Helping internationalize the sector

bioXclustersplus (2015-2017)

bioXclusters plus is a meta-cluster alliance to support the internationalization of SMEs and act as a single point of entry to Europe for global players in the healthcare and life sciences sector in strategic markets (United States, Brazil, China, Japan, Australia and South Korea). This project is promoted jointly by four leading health clusters in Europe: Biocat (Catalonia), BioM (Bavaria), bioPmed (Piedmont) and Lyonbiopole (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes).

In 2016, several bioXclusters held activities to pave the road for internationalization in personalized medicine, including the EU-Japan matchmaking event, the business mission to Osaka and Yokohama (BioJapan), EU-Japan cluster workshops and the MoUs signed with South Korea, Adelaide (Australia) and TOHealth! (Canada).

An e-learning platform, an online language system and the Brazil report are some of the tools bioXclusters plus worked on in 2016 to support the international development of its SMEs and partners.

Boost4Health (2016-2019)

The European Interreg North-west Boost4Health project brings together 11 leading organizations in the life sciences with strong commercial networks. The partners in this project, along with Biocat, are: Brabant Development Agency, BOM (Netherlands), East Netherlands Development Agency, Oost NV (Netherlands), Biopeople (Denmark), BioRegio STERN Management, STERN (Germany), GM Business Support Ltd, MGC (United Kingdom), Kent County Council, KCC, (United Kingdom), Eurosanté (France), ID2Santé, Innovation and development of the health sector in Bretagne (France) and University of Liége, ULg (Belgium).

In this project, Biocat leads work to prepare a transnational product-validation and testing network (clinical trial centers, hospitals, living laboratories) that puts SMEs in contact with validation centers for innovations in the life sciences in other regions of Europe. The aim is to help SMEs validate their life-sciences innovations throughout Europe to get products on the European market more quickly and effectively.

In 2016, the consortium focused on preparing, managing and communicating the project, as well as training services that will be available to SMEs.

Onconet (2016-2019)

Onconet is an oncology multi-network of research centers, universities, health institutions and companies that aims to: inventory and pool resources and skills, develop and share innovations in the field of cancer to benefit patients, strengthen synergies and collective actions among stakeholders involved in fighting cancer, and promote the importance of the cancer research of excellence conducted by ONCONET SUDOE partners in Europe and the world.

The partners participating in this project, in addition to Biocat, are: Université Toulouse III Paul Sabatier (France), Navarrabiomed-Miguel Servet Foundation (Spain), Spanish National Cancer Research Center (Spain), Health Sciences Technology Park Foundation (Spain), University of Coimbra (Portugal) and Fundación para la Investigación Biosanitaria de Andalucía Oriental (Spain). 

Biocat is working to inventory and compare diagnostic techniques, personalization of therapies and prognosis practices used throughout Europe in order to establish global guidelines to improve cancer treatment. This will lead to a series of events to connect researchers in the BioRegion with top-notch European institutions and attract talent from all over Europe through symposia and congresses. 

Business mission to Japan, Osaka and BioJapan 2016

Thanks to a special collaboration between bioXclusters plus and the EU-Japan Centre, roughly 60 participants from nine European countries (Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom) participated in a joint mission to Osaka and Yokohama.

On 10 and 11 October 2016, the companies attended conferences on the industry in Japan to discuss business opportunities and regulatory issues. On 11 October, they joined the European Biotech & Pharma Partnering Conference in Osaka, organized by the Osaka biotechnology cluster and the EU-Japan Centre, where 288 B2B meetings were held with 61 Japanese companies and organizations from the Kansai region.

The final three days of the mission the joint delegation attended the 18th annual BioJapan, the benchmark fair for the sector in Asia. On 13 October, the bioXclusters plus partners presented the initiative in Japan at the Bio cluster summit organized by the Japan Bioindustry Association (JBA).

This was the first action organized by bioXclusters plus in 2016 to build a “direct gateway” to Japan for European SMEs in order to boost market access and foster trade relations.

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Success stories from business mission to Japan

Mind The Byte

During the business mission to Japan, Catalan biotechnology company Mind the Byte signed a distribution agreement with Japanese company Filgen and expects to see €1.2 millions in revenue from the Japanese market by 2020.

“This is our third time traveling to Japan, and the meetings we had this week show that perseverance and trust are key; it’s a far cry from the first approach we made a year and a half ago,” explained the company’s founder and CEO Alfons Nonell-Canals, who also celebrated this new milestone as he considers Japan to be a key country in the sector. “The global bioinformatics market in Japan is expected to grow 21% by 2020,” he added.

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Alfons Nonell-Casals, founder and CEO of Mind the Byte, with ACCIÓ’s Japanese delegation team.