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Barcelona is hosting the tenth International Pharma Licensing congress (IPLS Pharma), organized by the European Pharma Licensing Council from 19 to 21 September, which includes lectures by executives at the top biopharmas in the world. This event aims to deal with issues related to the development and opportunities available in the market for companies and multinationals in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sector.

International projection of Barcelona in strategic and knowledge-based sectors

This is the first time this congress, which is held biannually, is being hosted by the Catalan capital. This makes it an excellent opportunity to boost Barcelona’s international projection and, specifically, that of Catalan companies linked to strategic sectors like pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. It also consolidates the city’s role as an international benchmark in organizing fairs and congresses (Barcelona is ranked second in the world in this aspect).

Entitled Business Development in Challenging Times: a Growth Area in a Contracting Industry, the congress welcomes more than 200 executives from industry in European countries, Japan and Canada.

The Barcelona City Council, with collaboration from Biocat, is supporting the organization of a networking dinner on 20 September in the Sala Marquès de Comillas de les Reial Drassanes, which will be presided over by Second Deputy Mayor of Barcelona Sònia Recasens and Biocat CEO Montserrat Vendrell.

This event will foster contact between companies from the BioRegion of Catalonia and partners from other companies and countries, with the aim of detecting and generating business opportunities in intensive sectors that stand out for their R&D&i investment and creation of qualified jobs.

Support for this congress falls under the framework of the agreement signed by Biocat and the Barcelona City Council last December to promote the city of Barcelona as an international knowledge hub under the Barcelona Biotech brand.

Driving force behind innovation and growth for Barcelona and Catalonia

In Barcelona, the biotechnology and biomedical sector is one of the most dynamic, offering many investment opportunities. Some of the factors that help attract the interest of foreign companies include the city’s location, which makes it a gateway to southern Europe, its important transport infrastructure network, its world-renowned international positioning (ranked fifth best city in Europe to do business), which allows the city to concentrate a majority of foreign investment in Catalonia (nearly €4,000 millions in 2010, 34% of the total productive investment received in Spain).

Other noteworthy aspects include the presence of consolidated science and technology parks that carry out activities linked to biotechnology, biomedicine and medical technology and of large-scale research facilities that are benchmarks on a European level, such as the Mare Nostrum Supercomputer, the National Genome Analysis Center and the Alba Synchrotron, which foster the development and potential of these strategic sectors.

The Catalan capital holds a noteworthy position in the Spanish and European biopharmaceuticals markets: 22% of all biotechnology companies and 45% of the pharmaceutical companies in the country.

Over the past 20 years, the Catalan, Spanish and European administrations have made an active commitment to promoting science and technology, investing in universities, research centers, talent, entrepreneurs, science parks and technology platforms. In Catalonia there are more than 350 companies in these sectors, of which 70 are devoted to pharmaceuticals, 65 biotechnology, 150 medical technology, 27 chemicals and the rest with links to the sector or sector services. Catalonia is the origin and headquarters of five of the main Spanish pharmaceutical companies: Esteve, Almirall, Ferrer, Grifols and Uriach.

Date: 19 to 21 September 2011
Place: Hilton Diagonal Mar • Barcelona

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