1. The company will develop AI systems in the Catalan capital to accelerate new scientific discoveries and projects linked to gastronomy
  2. Sony AI received support from the Government of Catalonia in setting up its offices in Barcelona
  3. Sony AI points out that Catalonia has “many universities with AI programmes and key organisations in science and technology”

Sony AI, a division of Sony Research, a subsidiary of the Japanese multinational Sony Group Corporation, has chosen Barcelona as the location for its new artificial intelligence development centre, the second to be located in Europe. The new office, which will act as the division’s hub in the region, will focus on developing AI systems to support scientists involved in complex research to accelerate new scientific discoveries as well as gastronomy-related projects.

In its decision to open its facility in Catalonia, Sony AI received support from the Government of Catalonia through the Ministry of Business and Labour. Sony AI, which was founded by Sony Group Corporation in 2020, has offices specialising in AI development in Japan, Switzerland and the United States.

According to the Sony AI president Michael Spranger, Catalonia has “many research universities with AI programmes and key science and technology organisations. Spranger said “We are proud to expand our work to support creators in this open and innovative environment, and to learn from and collaborate with the community.”

Roger Torrent i Ramió, the Catalan Minister for Business and Labour, said that “the Government is very pleased that a world-leading multinational like Sony has chosen Barcelona as the location of its first AI development hub in southern Europe. This strategic investment project shows that Catalonia is one of the most technologically and scientifically developed ecosystems in Europe”.

We are eager to begin building bridges of collaboration between Sony AI and the local ecosystem of universities, research centres, start-ups and businesses in order to contribute to the development of artificial intelligence from Barcelona, as the technology that will define business competitiveness in the coming years,” Torrent emphasised.

Artificial intelligence in Catalonia

According to a recent study by the Catalan Government, Catalonia now has 488 AI companies, almost three times more than in 2019, the most recent year for which figures are available. According to the document, AI now generates a turnover of 2,155 million euros (60% more than in 2019), the highest among the new exponential technologies in Catalonia. The almost 500 Catalan companies engaged in this technology currently generate 14,525 jobs, an increase of 71%.

The artificial intelligence ecosystem in Catalonia, aside from the nearly five hundred companies that comprise it, is nourished by a diversity of elements that make it one of the most attractive on the European landscape. Indeed, Catalonia is the fifth region on the continent and the first in southern Europe in terms of attracting direct foreign investment in this technology between 2019 and 2023. Specifically, 31 projects worth 475 million euros were attracted, generating more than 3,000 jobs.

During this period, leading multinationals in the development of AI such as NTT Data, Microsoft, Apple, GFT and Sanofi have invested in Catalonia to create some of their projects here.