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Wales is boosting its health sector by increasing collaboration among companies, the national health system, universities and the government, among other initiatives. Under this framework, UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) in collaboration with the Welsh government, the National Health Service (NHS) in Wales and Biocat organized a workshop on 18 February entitled Successfully selling into NHS Wales.

The workshop was held at the Barcelona Science Park and brought together companies and organizations from the BioRegion of Catalonia interested in moving into the Welsh market. The event included practical advice on how to become an NHS Wales provider and, above all, how the UKTI and the Welsh government can support companies from the BioRegion. It also featured a presentation on the Welsh life sciences hub and the opportunities and advantages there for Catalan companies.

At the event, Biocat CEO Albert Barberà presented the BioRegion of Catalonia, which is one of the most powerful in Europe in terms of research and business growth. “This first contact is a good starting point for forging bonds to collaborate and exchange knowledge between the regions. The life sciences hub in Wales is also very dynamic and we can surely learn and take advantage of the business opportunities available,” says Barberà.

The United Kingdom is a great place for direct foreign investors, particularly in the life sciences, which continues to be a priority market with government support,” explained Frances Pennell-Buck, UKTI life sciences expert. His presentation was followed by Alan Brace –director of finance of the Aneurin Bevan NHS Trust and deputy chief executive of the NHS Wales Health Board– explained how foreign companies can enter the Welsh market, highlighting that “international collaboration with health organizations with similar ideas brings unique opportunities to tackle current healthcare challenges in both markets.” Brace also spoke about how collaboration brings a new perspective, more knowledge and more resources. “I really look forward to developing new relationships with Catalonia and hope they last many years,” says Brace.

Finally, Life Sciences Hub Wales Business Development Manager Charlie Hughes explained some of the business opportunities available for Catalan companies in Wales: “It’s the center of a vibrant, prosperous ecosystem that brings together academics, businesspeople, clinical and professional services, and funding organizations, which all together make up a melting pot to drive commercial talent,” he explains. Hughes expressed his pleasure with the event and said, “We actively encourage companies in the BioRegion of Catalonia to commit to the business opportunities Wales has to offer them.”


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