procurement and innovation for the first time to promote business growth. Barcelona City Council has committed to implementing the programme's winning solutions thanks to a start-up fund of one million euro, an incentive for innovation and financing for businesses that want to start-up or grow in the city. 

The objective of this programme is to foster entrepreneurship, growth and business innovation, especially for SMEs that are interested in operating and growing in Barcelona. It also aims to transform and improve public services and, therefore, increase the quality of life of citizens. BCN|Open Challenge is intended to position the Catalan capital on the world's innovation map, providing an opportunity to transform the city thanks to companies and entrepreneurs from around the world. 

The six challenges being set by the City Council to transform and improve public services through technology are in the areas of bicycle theft reduction, social inclusion, monitoring the flow of pedestrians in the city, increasing the documentary archives of museums on Internet, creating a pavement maintenance system and increasing the competitiveness of local commerce. 

"The proposals that come from this international call will enable us to build a Barcelona that is more global, innovative and competitive thanks to local and international companies. As well, it will encourage foreign investment projects to come here, and this will undoubtedly help create business synergies with local SMEs and help them grow," says SÚnia Recasens, Deputy Mayor for Economy, Business and Employment at City Hall. Recasens adds that "Barcelona is a solvent city with a financially solid administration, and once again we are helping to develop business growth and job creation." 

In addition to innovative public procurement, the programme is offering other incentives to winners like a full programme of landing and business services, the incorporation of companies, financial advisory services, support for recruitment and help dealing with other authorities and/or relevant partners on the project. The winners will be provided temporary space free of charge for 6 months, a prerequisite for international companies. The winning solutions also get business references from the City Council to help them access new markets. 

BCN|Open Challenge is part of a suite of measures and initiatives that the City Council is carrying out via Barcelona Growth, an action plan and roadmap to revive the local economy, attract investment and promote business growth in the city. This initiative is organized jointly with, a company that connects businesses around the world to find innovative solutions to social challenges. 

BCN|Open Challenge 

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