Innovation That Matters

Global Innovation Spotlight: Spain

Global Innovation Spotlight

From green rooftops to medication-free sleep treatment discover exciting innovations from Spain

Reflecting our global Springwise readership, we explore the innovation landscape and freshest thinking from a new country each week. This week we are heading to Spain…

Spain Innovation Profile

Global Innovation Index ranking: 29th

Climate targets: A 23 per cent cut in emissions by 2030 compared with 1990 levels, net zero by 2050

Sustainability issues

Agriculture and water scarcity – In Spain’s south-east, 85 to 90 per cent of the water used goes to agriculture. This is having a major impact on local eco-systems with wetlands and rivers drying up and pollution contaminating groundwater. And water scarcity is being exacerbated by thousands of illegal wells, many of which are linked to intensive farming.

Water pollution – Nitrate pollution, particularly related to large-scale pig farming, is an issue in several of Spain’s regions. For example, Mar Menor, Europe’s largest saltwater lagoon, has been hit by catastrophic algal blooms fed by high levels of nutrients in the water. In 2016, such blooms killed 85 per cent of the vegetation on the lagoon’s seabed.  

Wildfires – The scorching summer temperatures affecting much of Europe in 2022 led to severe wildfires in Spain. The fires destroyed thousands of acres of land and forced hundreds of residents to leave their homes. The fires followed a heatwave that occurred earlier in the year than any other major heat event in more than 40 years.

Sector specialisms

– Biotech

– Fintech

– Traveltech

Source: Startup Universal

Three Exciting Innovations From Spain

 Photo source Herr Bohn on Unsplash


Every building has a roof, and this can be a source of significant energy loss. In a house with no or only minimal insulation, around 25 per cent of the heat produced by the boiler will escape through the roof. Slowing this loss of heat through improvements to the thermal envelope can dramatically reduce energy use – and energy bills. One novel way of achieving this is through the use of a ‘green roof’ – where vegetation is incorporated into a building’s terrace, rooftop, or inner courtyard. According to social enterprise Eixverd, a green roof can save even more energy than an insulated roof. Read more

Photo source Lux Graves on Unsplash


Today, getting enough sleep is considered on a par with eating right and getting enough exercise. The reason for this is that insufficient sleep has been associated with a host of negative outcomes – from poor performance in school and at work, to increased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and hypertension. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a third of US adults report that they usually get less than the recommended amount of sleep – a pattern that is repeated around the world. Enter Moonoa, a new app and programme designed to get everyone sleeping again. Read more

Photo source Pixabay


Spanish software company APlanet created a single, customisable dashboard for companies to track their environmental, social and governance (ESG) measures in one place. Whatever a business is doing to protect the global health of the planet, and wherever that occurs in the supply chain, the APlanet platform tracks it. A company sets up the categories that it wants to track, which can include global standards as well as internal, local, or regional measures. APlanet helps identify data inputs and builds a bespoke dashboard. Read more

Words: Matthew Hempstead

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