A sector with important social impact

The huge changes we will have to tackle in the coming years will surely lead us into a new world in all areas, with transformed social structures, international relations and business and trade models that will generate opportunities that have yet to be explored. A changing environment where Catalonia can and hopes to play an important role, as we are a country that aspires to be a significant part of the international scene.

This is precisely what the BioRegion of Catalonia aims to do. The healthcare and life sciences ecosystem that Biocat is in charge of promoting and dynamizing, and that has a clearly transformative function, with a significant impact on society, the economy and progress.

Since it was first created, more than a decade ago, Biocat has played a decisive role in pushing forward the whole ecosystem and has become a strategic element for the internationalization of the BioRegion of Catalonia.

In December 2018, I had the honor of presiding over the presentation of the fifth Biocat Report, the benchmark study on the Catalan healthcare and life sciences sector. And today I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate a message I conveyed that day to the more than 300 professionals in the sector that joined us: Catalonia is on par with any of the benchmark countries in this arena. We only have to look at the figures: more than 223,000 people employed, over one thousand companies, 7.2% of the GDP and turnover at nearly €18 billion. Know this: we have all the right ingredients and they are of the very best quality. It is up to us to use and further boost them wisely, as we have done so far. 

So, as President of Catalonia, I would like to publicly recognize the work of Biocat and all the stakeholders in the BioRegion, who help strengthen and consolidate this sector day after day. The Government will continue to promote policies seeking to accelerate innovation in this field, because we know that doing so benefits the welfare of society as a whole. Let’s go!

The Honorable Quim Torra, President of the Government of Catalonia and President of the Biocat Board of Trustees

A positive perfect storm for the BioRegion

This is a very exciting time for the BioRegion of Catalonia, the Catalan healthcare and life sciences sector. Thanks to the work of its stakeholders, we’ve put together the ingredients necessary to anticipate a positive “perfect storm” of factors that will help transform the BioRegion into one of the most innovative ecosystems in Europe.

In 2018, Biocat presented a highly ambitious 2025 Vision, with Catalonia and Barcelona ranking among the top three biomedical hubs in Europe. Our vision is for the BioRegion to consolidate its place as one of the top destinations in the sector for investment, thanks to our cutting-edge universities, hospitals and research facilities; to excellent science and incremental innovation, investment capacity and great professional and entrepreneurial talent.

Our 2025 Vision also features recommendations for both stakeholders in the sector and the administrations. To achieve this 2025 Vision, Biocat has started kicking off actions aimed at consolidating this great field of assets in the BioRegion, and promoting its capacities to rise in the main rankings in the global healthcare and life sciences industry.

This report offers a snapshot of some of the new projects that were launched in 2018 in order to work towards this goal (such as the Open Innovation Forum and the Investment Readiness Series), as well as others that carry on and have become benchmarks in the sector, like Moebio, the Biocat talent and acceleration initiative.

We are driven by a mission that can be shared by all interests and ideologies: to make people healthier through innovation. A competitive ecosystem like the BioRegion of Catalonia offers good science and good business opportunities, holds a position of international leadership, helps create jobs and drives economic growth, but above all accelerates therapies that improve the population’s health. As I’m writing these lines, Catalonia has roughly 20 advanced therapies in the clinical development phase. By 2025, a dozen drugs may reach patients with “Drug developed in Catalonia” written in tiny print on the package leaflets. We’re working to make this happen and, thanks to everyone pulling in the same direction, we hope it will soon become reality.

Jordi Naval, CEO of Biocat