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A commitment to the future

In June 2012, on the occasion of my trip to Boston to renew the Massachusetts – Catalonia cooperation agreement, I had the chance to visit the BIO Convention and talk at length to the managers of the 50 companies and 22 institutions that were representing Catalonia: a group of men and women characterised by entrepreneurial spirit and aware that a small country such as ours can only prosper if its ambition goes beyond borders and becomes global.

In the life sciences sector, the development of which is promoted by Biocat, these business men and women are also, in many cases, excellent scientists who have made the leap from the laboratory to the marketplace, overcoming numerous challenges, both personal and environment-related. Their enthusiasm and courage have enabled Catalonia to lead the biotechnology and biomedicine sector in Spain and have international presence at leading trade fairs; they are the ones who make this possible and give meaning to all the Biocat activities summarised in this report.

Historically, Catalonia has been a land of initiatives and productive dynamism. Catalan society has always known how to find advanced development models to boost economic growth and further social improvements. Since 2000, we have been making a firm commitment to a knowledge-based economy, based on research excellence and active technology transfer that results in business innovation. The sustained growth in the number of biotechnology companies, the fruitful interaction with pharmaceutical and medical technology companies, and the emergence of entrepreneurial initiatives in our hospitals, our universities and our research centres, tell us that we are on the right track.

The difficult economic situation in which we are currently immersed, means that this path, however, is not easy, especially for SMEs and entrepreneurs. This is why it so important that at Biocat there is continued support for areas such as training and internationalisation; and also why it is crucial that we can count on reports that projects us beyond our borders, such as the report we presented in Boston at the hands of E & Y, and collaborative networks that connect us on a global level, as commitment to this sector is a commitment to the future for Catalonia.

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

Medium and long term investments 

The year 2012 has been an intense year, full of activities with a heavy work load behind us but with a resulting high public impact. A year in which we have also been able to work day by day on the foundations of future projects. This is undoubtedly the case regarding the coordination work we are currently undertaking to promote the Catalan participation in the KIC (Knowledge and Innovation Communities) on health and nutrition of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), and the support that we have given to the creation of a platform for improving the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, within the framework of the Oncocat network.

This chapter of investment for the future also features the design and preparation of Design Health Barcelona, the flagship programme of the Moebio training initiative aimed at promoting innovation, entrepreneurship and professional development in health and biosciences. This new programme will not only develop innovative talent in hospital environments, but also serve to connect Catalonia with leading medical technology innovation initiatives throughout the world.

Following the presence of Biocat in 2012 at events such as BioEurope Spring Amsterdam and BioEurope Hamburg, there is the challenge of securing Barcelona once again as the location for BioEurope Spring 2013; after the effort involved in improving the Biocat Directory and the tools related to knowledge of the sector, we have the project of a new edition of the Biocat Report for Autumn, 2013.

All the activities, covering the most visible — BioEmprenedor XXI, Fira BIO, Biocàpsules , publications Fair ... — and also the more internal, have a single aim: to provide tools and strengthen our ecosystem so that active companies and institutions in the life sciences sector can grow and develop fully. 

Dr. Montserrat Vendrell
Biocat CEO