Biocat and CataloniaBio & HealthTech have presented virtually, with an online attendance of more than 400 professionals, the long-awaited 2020 BioRegion Report. This is a benchmark study of the life and health sciences ecosystem in Catalonia, which has collected the main macroeconomic data on the sector, including the investment numbers updated to September 2020.
In only 9 months, Catalonia startups linked to the biotech sector have reached 120 million euros in investment, surpassing the record set in 2019, when 112 million euros were raised. The main driver of this growth has been venture capital with international participation, which increased by 67.1% and, for the first time, exceeded 50 million euros.
Our organization had the opportunity to collaborate on the 2020 Bioregion Report as authors of the chapter dedicated to innovative activity, taking the indicators of patent applications in Catalonia as well as in Spain and Europe as reference. In this way, the data collected show that 40% of the innovative activity in life sciences in Spain between 2015 and 2019 was concentrated in the region, with 379 patent applications between the SPTO, the EPO, the WIPO and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). In addition, the international profile of the patent protection sector has grown significantly in recent years, with the European Patent Office (EPO) being the first of the registration options, protecting innovation for 57% of Catalan companies in the biotechnology field.
Finally, it should also be noted that, compared to the rest of Spain, 62% of innovative activity comes from companies, compared to 32% that comes from public bodies, which shows Catalonia’s historic business strength in the life sciences sector.
The 2020 BioRegion Report also highlighted the main challenges that the ecosystem has to face in order to increase its impact on the economy and its role as a driver of innovation, proposing improvement actions in five fields and including a vision of what Catalonia should be in 2025:
- Technology transfer: the report advocates analyzing the real needs of the Catalan health system and promoting projects at an international level, strengthening matchmaking activities and establishing a policy for intensifying incentives for researchers, doctors, health personnel and innovation managers.
- Action and talent development: the aim is to opt for talent acceleration programs based on unmet needs and to promote female leadership.
- Capital mobilization and investment attraction: to achieve an optimal project dealflow that attracts Catalan and international private capital, to promote public-private investment funds and tools to implement innovation related to research in companies.
- Adoption of technology by the public health system: to deploy strategies and instruments to enhance public procurement of innovation as well as innovation in public procurement, and to improve the return of the innovation benefits into the healthcare industry.
- Business strengthening: to strengthen the local driving ability of strengthened companies and to promote alliances within the business network and with key figures of the sector (technology centers, hospitals, regulators).
Enlaces de interés: 2020 BIOREGION REPORT