San Sebastián, Donostia in Basque language, is located in the North of Spain in the Basque Country, less than 25 km from France. The beauty of its Bay, known as the Pearl of the Cantabrian Sea, its quality of life and its famous cuisine have made it a top tourist destination over the last two centuries.
Throughout its history, the city has been an innovation-driven city, focusing on reinvention based on basic features and values – the city was destroyed and reborn in 1813. And it continues to be so, in keeping with the new times and facing the new economic, environmental and social sustainability challenges.
Donostia-San Sebastián’s economy is mainly focused on advanced services, gastronomy, tourism and the retail industry, as well as knowledge-based industries, like science, technology and innovation. Over the past few years, the city has leaned on innovation and knowledge, arts and culture. As an example, the city has been European Capital of Culture 2016. It is a city built on a human scale, it has sustainable public transport and a network of 65 km of cycling paths.
Cultural activity increased at the same pace as tourist activity, giving the city the exceptional programme of performances and cultural events that it enjoys today. The countless world-famous festivals that are held over the year, such as the International Film Festival, Jazzaldia the Jazz Festival the Musical Fortnight, are events visitors can’t miss.
It is a world-famous food destination, being located in one of the areas with the most Michelin stars per square meter in the world and it was the home of the rebirth of Basque cuisine.
The dense business and associative fabric have a great potential to generate and a solid structure of innovation, science and technology, connecting the city and the ecosystem. The promotion of participative innovation accelerated the spread and socialization of innovation by setting up a dynamic innovation ecosystem. The city is home to strong innovator companies, 5,000 researchers and 34 research centres and cutting-edge technology, talent attraction infrastructures, 4 universities, an innovation week, etc.
Overall, innovation is in the city’s DNA, in our culture, our history and our future. The city’s model of innovation puts people at the centre, and it’s their talent that develops the city.