Last week, the world’s largest mobile event, Mobile World Congress Barcelona, brought together more than 100,000 people from over 2,400 companies showcasing the latest leading-edge technology and innovations. Cisco had a strong presence at the event this year, and our Chief Technology and Architecture Office demonstrated some of the latest and greatest digital innovations, with a particular focus on 5G architecture, security, and transportation.

In conjunction with MWC, we hosted several key events across town at Cisco’s newly opened Barcelona Co-Innovation Center for customers, partners, and government dignitaries. In our sustainable, state-of-the-art Center, we featured demos on four new digital innovations:  5GRuralFirst, OpenRoaming, Deep Fusion Reasoning Engine, and NearbyComputing Edge orchestration based on object detection.

We also showcased other already existing demos based on customer demand and interest: SWIFT, Barcelona SmartCity Remote Expert Kiosk, Kinetic Demo Kit, and Digital Building Solution and POE Lighting. 

Here’s a recap of last week’s high-impact and amazing experiences with customers and partners to advance the digital universe at the Barcelona Co-Innovation Center:


Day 1: Monday, February 25th 

Dave Ward, Cisco SVP Engineering CTO and Chief Architect (1st person on left), visited the Barcelona Co-Innovation Center for the first time. During the visit, NearbyComputing, a new private company jointly created by the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya and Nearby Sensors SL, presented their solution of Edge Cloud Services automated orchestration with Artificial Intelligence. 


Day 2: Tuesday, February 26th 

High level government officials visited the Co-Innovation Center including:

  • Eng. Abdulrahman, CEO of the Royal Commission of Makkah
  • Ali Alshehri, VP Shared Services of the Diplomatic Quarter General Authority
  • Fahad Binmushayt Binmusha, CEO of the Diplomatic Quarter General Authority
  • Mustafa Jan, GM Security of the Diplomatic Quarter General Authority.


The Catalan Government is looking for uses cases to deploy 5G in rural and industrial areas in Catalonia. We met with Stephan Spiers, Cisco Product Manager, the i2CAT Foundation and the Catalan Government to teach them more about our 5GRuralFisrt project uses cases, including one that captures the imagination around connected cows.


Day 3: Wednesday, February 27th 

We hosted a LatAm public sector event with high-level government officials and customers from Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Puerto Rico.

Some notable guests were:

  • Marco Pontes, Minister of Science, Technology, Innovations and Communications of Brazil (the first and only Brazilian Astronaut)
  • 2 Secretaries, 3 Senators, 7 Congressmen and 2 representatives from the Puerto Rico Telecommunications Regulatory Board
  • Cisco attendees: Jordi Botifoll, SVP LATAM; Laercio Alburquerque, Brazil CM; Giuseppe Marrara, Director Brazil, Government Affairs; Ricardo Mucci, Director Brazil, Public Sector sales.

Eugenio Pimenta, Rio de Janeiro Co-Innovation Center Lead welcomed the LatAm guests visiting Barcelona and joined the demonstration live from Rio de Janeiro, showcasing two centers simultaneously. First-time, first-rate collaboration between centers!





(Pictured on left: Me with Jordi Botifoll. Pictured on right: Me with Marco Pontes sporting RealWear glasses)



Day 4: Thursday 28th February

Ten international startups participated in the Barcelona Discovery Program organized by the City Council and Barcelona Activa. We explained the Cisco strategy on Co-Innovation and why Barcelona is a key worldwide hub on Innovation:

  • Barcelona distinguishes itself as a leading European technology hub, ranking 5th position.
  • Barcelona is the fourth city in the world most prepared for the technological future.
  • Barcelona has been recently named for the second consecutive year as fDi’s European Cities and Regions of the Future 2018/19 FDI Strategy winner for major cities.

After a great number of inspiring meetings during the week both at MWC and our Barcelona Co-Innovation Center, we feel fully energized to boost new collaboration opportunities with our ecosystem partners, governments, start-ups, universities, developers, researchers and the many customers we met.

The Barcelona Co-Innovation Center officially launched amid great fanfare during Cisco Live! Barcelona on last Jan. 28, joining Cisco’s global network of 14 such Centers. We have not had a second to rest. The momentum just keeping building to co-create digital solutions that can transform business and society–locally and globally. And we’re just getting started.

Don’t get left behind this digital movement, and drop by to explore how we can stretch the imagination of what’s possible. Together.


Xavier Azemar


Innovation Center Barcelona