The healthcare and life sciences sector, key for Catalonia

Innovation in healthcare has and will continue to be a priority on the strategic agenda of Catalonia. This sector not only has a great impact every day on the health and wellbeing of our people but also fuels the country’s economic growth.

Companies in the sector post turnover of more than €14 billions, 7% of the Catalan GDP, and employ more than 42,000 workers. Nearly 90,000 people work at our 195 hospitals –15 of which are University hospitals– and more than 8,000 at the 41 research centers that put Catalan science on international rankings of excellence: Catalonia was awarded 53% of all grants from the European Research Council (ERC) and generates 0.99% of all scientific production worldwide in the healthcare and life sciences.

Altogether, this shows that the commitment of the Government of Catalonia to research and innovation is necessary and is yielding highly visible results for our economy and for our society. The consolidation of the BioRegion of Catalonia makes us proud and encourages us to continue working to promote this ecosystem, to boost its potential to become even more efficient over the coming years. The figures and rankings clearly show we have the talent and assets to continue growing and become more competitive on a global scale.

As a result, the Government of Catalonia will continue our commitment through organizations like Biocat, which is and will continue to be a key element for strengthening and catalyzing the healthcare and life sciences ecosystem in Catalonia. Biocat is currently undergoing a reflection process that will culminate with a new strategic plan in 2016 to further promote our BioRegion over the coming years. Because we’ve come so far, but there’s still a long road ahead. Let’s go! 


M. Hble. Sr. Carles Puigdemont 
President of the Government of Catalonia and president of the Biocat Board of Trustees

2015, A turning point

2015 was a time of transition for Biocat. One of the reasons for this turning point was the change in the organization’s management team, as a result of my predecessor Montserrat Vendrell leaving to head up the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST). We are very grateful to her for the great work she did for the BioRegion of Catalonia in her eight years at the helm of Biocat.

In this regard, and coinciding with the change of leadership, Biocat is undertaking a reflection process in 2016 that will come to light as a new strategic action plan. We are currently working on this strategy, and although it will continue in the same general line, greater emphasis will be put on tasks to promote technology and knowledge transfer and valorization, as this is one of the shortcomings of the ecosystem detected in the analysis carried out in late 2015.

Therefore, the activities Biocat carried out in the year this report covers addressed the four focal points based on the previous strategic reflection, carried out in 2014, which were considered to contribute more value to the Catalan life sciences ecosystem as a whole.

A glance at this report shows the consolidation of projects already fully integrated into the BioRegion, including the international scientific debates promoted by B·Debate, the Lessons Learned sessions, the d·HEALTH Barcelona training program for medical technology entrepreneurs, and coordinating the Catalan delegation to the top global fair in the sector, the BIO Convention. In addition to these activities, there were also new initiatives in 2015, including Health & BIO Team Dating –geared towards encouraging transfer from academia to business– and EIT Health and Barcelona Clinical Trials Platform, two large-scale strategic initiatives destined to transform different arenas of our ecosystem in the middle and long term.

You have here, therefore, a collection of activities that demonstrate the active role Biocat plays as a key driver to strengthen and boost the potential of the healthcare and life sciences ecosystem with a transversal view that is possible thanks to the dedication of a great team, support from our Board of Trustees and the companies, organizations and professionals that collaborate on our projects. To all of them, we reiterate our sincerest thanks.


Dr. Albert Barberà 
Biocat CEO