The Government of Catalonia has launched the RIS3CAT Communities, a pioneering strategy in Europe that aims to transform the business fabric in Catalonia through 2020. The initiative is the practical application of the RIS3CAT Smart Specialization Strategy, passed by the Catalan government in 2014 in response to the directives established by the European Union in the Europe 2020 Strategy.
In this context, Biocat is coordinating the community "NEXTHEALTH: Multidisciplinary solutions for the coming challenges in health" in order to tackle the main health-related today.
The Government of Catalonia has launched the RIS3CAT Communities, a groundbreaking strategy in Europe that aims to transform the business fabric in Catalonia through 2020. This initiative is the practical application of the RIS3CAT Smart Specialization Strategy, which the Catalan government passed in 2014 in response to the directive set by the European Union in the Europe 2020 Strategy.
In this context, Biocat is coordinating the community "NEXTHEALTH: Multidisciplinary solutions for the coming challenges in health” in order to tackle the main health-related today. The project was co-financed by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
In June 2016, the government of Catalonia announced the first five RIS3CAT Communities –including the NEXTHEALTH community coordinated by Biocat– so they could each execute their respective action plans through collaborative projects with a high impact on innovation.
This gave rise to the NEXTHEALTH community, made up of 22 companies from different sectors and 35 stakeholders from the research, development and innovation system. It was founded with the general aim of tackling the health-related challenges facing society and improving the Catalan healthcare system; boosting the collaboration and competitiveness of participating organizations; and identifying and promoting new business opportunities and emerging activities.
The community has a direct and tangible impact in terms of economic growth, knowledge and innovation, and the increase in the internationalization of companies, through the creation of 5 R+D+i platforms, 38 new direct jobs, 7 new startups, the launch of 6 new products in the market of 42 developed, and more than 100 training and entrepreneurship initiatives.
The ADVANCECAT project, led by the University of Barcelona, was launched to create an accelerator to develop advanced therapies in Catalonia by setting up a network of Catalan centers involved in this type of work. The project aims to innovate and quickly advance from idea to clinical application and/or industrial production of these therapies.
This way, the project will develop the right computer tools, establish complementary facilities needed in addition to those already available and automatize and standardize projects and production systems.
The project was presented in the BIO-Europe Spring 2017 by Josep Maria Canals (University of Barcelona) in the session 'Regenerative Medicines and their impact on Healthcare: from lab to market'.
The main goals set for this project are:
On March 2017 a leading international study part of the ADVANCECAT project was published. Led by the University of Barcelona and pharmaceutical company Ferrer, the study demonstrates that Huntington disease may cause alterations in neurons that begin developing in the very first years of life. This discovery could change the focus of treatment for this disease.
Hospital Sant Joan de Déu is leading this project that aims to identify and collect all healthcare data generated both inside and outside of the hospital and take advantage of it using big data and analysis systems. The project will involve clinical data, genomic information, biomedical images or other hospital systems, such as those generated by patients themselves in online communities, mHealth, etc.
Furthermore, this project aims to ensure a multi-channel care model and provision of services. It aims to move from a reactive model based on "receiving and managing calls" without information on the individual, to a proactive management model that takes into account patients' health and the population that interacts with the hospital through different communication channels (phone, email, social media, digital channels, etc.).
Eurecat is leading the NEXTCARE project that is promoting a new personalized care model for chronic patients using ICT tools. This proposal for innovation in healthcare services sets three main goals:
Institut Universitari de Ciència i Tecnologia (IUCT) is leading this project that seeks to advance in developing new drugs to treat minority diseases, as well as joint therapeutic strategies. This project aims to advance in both the discovery of new molecules and the early stages of efficacy in clinical practice in order to meet the existing therapeutic needs associated with these diseases.
This project will develop the tools and establish the guidelines for a consolidated drug discovery and development system for minority diseases in our country.
The Institut Guttmann is leading the INNOBRAIN project, which aims to consolidate and strengthen the competitivity of the comunity involved in the Guttmann, NeuroPersonal Trainer® cognitive stimulation platform, a tool promoted by Institut Guttmann, along with other members of Esfera UAB and strategic partners.
The platform works on cognitive stimulation and rehabilitation for people with cognitive deficits or deterioration as a result of a neurological disease, psychiatric condition, dementia or developmental disorder with the aim of improving care.
The project’s goals include researching
The first meeting of the NEXTHEALTH community took place on May 9, 2017. There, about 150 people from the 5 projects of the community shared experiences and sought synergies and collaborations among the projects. The event was attended by Albert Castellanos, General Director of Economic Promotion, Competition and Regulation (Department of the Vice Presidency and of Economy and Finance), and a representative of each project.
"From Biocat we want to accompany the projects of the NEXTHEALTH community to help them last in time and create a real impact on the Catalan healthcare system and arrive to patients", said Jordi Fàbrega, business development director at Biocat. During the meeting several points of collaboration between related projects were detected and also the topic of internationalization was discussed, as well as how to use the European funding tools to achieve it.
The RIS3CAT Communities are voluntary groupings of companies and stakeholders in the Catalan R&D system that aim to transform the Catalan economy by sector through innovative new products and services. They are instruments through which the stakeholders in the R&D system in the leading sectors established by the Government of Catalonia can obtain grants from ERDF funds in Catalonia from 2014-2020 to carry out their innovative projects.