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COVID-19 has upended many areas of our lives, but it has also been an opportunity to highlight the importance of investing in research and innovation in health and the need to prepare for future pandemics.

In this context, Biocat co-organized with the ”la Caixa” Foundation the CaixaResearch Conference ‘PANDEMICS: Overcoming COVID-19 and preparing for the future’ and adapted the flagship d·HEALTH Barcelona program to a new online version (Ignite·Health Barcelona) focused on proposing solutions to the pandemic. All while celebrating its 15th anniversary, which coincided with a passing of the baton at the helm of the organization and an updated vision for the BioRegion.

As Biocat CEO Robert Fabregat notes in his preface to the report, “2021 was the year Biocat prepared to reinvent itself and, above all and most importantly, to begin this new period with an updated vision of an ecosystem that has an excellent foundation, that requires strategic initiatives to catalyze the sector to take this huge leap forward and become a true benchmark hub for Europe and the world.”

This is a selection of the priorities and activities you’ll find in this report, which the team has worked on over the past year and on which you can find more information here.


Driving technology transfer, talent and acceleration

Biocat has positioned itself as a unifying element for research and innovation from the earliest stage (universities, centers, hospitals, etc.) through arrival to the business fabric. This is why we are highlighting the programs that have had the greatest impact, classified by the organization’s strategic lines.

In 2021, we presented an updated version of theInvestment in Startups” chapter of the 2020 BioRegion of Catalonia Report - Challenges ahead, held the fourth edition of the CRAASH Barcelona acceleration program with 6 projects participating, and the first edition of Ignite·Health Barcelona with 23 participants who created 13 projects. This year was also the fourth edition of the Open Innovation Forum, which allows companies to get solution proposals from research groups and centers, and the second edition of several programs: the Pitch Training Program, for startups in the sector that need to improve their pitch; Here Comes Your Lead, which seeks a collaboration model between early-stage research projects and national and international platforms, CROs and companies; and Virtual Disruptour Silicon Valley and NYC, which had nine participants from the BioRegion.

Plus, Biocat collaborated on the first editions of the "CaixaResearch Conference ‘Overcoming Covid-19 and preparing for the future", an online event to assess what had been learned from the pandemic, what current tools and technology are available and how to be more prepared for new infections in the future; and the Barcelona Health Booster, an accelerator promoted by the University of Barcelona Science Park and the Barcelona City Council, with support from Barcelona Activa, which lasts three years and has five spinoffs and six startups participating.

CRAASH Barcelona 2021 family photo

Own voice and strategic influence

One of Biocat’s goals is to raise visibility of the BioRegion of Catalonia and its stakeholders through various channels, including the media, websites and social media.

80 news articles, interviews and reports were published on the Biocat website, most noteworthy being the contents developed in-house, which got 264,000 visits in total. The most-visited sections were the job offers, blog and news. In terms of electronic communications, this year we reached more than 12,500 subscribers in three languages.

Regarding social media, Biocat actively uses these networks to raise awareness of its own activities and those in the sector, as well as the main news related to the ecosystem. At the end of 2021, Biocat had 43,500 followers on its various accounts on Twitter and LinkedIn.

In terms of media presence, Biocat had 35 mentions in the written press, 190 in digital media and 4 radio and television appearances.

Biocat has consolidated its role as a benchmark source for data on the sector. Updating this data internally on an ongoing basis makes it possible to continue expanding the directory of companies in the sector on the Catalan Life Sciences portal and compiling the information needed to draft the BioRegion of Catalonia Life Sciences and Healthcare Outlook.


International positioning and action

The consolidation of a Scientific Policy and Internationalization Department has allowed us to do a prospective study of global trends and challenges for the BioRegion, and review Biocat’s strategy in order to address them. The pandemic has highlighted that we need to be more active in our strategies to move towards a green, digital Europe, with technological sovereignty, that is more prepared, resilient and prioritizes the people’s health. In this area, Biocat has worked to align its activity with these challenges for the sector.

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