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The third Open Innovation Forum, a program that connects challenges proposed by companies with research groups in the BioRegion, finished out 2020 with noteworthy figures. In total, 23 companies and 101 problem-solvers (including research centers -both academic and independent- and technology centers) participated in the program, holding 137 meetings to attempt to resolve the 52 innovation challenges the companies posed. Now, over the coming months, the partners will draw up collaboration agreements to formalize the new innovation projects.

The challenges fall under six areas of knowledge: life sciences and healthcare, food, chemistry, energy and resources, industrial systems and mobility. As this year has been quite atypical due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the meetings held during the events on 15 July and 3 December were all virtual.

The Open Innovation Forum provides a platform to connect companies looking to innovate in different areas of their activity with research centers that can use their research to drive innovation in these companies. In short, it is about accelerating the transfer of knowledge and technology to society by connecting the various stakeholders in the innovation system.

Challenges in the biomedical arena

The companies' challenges this year involve immunity, dermatological conditions, pain management, innovation in drug delivery and food supplements, among others.

Some of the companies from the life sciences and healthcare sector that have participated include pharmaceutical laboratories like Uriach Consumer Healthcare, Reig Jofre, ERN, Gebro Pharma and businesses like Brudi Technology. The problem-solvers that offered up their services to find solutions to the companies' innovation needs included research groups from top universities in Catalonia (UB, UAB, UPC, UPF, URV, UdG, UdL) and other prestigious organizations like the Institute for Research in Biomedicine, Josep Carreras Leukemia Research Institute, VHIR, LEITAT and EURECAT.

The Open Innovation Forum is organized by Biocat, Fundació Bosch i GimperaUPF Ventures, Parc de recerca de la UAB and CIT-UPC, with the collaboration of ACCIÓ, Institut de Ciència de Materials de Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC), Institut de Recerca Biomèdica de Barcelona (IRB), Universitat de Girona (UdG), Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV), Vall Hebron Research Institute (VHIR), Xarxa d'R+D+I Energy for Society (XRE4S), Xarxa de Referència en Tecnologies dels Aliments (XaRTA) and Xarxa de Referència en Biotecnologia (XRB).

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