Biocat promotes the internationalization of companies and research entities in the BioRegion, facilitating opportunities for technological cooperation and investment. It also promotes the Catalan health and life sciences ecosystem globally through relationships with international counterparts and other agents in the sector.
The bioXclusters plus program aims to become the most competitive meta-cluster in Europe, supporting the internationalization of SMEs and acting as the only point of entry to Europe for investors and international firms in health and life sciences in strategic markets for the BioRegion (United States, Canada, Brazil, China, Japan, Australia and South Korea). This project is jointly promoted by Biocat (Catalonia), BioM (Bavaria), bioPmed (Piamonte) and Lyonbiopole (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes).
Within the framework of this project, in May 2017 Biocat organized another mission in China, enabling BioRegion companies to attend and present at the Sino-Euro BioPartnering conference and at the China International Medical Equipment Fair, the main trade fair in the Asia-Pacific region for medical equipment and related products and services. Among other activities, during the mission an agreement with Fenglin Biomedical Center (BioFM) was signed, with the aim of offering free advice and services to small and medium-sized businesses that want to start operating in China.
In addition, Biocat (through bioXclusters plus) and ACCIÓ organized for the second consecutive year a business mission to Japan as part of the 19th edition of the BioJapan Fair (Yokohama) and the European Biotech and Pharma Partnering Conference in Osaka, in October. Participating in the mission were Cytes Biotechnologies, Creatio, Gebro Pharma, Readycell, Laboratorios Rubió, Thrombotargets Europe and ZeClinics. This year, companies from the BioRegion of Catalonia had their own stand in the Spanish Pavilion coordinated by ICEX. During BioJapan, Biocat headed the delegation presenting the assets of the BioRegion of Catalonia in "Bio Cluster Summit 2017: Digital Biotechnology" and the seminar "Spanish Biotechnology, a state-of-the-art approach". Biocat also visited the Japan Bioindustry Association, Osaka Bio Headquarters and LINK-J, the new life sciences cluster in Tokyo.
"Bio Cluster Summit" during BIO Japan 2017
In November, Biocat participated in BIO Europe in Berlin, with a bioXclusters plus booth, where companies from the BioRegion could disseminate their material and learn about the gateways (platforms driven by bioXclusters plus to facilitate entry to strategic foreign markets) during a session in which the gateways of Canada, Japan and Australia were presented. More than 30 Catalan companies participated in the fair.
Also within the framework of bioXclusters plus, Biocat helped companies such as Anaxomics and Avida Biotech to identify investor and commercial partners in the United States and Australia. At the end of the project, collaboration agreements were signed with international entities that offer entry services to biotechnology SMEs in the BioRegion.
The European project Boost4Health brings together 11 leading organizations in the life sciences sector with strong commercial networks, as part of the Interreg North-West Europe program. The partners participating in this project, together with Biocat, are: Brabant Development Agency, BOM (Netherlands), East Netherlands Development Agency, Oost NV (Netherlands), Biopeople (Denmark), BioRegio STERN Management, STERN (Germany), GM Business Support Ltd., MGC (United Kingdom), Kent County Council, KCC, (United Kingdom), Eurosanté (France), ID2Santé, Innovation and development of the health sector in Bretagne (France) and University of Liège, ULg (Belgium).
Within this European project, Biocat has developed a network of life sciences service providers in the BioRegion that meet the innovation needs of SMEs in the other participating ecosystems.
In this respect, Biocat has also helped Catalan companies in the sector to find innovation services providers in the other ecosystems in the project. Some of the Catalan companies that have benefited from this are Cytes Biotechnologies, Aromics, Braingaze, Mind the Byte, ZeClinics, Ascidea, GP Pharm, Servocad and Goo Medical.
As part of Boost4Health, Biocat co-organized with the Danish Biopeople cluster, a Matchmaking Breakfast at the Nordic Life Science Days, the leading Nordic partnering conference dedicated to the life sciences industry. Biocat offered help with travel costs and Laboratorios Rubió, ZeClinics, Thrombotargets, Mind the Byte, Reig Jofre, Ascil Biopharm, Fira de Barcelona and Kymos participated in a mission co-organized with ACCIÓ.
Other sector trade fairs in which the BioRegion achieved visibility through the Boost4Health project were BIO-Europe Spring, BIO-Europe, Bio-Fit and MEDICA.
Onconet is an oncology network for research centers, universities, health institutions and companies. The partners participating in this Interreg Sudoe project, together with Biocat, are: Université Toulouse III Paul Sabatier (France), Navarrabiomed-Miguel Servet Foundation (Spain), Spanish National Cancer Research Center (Spain), Granada Health Sciences Technology Park (Spain), University of Coimbra (Portugal), ICO (Spain) and Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO) as associate partner.
Experts from Biocat and other BioRegion entities participated in the ONCO Emergence Forum, a networking conference held in Montpellier in December 2017, focusing on the creation of multidisciplinary consortiums, networks and collaborative oncology projects that are capable of applying for calls published by the European Commission and bilateral agreements. Biocat coordinated 14 Catalan experts for the scientific mission of this Onco Emergence Forum and worked throughout 2017 to prepare the 2018 edition, which was held in Barcelona in June 2018.
As part of this project, the Partners are collecting data from biobanks and diagnostic platforms to prepare a report that compares and homogenizes bio storage and diagnostic practices in the Sudoe space.
Stand of bioXclusters plus at BIO-Europe 2017
Biocat headed the health and life sciences unit at the multisectoral business and institutional mission in China organized by ACCIÓ in March 2017 with the collaboration of Biocat, Fenin and HealthTech Cluster. 10 Catalan biotechnology and medical equipment companies and entities participated: BioPrognos, Eurecat, Fira de Barcelona, Flexor, Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute, Laboratorios Rubió, Linkcare Health Services, Catalan Health Service, Vesismin and ZeClinics.
During the mission, Biocat presented the BioRegion of Catalonia to the Shanghai International Medical Zone, to the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park and to the Hong Kong Medical and Healthcare Device Industries Association. The company's agenda included meetings and visits to hospitals, universities, companies and technology parks, including two matchmaking sessions at the Shanghai International Medical Zone and at the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park.
As a result of this mission, Biocat organized an inverse mission in September, in which the Beijing Genomics Institute, considered the world’s largest genome sequencing research center, visited Catalonia in search of partners in the field of sports medicine and active aging. A delegation from the Chinese giant met in Barcelona with representatives from the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), the Centre Nacional d’Anàlisi Genòmica (CNAG-CRG), Indescat and the medical department of FC Barcelona.
Also in September, the main Chinese institutional investor, China Great Wall Asset Management, visited the BioRegion in search of business opportunities at a meeting organized by Biocat. A delegation of 26 senior executives of the firm, including numerous regional directors, met with Catalan biopharmaceutical firms with an interest in the Chinese market.
In addition, Biocat collaborated in a reverse mission for companies in the Toyama Pharmaceutical Association, the third-largest business organization in Japan, who visited Barcelona in a mission organized by ICEX.
In December, Biocat welcomed a reverse mission from Australia, organized jointly with bioXclusters plus, Health Industries South Australia and the Government of South Australia, which had the participation of companies such as Ferrer and Àvida Biotech.
Below, Onco Emergence Forum in Montpellier