New projects for the sector
In 2018, the Biocat Board of Trustees, chaired by Minister of Health Alba Vergés, named Jordi Naval the organization’s new CEO. Naval took over the position that was left vacant the previous year by the previous CEO Albert Barberà, current Director General for Research and Innovation in Health for the Government of Catalonia. The Biocat executive team also brought Núria Martí on board, who was previously head of Business Development at the Institute for Health Science Research Germans Trias i Pujol (IGTP), as its new Director of Innovation. This way, Biocat reinforced its team to promote its strategy based on three priorities: growing innovation and accelerating projects and companies in the sector, developing talent and promoting knowledge, and positioning the BioRegion of Catalonia internationally.
These strategic lines are reflected in new projects. Some of them already kicked off in 2018, as we’ll explain in this report. One of these is The Investment Readiness Series, a new initiative from Biocat to increase the flow of investment-ready research projects in the BioRegion. The first meetings between projects and investors were held in 2018, both in Barcelona and London, and the program will continue with new local and international editions.
With regard to promoting talent, coinciding with the fifth anniversary of the Moebio initiative, in 2018 Biocat launched a new flagship program: CRAASH Barcelona, an acceleration program that is part of the EIT Health bootcamps and helps European research teams launch their healthtech innovations to market mentored by experts from CIMIT (Boston), the most experienced healthcare accelerator in the world.
This international positioning strategy for the BioRegion includes noteworthy events like the presentation of the Biocat Report (see right box) and participation in fairs, among others.
The organization’s day-to-day work also includes many other initiatives that are not mentioned explicitly in this report but are part of its activity. These include the Claus per Bioemprendre program, dealing with requests from the sector and coordinating the NEXTHEALTH community: Multidisciplinary solutions for the coming challenges in health, which is coordinated by Biocat under the framework of RIS3CAT and expects to have a direct impact by creating new R&D platforms, new jobs, new start-ups and products in development.
The great gathering of the BioRegion
In December 2018, Biocat presented the fifth edition of the Biocat Report, which this year included a 2025 Vision for the sector. The presentation was presided over by the Honorable Quim Torra, president of the Government of Catalonia, and brought together roughly 300 professionals from the sector. The event, with the highest turn-out of any organized by Biocat all year, once again consolidated its place as the biggest benchmark gathering of professionals in the BioRegion of Catalonia.
Presentation of Biocat Report 2017