Saturday, 22 June 2013

Mobile multinational Telefónica turns Barcelona into its world innovation lab


Barcelona (ACN).- Telefónica’s R&D centre in Catalonia 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, since it already hosts the main event of the mobile technology industry at international level. The MWC project also includes hosting the world regulator in this industry, setting international standards. In fact, Barcelona is becoming an international business and innovation reference point in mobile technologies and smart cities. Telefónica developed its ‘Big Data’ project in its Barcelona centre, located in the city’s 22@ technological district.

Telefónica’s R&D centre in Barcelona is celebrating its 10th anniversary. In the last decade, the multinational has invested up to €200 million in its Catalan centre, €28 million of which was in 2012. Now, it wants to strengthen the centre and will have it lead its R&D branch. Besides the Catalan capital, Telefónica has 5 other R&D centres spread throughout the world; they are based in Silicon Valley, Sao Paulo, London, Tel Aviv and Madrid.

The Director of Barcelona’s R&D centre, Pablo Rodríguez, explained that Telefónica is planning to increase the staff numbers based in this facility. “Technology is increasingly at the centre of society, which is fed by technology to go beyond. We are here to unite two worlds: technology and the Internet, and to create another world that does not exist yet. And for this reason we need to recruit people”, explained Rodríguez.

One of the projects Telefónica developed in its Barcelona centre is ‘Big Data’, which allows the analysis of a great amount of data to reach conclusions that, at a later stage, can be used by government institutions. The Director of Telefónica in Catalonia, Kim Faura, explained ‘Big Data’ as “the discovery of ‘Big Data’ was like discovering oil. And despite all that we have already done, we are still producing tar out of a raw product which we are positive that will have many more uses”. Another project developed in Barcelona by the mobile multinational company is ‘Thinking Things’: a technological system that is still being tested. It will allow almost all kind of devices to be connected to the Internet wirelessly, a technology commonly known as “the Internet of things”.

  • thinking_things

  • A visual explanation of Telefónica's Thinking Things project, created in Barcelona (by A. G. Soler)