Catalonia is committed to innovation

The activity of the Catalan life sciences sector in 2013 was framed by two outstanding events that are the focus of this report. Firstly, the celebration in Barcelona of a new edition of BioEurope Spring ─ which turned the city into the European capital of biotechnology in the first week of March ─ and secondly, the presentation, on December 3rd, of the Biocat Report 2013, a publication that has become key to its understanding and the development of the biotechnology, biomedicine and medical technology sector in Catalonia.

The report talks about the vitality and the opportunities offered in Catalonia by the bioscience sector, a sector that already produces 5.8% of our GDP and which has an enormous potential for growth. And this is because the BioRegion brings together a set of young, dynamic and innovative companies that will undoubtedly flourish and expand in the next few years, if we give the sector the support and drive it needs, and because the sector is based on cutting-edge research, which is developed in our universities, our research centres and also, and most importantly, in our hospitals, where innovations and new discoveries emerge from our laboratories.

The future of Catalonia lies in its increased international competitiveness with innovative, strategic sectors such as Biosciences — key in the fields of health, food and energy, among others. And innovation requires ongoing and constructive dialogue between the public and private sectors, between businesses, educational and research institutions and the administration. Biocat and its activities — which are set out in this report — are a good example of this collaboration, which we must continue to drive forward so that our country can rise to the challenge of providing a better future for all citizens.

M. Hble. Sr. Artur Mas
President of the Government of Catalonia and president of the Biocat Board of Trustees

Objective: to strengthen the ecosystem

The year 2013 has undoubtedly been a significant year in the history of Biocat for several reasons. On the one hand, we have launched the first edition of Design Health Barcelona, an ambitious and complex program with an approach entirely new for us. The program consists in setting up teams capable of promoting innovation in hospital environments and accompanying them in the process of becoming entrepreneurs and bringing a new product to the market. It was a major challenge, which we have been working on for some time, and the start and early stages of the course carried out within this year have been a great success.

On the other hand, 2013 has seen the publication of the third Biocat report, a publication that has become a necessary reference for the life sciences sector in Catalonia and for identifying the challenges that we can expect in the future. Catalonia is proving itself to be one of the most dynamic bioclusters in Europe, with a significant rate of business creation and entrepreneurial initiatives, which it has maintained despite the harsh economic crisis in recent years. The increase in private investments is a positive sign in an ecosystem that is facing the challenge of growth — that good existing projects take on enough importance to develop their own potential — and the challenge to create value, all turning our strengths in research into innovations that will reach the market. The diagnosis of the report shows us that the main areas that guide the work of Biocat are heading in the right direction to reinforce and boost the sector.

The third point that should be noted, is the approval this year of an amendment of the foundation articles that has increased the number of representatives of the business sector on the Biocat Board of Trustees, who are appointed at the proposal of the employer stakeholders Farmaindustria, CataloniaBIO and Fenin. The plurality of the Biocat Board of Trustees and the active involvement of all public and private stakeholders — Government, universities, research centres, hospitals, science parks, businesses and support organisations— is the best guarantee that our work will succeed in the aim of strengthening the ecosystem for the benefit of the sector and of the country.

Dr. Montserrat Vendrell
Biocat CEO