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Dr. Manel Balcells

President of the Biocat Executive Committee


Forums, agoras and marketplaces there are virtual ones and presential ones, but all of them are supported by the network concept. In the Greek agoras, the Roman forums and the medieval marketplaces, as well as in their modern equivalents. And we are pleased to speak of this today: of forums, directories and virtual networks.

Biocat prepares a forum, for 4th December 2008. Presential, in a privileged setting and charged with symbolism, historically the headquarters of emblematic institutions of Catalan trade: the Casa Llotja de Mar of Barcelona. A meeting for all those who feel they belong to the biotechnological and biomedical community of Catalonia.

It will be an encounter to discuss the subjects that concern us cross-sectionally (knowledge transfer, financing, training...); to listen to those who have gone down this path before (Stig Jorgensen, Managing Director of Medicon Valley Alliance) and to know the future strategy proposed by Biocat, the organisation that makes the BioRegion of Catalonia dynamic; and in order to present –those of you that want to- business plans, key activities, platforms, projects and consortiums. And to look for new ones, thanks to the possibility of finding the other members of our cluster in an atmosphere that is propitious for cooperation.

We call you together thanks to the tool that Biocat has developed these last few months: the BioRegion Directory. Around 500 participants, listed and classified (it would be advisable for you to check to see if you are listed, or if you like how you are classified). With the preparation of this directory, which is posted in the webpage of Biocat, we have been able to update the company information, research centres, support structures, etc., of the biotechnological and biomedical cluster of Catalonia.

All of us make up part of a vibrant cluster that is powerful and growing; a leader in Spain and very well ranked in Europe. Do we believe it? We read what Asebio says in its latest annual report: "The Autonomous Communities with greater dynamism, in the largest part of the variables analysed, are Catalonia, Madrid, Andalusia and the Basque Country". In that order. And on the international scene, one just has to have observed with attention the reactions that generated the Catalan presence in the last edition of the BIO: surprise, curiosity and interest for know what was going on in Catalonia. And what is going on is the expected process when a cluster is organised, taking advantage of its capabilities, identifying what must be done and marking a route sheet to get it.

All this will be analysed on 4th December in the Casa Llotja de Mar, in an encounter that we wanted to call "La Llotja de la BioRegió" [The Marketplace of the BioRegion]. There we will get to know each other, meet colleagues again and we will know how, and with whom of our most immediate circle, we are competing or we can collaborate.

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