The accelerated globalization process of the past 30 years has increased the importance of internationalization strategies for all companies, however they are particularly important in sectors, like biotechnology, biomedicine and medical technology, that are, by definition, global.
From basic research through production and commercialization of new drugs or innovative medical devices, the entire biotech sector moves in the international arena and the capacity of Catalan companies to act and compete in this environment is key to their development and future viability.
Therefore, one of Biocat’s priorities is to encourage Catalan companies and organizations to participate in international networks, forums, congresses and fairs. Internationalization must take place both in research and scientific exchange as well as business partnering and commercial promotion. The BioRegion of Catalonia participates in the following international networks:
- Council of European BioRegions (CEBR), currently presides Dr. Montserrat Vendrell, Biocat CEO
- European Diagnostic Clusters Alliance (EDCA)
- Northern Ireland Massachusetts Connection (NIMAC)
- Southern Europe Biocluster (promoted by the Pyrenees Mediterranean Euroregion)
- Enterprise Europe Network (EEN)
And has signed agreements with organizations like the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MassBio), BiopolisQuébec, Eurobiomed, the European Federation of Biotechnology (EFB) and the Johns Hopkins TechTransfer Center.
Through this network of international relations, Biocat maintains close knowledge links to countries like Germany, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, the United States, France, the Netherlands, Hungary, India, Poland, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Switzerland.
Additionally, Biocat also participates in European transnational cooperation projects to foster market access and technology transfer. These include:
- bioXclusters (2012-2013): five European partners are participating in this project to reinforce and promote the international competitiveness of biotechnology SMEs in three strategic markets: the United States, China and Brazil.
- Bilat USA 2.0 (2012-2015): an European Commission’s 7th Framework Program project to promote collaboration in science, technology and innovation between Europe and the United States over the coming three years. In addition to Catalonia, eight European countries and three prestigious North American entities are participating in this project.
- ETTBio (2012-2014): an Interreg IVC international cooperation project geared towards identifying, exchanging and communicating best practices for technology transfer in biotechnology with the aim of improving regional policies in this field. Ten partners from seven European regions are participating in this project.
- HealthTIES (2010-2013): this consortium is made up of four European regions and aims to drive innovation in medical technology and bridge the gap between research in this field and patient needs.
- Transbio (2013-2014): the Transbio project is the continuation of Interbio and will work to bring together research centers, technology platforms, universities and companies in an interdisciplinary network to more effectively transform the results of research into an economic reality in the field of biotechnology and health. Biocat will coordinate Catalan participation in this European project.
- Interbio (2009-2012): Interreg-Sudoe project, which aims to create a network of top-notch technology platforms in France, Spain and Portugal, and to promote transnational technology transfer and research mobility.
Biocat also promotes and coordinates the participation of Catalan companies in international conventions, partnering events and fairs including:
- BIO (USA): the top global meeting in the biotechnology and biomedicine sectors, which brings together more than 16,500 delegates from 65 countries, 2.000 exhibitors and 2,900 companies. 35 companies and organizations from Catalonia participated in the 2013 edition of the fair, making up more than 50% of the Spanish pavilion.
- BIO-Europe and BIO-Europe Spring: the most important European biotechnology partnering events, where 14,500 and 11,000 one-to-one meetings take place, respectively.
A second line of work focuses on attracting and organizing international events to be held in Catalonia, and more specifically in Barcelona, taking advantage of the strategic combination of the city’s international attractiveness and dense scientific and business fabric in the fields of biotechnology and biomedicine. After the success of the 2010 edition, the 2013 BIO-Europe Spring came back to Barcelona thanks to the support and involvement of the Barcelona City Council and Biocat as coordinators of the Host Committee. Other events that have been held with support from Biocat include the Eurobiotech Forum, HIT Barcelona (now Bizbarcelona) and Symbiosis (14th European Congress on Biotechnology).
More information on upcoming fairs and congresses in the Events section.