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Boi Ruiz: 'In order to generate successful health projects, we must bring entrepreneurs and scientists together'

Moebio was one of the projects presented at BLE&Health

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The government is committed to the biotech sector as a key driving force for the country’s economy. This is how Catalan Minister of Health Boi Ruiz opened BLE&Health, held by Barcelona Loves Entrepreneurs on 2 November at the Antiga Fàbrica Damm.

The Minister also said that Catalonia has “a very important resource, which is talent,” as well as entrepreneurial potential, but that they must be brought together to create ambitious projects that address market needs.

Ambitious projects and initiatives are exactly what were presented at the event. These included MOEBIO, Biocat’s initiative made up of various training programs seeking to promote entrepreneurship at the crossroads of technology, the life sciences, health and business management.

Academic Director Jorge Juan Fernández explained that “no country is fully satisfied with its healthcare system,” but some are working harder than others to solve the problem. “They aren’t smarter than us at Stanford, but they think more,” he said of this US university’s biodesign program that inspired Moebio’s flagship program, d·HEALTH Barcelona. Regarding d·HEALTH, Fernández explained that “the entrepreneurs participating in this program have detected between 300 and 600 unmet needs” in the health sector, and some of them have already started up their own projects to find solutions. One of these projects, usMIMa, was among the 12 entrepreneurs selected to speak in the elevator pitch round of BLE&Health. They presented their medical device to fight chronic constipation.

Additionally, Bárbara Vallespín presented mHealth by Mobile World Capital Barcelona. According to Vallespín, mHealth technology will improve the quality of care provided and give patients a more active role in managing their condition. Plus, rolling the technology out in Europe “could mean approximately €99 billions in savings by 2017.”

Genocosmetics, represented by Jordi Naval, was also present. Although he discussed the difficulties for entrepreneurs in the biotech sector and stressed the need for more investment funds, he also encouraged entrepreneurs to not give up on their ideas and to start up companies.

Other initiatives presented at the event included Neuroelectrics, a system to register brain activity and detect problems, and Insights in Science Life, a platform that helps companies from the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sector to collect anonymous feedback from stakeholders in their ecosystem.

Josep Lluís Sanfeliu presented Ysios Capital, bringing the voice of an investor to the session, and encouraged entrepreneurs to join forces with scientists and professionals in the sector in order to push forward projects with high value added “in the long term, that are adapted to regulations and have a global vision.”

All of those present, including the 12 entrepreneurs that presented their projects in the elevator pitch round, highlighted that Barcelona is a technology hub and that the city has great potential for growth in this sector. 

Jorge Juan Fernández presented the Moebio initiative at BLE&Health. - Photo: © BLE

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