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Technology transfer (TT) is supposed to have an impact on society through new drugs, devices and technology to improve our health. For that to happen, technology transfer offices (TTOs) at research centers, universities, hospitals and research institutes in Catalonia play a key role and Biocat has the duty to help make their job easier so that their projects will end up on the market. 

To improve the flow of work with TTOs, their guidance and to get a first-hand look at their needs, this March, Biocat brought together 60 people from various TTOs at healthcare bodies and centers all over Catalonia for the first session, at the Barcelona Science Park (PCB). 

At the event, Biocat presented its main strategic lines, as well as its programs to foster talent (d·Health Barcelona), acceleration (CRAASH Barcelona), drive technology transfer (Open Innovation Forum) and other actions to channel investment towards projects and companies in the BioRegion (Portfolio and Matching Days). 

One key element in determining the success of technology transfer is the ability to generate open, transparent dialog among all the players in the value chain; researchers and research originators, companies, investors and stakeholders.

The Portfolio is the list of projects and companies in the BioRegion currently looking for funding from private investors, through licensing, co-development or other deals, compiled and managed by Biocat. By hosting Matching Days throughout the year, Biocat helps startups and investable projects in the BioRegion get private funding by sending out proposals to investors and corporates based on their interests, getting them in touch and setting up meetings when expectations match up and promoting significant interactions in both directions (between technology generator and investor/corporate).   

More personalized guidance

Biocat has compiled the proposals from the TTOs, most of which are geared towards further optimizing and personalizing processes. “We have to be able to personalize our guidance even more, without overlapping or stepping on each other’s toes, so that society can benefit from the positive impact of knowledge generated at Catalan centers,” noted Biocat CEO Robert Fabregat. 

After two years of very few in-person meetings, due to the pandemic, participants were very thankful for this event, where they also got the chance to meet up with offices from other academic settings again. 

Technology transfer in healthcare in Catalonia: getting better, but still a challenge moving forward

Technology transfer in healthcare in Catalonia has improved in recent years, but there is still a lot to do, according to the participants. To continue working towards European indicators, we asked some of the participants to name the three ingredients they need to promote scientific knowledge on the market. 

VHIR Director of Business Development Laia Arnal believes we need a regulatory framework that makes technology transfer processes more flexible and technological funds so organizations can invest in projects they feel are a priority, an idea shared by IRB Barcelona Head of Innovation Cristina Horcajada. 

Pere Condom, head of the UdG Technology Transfer Office, however, goes one step further and wants to turn research groups into venture builders: “It’s not about turning researchers into businesspeople; it’s about having some of them set up a company at some point.”  

The heads of these innovation and transfer units also gave us their point of view on how to promote knowledge in the market from Catalan technology centers, hospitals and universities. Find out what they said in these videos

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