A decided, fruitful commitment
Ten years ago, the Government of Catalonia and the Barcelona City Council made a joint commitment, firmly and decidedly looking to the future: to create Biocat, a strategic agent to promote the consolidation of the healthcare and life sciences in Catalonia.
Given the high quality of research being done in our centers, institutes and universities, along with the research talent and entrepreneurial spirit, it was clear that we needed a catalyst to help make the most of this group’s benefits to and impact on society. It was, therefore, a matter of helping identify and raise awareness of the active stakeholders in the BioRegion and fostering connections between them, while encouraging a dynamic, efficient environment in which the different elements could complement each other to have a multiplier effect.
Over this time, Biocat has put in place a strategy with a series of programs and projects to establish and align the challenges and opportunities of an emerging sector. To this end, they have created: tools to boost business competitiveness and internationalization, training programs to help researchers acquire the necessary executive and business management skills, networking activities, reports on the sector, a center for scientific debate, health acceleration programs, a virtual jobs center for the sector, a detailed directory and other activities and services to develop this ecosystem.
These tangible initiatives have been accompanied by a huge amount of promotion and communication work, which has gradually reached the goal of positioning Catalonia internationally as a hub of innovation in health and has highlighted the great potential of Catalonia in this global sector.
We can happily say that, since it was created in 2006, Biocat has achieved results that put us closer and closer to our final goal, and that the human and industrial capital in the BioRegion is bigger and better each year. This can be seen in the booming number of companies, constantly increasing investment and the BioRegion’s reputation. Technology transfer and valorization, alongside other challenges still to be tackled, must encourage you to continue pushing forward to achieve the social impact Catalonia expects of you.
This tenth anniversary is a great occasion to thank all of you who contribute through your work, spirit and efforts to this joint project. Here in the Government we are committed to prioritizing and promoting policies to continue building a country that is on the cutting edge of innovation and knowledge, driving forces that are essential to our economy and our wellness.
M. Hble. Sr. Carles Puigdemont
2006-2016, ten years building an innovative healthcare ecosystem
This year we’re celebrating Biocat’s 10th year. It has been a time of hope, hard work, maturing and drive to grow.
Our shared challenge has been to transform knowledge and technology into economic growth and, in short, social impact. Teamwork with the support of all the stakeholders in the BioRegion of Catalonia, along with the vision of the Government of Catalonia and the Barcelona City Council in providing a strategic plan to promote the BioRegion, have been keys in developing and consolidating the Catalan healthcare and life sciences ecosystem.
Although 2016 was a year of celebration, Biocat continued to work, participating in and coordinating a wide variety of activities and projects aligned with our main strategic focal points: Awareness and Projection of the Sector, Entrepreneurship and Business Growth, and Valorization and Knowledge Transfer.
We have reached important milestones, like publishing the Biocat Report, with innovative new contents and formats, and holding the Forum of the BioRegion, with a 100% international program for the first time ever featuring successful public-private partnership experiences and future trends in the biomedicine, medical technology and digital health industry. The more than 300 professionals that came together for the event are proof that the Forum has consolidated its place as one of the main events for the sector in Catalonia.
We have also strengthened international synergies by participating in various congresses and missions to foster the penetration of our companies and organizations in other markets where they have commercial interests. One example is the BIO International Convention – the US fair that is a global benchmark for the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sector – and Biocat’s participation in the missions to Boston and Japan. Furthermore, we have forged tighter bonds and shared knowledge with foreign clusters through projects like bioXclusters plus and the visit to the Boston ecosystem.
In terms of business acceleration, we continue to make a great effort to promote innovative talent training and entrepreneurship in the healthcare sector through the MOEBIO d·HEALTH Barcelona program. In the fourth year of this program, 3 new start-ups and 6 new healthcare projects were created. The great turnout and successful networking at other activities like Health & Bio Team Dating and Lessons Learned encourage us to continue promoting this type of programs. Another clearly consolidated initiative is the B·Debate international scientific debates promoted by Biocat and the “La Caixa” Foundation, which had welcomed a total of 12,000 participants in 69 activities as of the end of 2016.
Other large-scale projects underway in 2016 to mobilize resources to benefit the BioRegion are EIT Health and the RIS3CAT NextHealth Community, two of Biocat’s great commitments to improving the ecosystem. With the former, Biocat played a significant role in implementing new business acceleration programs (ranging from calls for proposals to receive financial aid for projects and start-ups to training for new entrepreneurs). The RIS3CAT Community is coordinated by Biocat and has more than 50 member institutions (public and private). The community is promoting 5 large-scale projects to address the main health-related challenges of today.
The launch of these and other initiatives have helped bring the BioRegion of Catalonia closer and closer to world-renowned ecosystems. This is why we would like to congratulate you and encourage you to continue working, at least ten years more.
Dr. Albert Barberà