2012: A year intense
The year 2012 has been particularly intense for various reasons. On the one hand, some activities have taken on an exceptional dimension. An example of this has been the participation at the BIO International Convention, held from 18th to 21st June in Boston. Biocat coordinated a very large delegation (50 companies and 22 institutions) headed by the president of the Generalitat, Artur Mas. The most important international event for the sector was also the framework for the presentation of the report Catalonia Life Sciences Report 2011, edited by the company Ernst & Young with data from the Biocat Report, 2011. The study endorses the Catalonia BioRegion as the largest biocluster in Spain and one of the most active in Europe.
Furthermore, the 2012 edition of the programme BioEmprenedor XXI (Bioentrepreneurs) took on particular importance, as the event was used to take stock of the first five years of this initiative, which has led to the creation of nearly 40 companies and more than 100 highly qualified jobs.
Moreover, the implementation of new European projects, which have joined already active projects, has intensified international cooperation activity, both in the field of scientific cooperation and in technological transfer (Interbio, ETTBio, Health-TIES, Bilat 2.0, Transbio 2.0) and internationalisation (bioXclusters).
But an important part of the activity has focused on the preparation of projects that have to be materialised in 2013 or in the next few years; projects which, in some cases, hold great importance for the BioRegion. In this chapter we must include the start-up of the working groups for promoting Catalan participation in both KIC (knowledge and innovation Community) nominations of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) regarding health and food, respectively.
In this same chapter we must set out all the preparation work that has been done in 2012 for the start-up of the talent development initiative Moebio, i del seu programa insígnia d·HEALTH Barcelona, whose aim is the formation of innovation leaders and entrepreneurs in the field of hospitals. To meet this new challenge, Biocat is collaborating with several leading international entities such as the KaosPilots school of entrepreneurship whose director, Christer Windeløv-Lidzélius, took part in the 2012 Bizbarcelona.
The presence in 2012 of Biocat at international trade fairs such as BioEurope Spring in Amsterdam and Hamburg BioEurope also ranks among the investments for the future, in this case, to capture audience and international visibility for the 2013 Edition of BioEurope Spring, which will be held in Barcelona.
Improvements made to key tools for knowledge related to the sector, such as the Biocat Directory, or the promotion of communication tools (websites, newsletters, social networking ...) form part of these investments for the future which have been given sustained and notable attention.
Finally, in this review, we must mention the consolidation of initiatives such as the B·Debate, international centre for scientific debate, an initiative set up by Biocat and the "la Caixa" foundation, which aims to make Barcelona and Catalonia an international scientific reference point by organising debates and symposia on frontier science and research. The 12 activities in the 2012 programme brought us closer to the knowledge of almost 300, mainly international speakers.
A new edition of the Biocàpsules programme, the fourth Summer School on Medicines (SSM4) and the promotion of thematic networks such as Oncocat and BioNanoMed are other notable activities of a year in which Biocat has endeavoured to consider all the stakeholders of the BioRegion of Catalonia in the execution of its work.