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Approximately 55 people attended the presentation ‘Connect with the Massachusetts Digital-Health ecosystem’ on Tuesday 9 February explaining the Mission to Boston that will take place the first week of April 2016 as part of the Bio-IT World Conference & ExpoACCIÓ and Biocat organized this session, which sparked the interest of many companies in the BioRegion of Catalonia in joining the mission, as it is a great opportunity to make contact with one of the most innovative bioinformatics and digital-health ecosystems.

The mission is geared towards companies, preferably start-ups, with high potential for growth and Catalan technology centers interested in the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Boston-Massachusetts. Participants will get a first-hand look at the latest trends in big data, assess entering the market in the state of Massachusetts, scout for technology partners, network with top players in the market and present their technology to US investors interested in this field.

To join the mission, fill out the expression of interest document and send it to Maura Claramunt ( before 26 February. ACCIÓ is offering participating companies a grant of €1,057.77 to cover travel expenses (according to rules), although the number of grants is limited and they will be given out on a first-come, first served basis.


Connect with the Massachusetts digital-health ecosystem

After the informational session on the mission, led by ACCIÓ Innovation Manager in Boston Marc Gracia, 27 Catalan companies and technology centers signed up to join the mission and this number is expected to increase.

After ACCIÓ Director of Innovation Mariona Sanz had welcomed everyone, Marc Garcia presented the innovation ecosystem in Massachusetts in the health area and highlighted the percentage of the GDP that goes to R&D (5.6%, compared to 1.5% in Catalonia). Plus, in Massachusetts capital invested is mainly private, unlike the situation here.

In addition to the data presented by Marc Gracia, Ricardo Garcia, founder of the Richi Foundation to promote childhood cancer research, shared his experience. Garcia explained that the ecosystem in Boston to promote companies and innovation is spectacular and invited everyone to join the mission. Biocat also had a noteworthy role in the event, with Head of Entrepreneurship and Business Growth Carlos Lurigados presenting the Catalan ecosystem and pointing out ways in which the two are similar and different.

Eva Alloza, of the Bioinformatics Barcelona Association, moderated a panel featuring Catalan stakeholders with experienced in Massachusetts, including Sergi Figerola (I2CAT), Dean Bognanovic (Volta, Boston-based start-up working with I2CAT), Steve Dunne (Neuroelectrics-Starlab), Ignasi Belda (Intelligent Pharma) and Xavier Plantà (Ultrasion).


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