Addressing the major challenges of the BioRegion
The work of Biocat in 2013 has been marked significantly by the launch of the Moebio activities, an initiative to develop talent and training in innovation and entrepreneurship in the health sector. Moebio and, more specifically, the ambitious Design Health Barcelona (d·HEALTH) programme, which began on 16th September, 2013, are part of the support strategies to position Catalonia as a key partner in a future Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) for health and active ageing from the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). The d·HEALTH programme, centred around hospital innovation, has been possible thanks to the collaboration of centres of reference and innovative companies. Being a unique project, it represents a major challenge and, given its high level of organisational complexity, has demanded the active involvement of all the Biocat departments throughout the year.
The second key challenge of the year has been the drafting and publication of the Biocat Report 2013, the third edition of this exhaustive study on the Catalan biotech sector and its agents, which was presented on 3rd December at a public event chaired by the Minister of Health, Boi Ruiz. The Report was prepared in parallel with the improvement of a key tool for understanding the BioRegion, the Biocat directory, an essential part of the website (www.biocat.cat) which, in 2013, exceeded 133,500 users.
Also noteworthy in the ledger of activities for 2013 was the holding in Barcelona, for the second time — the previous was in 2010 —, of the BioEurope Spring fair, which together with the autumn edition of BioEurope, is the continent’s most important partnering event for biotech companies and organisations. Trade fairs such as those mentioned above or the BIO Convention which, in April 2013, brought together the global leaders of the industry in Chicago, in which a delegation of 35 Catalan companies and organisations took part, are key parts of the effort to internationalise the Catalan Biosciences sector, as are the various European projects and collaborative networks of which Biocat is a part and which were especially active in 2013.
We cannot end this summary of the year without making mention of the good results of two initiatives which Biocat promotes through organisations that are benchmarks in innovation and research support, namely Barcelona Activa and "la Caixa" bank foundation. Jointly with these two organisations, the sixth edition of BioEmprenedor XXI was organised and "la Caixa" has held another year of B·Debate, the international centre for scientific debate which, since 2009, has organised large meetings of international researchers to explore the limits of science.