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35 Catalan companies and organizations arrive to BIO Chicago searching for agreements, investors and international projection

Montserrat Vendrell highlights the international competitiveness of the Bioregion projects thanks to its scientific excellence and business solvency.

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By Biocat

Fifty professionals make up the Catalan delegation that will attend, between 22 and 25 April, the BIO International Convention 2013, the world’s largest biotechnology convention, which is being held in Chicago (Illinois, USA). The conference will host 16,500 officers, researchers and investors from around the world. The Catalan delegation, comprising 25 biotech, biomedical and venture capital companies and 10 research institutions and organizations, share the Spanish pavilion at the convention with 14 companies from the rest of Spain.

Biocat, the organization that coordinates and promotes biotechnology, biomedicine and innovative medical technology in the BioRegion of Catalonia, coordinates for the seventh consecutive year the Catalan participation in this biotechnology convention. Montserrat Vendrell, CEO of Biocat, notes that “in a time of crisis like the present the presence of our companies abroad becomes necessary.” For this reason, she highly values the great efforts of internationalization that Catalan companies attending the BIO have made; they are aware that Chicago “is a big market where you must be present to establish and maintain international agreements with projects that are fully competitive in the global market.”

Vendrell is convinced that this is “a strategy that will give good results, because we have highly competitive projects, comparable to those of other clusters around the world due to their scientific excellence and business solvency.”

Majority of biotech companies

Most Catalan companies going to BIO Chicago this year (65%) are biotech companies in the fields of therapeutics, diagnostics and R&D services. They are: AB-Biotics, Althia, Anaxomics, Archivel Farma, BCN Peptides, Biochemize, Bionure, Gri-Cel, GP Pharm, Intelligent Pharma, Lykera Biomed, Oryzon , Phyture Biotech, Plasmia Biotech, Readycell and Salvat Biotech.

Of the total number of companies, 12% are pharmaceutical companies: Bioiberica, Lacer and Laboratorios Rubió. The rest of the Catalan delegation (23%) are consultancy companies related to engineering and other fields including business development, legal services and venture capital. They are: Grifols Enginyeering, Backer & Mckenzie, Bioemprèn, Janus Developments, Performlab and Caixa Capital Risc.

Regarding Catalan research institutions, those that will attend BIO Chicago are: Center for Genomic Regulation (CRG), Clinic Foundation (FCRB), Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), Leitat Technological Center, Health Universitat de Barcelona (HUBc) and the networks BioNanoMed Catalunya and Oncocat, launched by Biocat, organization that, along with ACC1Ó, complete the Catalan delegation that will be present in Chicago.

The BioRegion of Catalonia will be located in the official Spanish pavilion (number 1417) next to those of France, Israel, Illinois (host state), Maryland, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Massachusetts, among others. The Spanish pavilion will also include BioBasque and the Andalucía BIORegión —with nine companies in total— and five additional companies from areas without an established bioregion.

The call for Spanish companies and institutions to participate in Chicago BIO was officially announced by ICEX and is managed through the bioregions, with the collaboration of the Spanish Bioindustry Association (Asebio).

The recent celebration in Barcelona of BIO-Europe Spring 2013 and the advancement of the BIO, which has moved from the traditional June dates to April, has led to a decline in the participation of the Catalan delegation in BIO Chicago. Last year the Catalan delegation, accompanied by the President of the Autonomous Government of Catalonia, was the most important in all editions, with 72 companies and organizations related to the sector.

Accés to the driving forces of development

The great majority of companies and institutions present at BIO Chicago want to establish contacts with the driving forces of development of the sector worldwide. Catalan companies participating in BIO Chicago aim to license projects and technologies, to promote their own franchises, to introduce new products, to find partners, to spread their own activity and offer services, in addition to expand into new markets.

Some of the Catalan companies and institutions participating in BIO Chicago already have a stable presence in USA and seek to consolidate their market; those include Baker & Mckenzie, Bionure and Bioiberica, with offices and facilities in different parts of the country. Another example is provided by the consultant Performlab, with young companies established in Boston, in addition to a working agreement with the USA Techand Business Innovation (TBI), consulting firm for innovation and knowledge transfer from the Technical University of Valencia (UPV).

Networking meetings

The strength of Chicago BIO is the Business Forum, which allows pre-arranged meetings with potential partners through the BIO One-on-One Partnering platform. In addition, the convention provides the participants with an excellent opportunity to be abreast of the latest advancements in the biotech sector, thanks to the wide range of workshops, case study sessions and keynotes that have been scheduled.

Just yesterday, OneNucleus —biotech cluster in London and Cambridge— and Biocat organized a dinner for Catalan, British and American companies to promote contacts in a more informal atmosphere and foster future collaborations. Also, the Spain Kicks Off Biotech organized by ICEX toke place. At the discussion session, issues such as access to funding, the keys to set up agreements between big pharmaceutical and biotech companies, and new industry standards in USA will be dealt with.

BIO 2013 program includes contributions by opinion leaders and world experts on current hot topics. In total, there will be over 125 breakout sessions and six Super Sessions (where sectoral reports by Ernst & Young, Burrill, among others, will be presented). There will be also Keynote Luncheons, with celebrities related to the biotech world. That on April 23 will be Forbes 30 Under 30: The Rising StarsTransforming Science and Healthcare, with the participation of Laura Deming, Isaac Kinde, Adina Mangubat, and Joshua Sommer, youngsters that are transforming the health sciences. The following day, April 24, the Keynote Luncheon will be Debt, taxes, Government Services and Politics. Is there a way out?, with the participation of US past senator Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, former consultant of the White House.

Show case of the Catalan culture

BIO Chicago will be also a special showcase of Catalan culture in USA. due to the fact that the conference coincides with St George’s Day, patron of Catalonia, we will celebrate the feast of the rose and the book in the USA. On Tuesday, April 23, Biocat will offer a Networking Reception on its booth. During the day roses and art books, donated by the MNAC, will be offered, and on the evening glasses of cava will be given out. The reception aims to foster interaction between Catalan and other delegates in a relaxed atmosphere.

Full information on Catalan participation at BIO 2013 is available at

Follow the convention on Twitter @biocat_en or @BIO_Convention with the hashtag #BIO2013.

Communications and Institutional Relations Department
Tel. +34 93 310 33 69


Catalan delegation coordinated by Biocat for the seventh consecutive year. In the photo, Catalan pavilion at BIO 2012 (Boston).