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Biocat and seven companies from the BioRegion are participating in this Catalan mission to Mumbai, New Delhi and the Bangalore biocluster from 23 to 29 November.
At the India-Catalonia. Business Summit seminar in Mumbai, President of the Government of Catalonia Artur Mas detailed the strengths of the Catalan economic model before Indian businesspeople from various sectors, including the biopharmaceutical sector. “Catalonia can be the gateway for India to introduce its products and services into the Mediterranean region and all of Europe,” he said. The head of the executive branch also highlighted that “our country is currently home to 5,000 innovative companies, 20% of all those in Spain” and that “it is becoming a hub of scientific and technological production that arouses interest around the world.” Catalonia generated 0.79% of all scientific publications in the world in 2012.
Mas is heading up the Catalan business and institutional mission to India from 23 to 29 November, along with Catalan Minister for Enterprise and Employment Felip Puig. The two have met with the Indian Ministers for Science and Technology and Trade and Industry. They are accompanied by more than 40 companies and organizations from the biopharmaceutical, ICT, tourism and automobile sectors with the aim of boosting collaboration in trade, research and investment.
Representatives from the life sciences arena include Biocat, with CEO Montserrat Vendrell, and companies Biochemize, Farmahispania, Kymos Pharma Services, Laboratorios Espinós y Bofill (LEBSA), Manremyc, ReadyCell and Tamarang Pharmaceuticals, which seek to make contacts, and scout for collaboration and business opportunities in this Asian country.
The agenda of meetings and visits focuses on the cities of Mumbai and New Delhi and the Bangalore biocluster. In the scientific arena, Biocat and the Catalan businesspeople have had the chance to interact with heads of the International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGB), the Center for Cellular and Molecular Platforms, the European Business and Technology Center (EBTC), Jubilant Life Sciences —one of the top Custom Research and Manufacturing Services (CRAMS) companies—, Ranbaxy Laboratories, Piramidal Life Sciences, Richcore Lifesciences, Syngene International (subsidiary of Biocon), Anthem Bioscience and Advinus Therapeutics. They have also participated in two summits organized by the Mumbai Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
Catalonia: bio to business
At most of these official events, Montserrat Vendrell has presented the potential and scientific excellence of the Catalan life sciences cluster, as well as the opportunities for collaboration and venture capital investment (which increased five-fold from 2009 to 2013). The BioRegion, as it is also known, “has consolidated its position as one of the great biotechnology hubs in Spain, with 20% of all companies, and has reaffirmed its successful model and international competitiveness,” explained Vendrell.
The BioRegion has all the potential needed in a strategic sector: a diversified, competitive business fabric, entrepreneurial spirit, critical mass of researchers, research of excellence, growing interest in public-private partnerships, prestigious universities and business schools and a great location. It is made up of 512 companies —between 2000 and 2013 the number has nearly doubled—, 56 research centers, 17 university hospitals, 11 science and technology parks and 11 universities offering life sciences degrees.
On 3 December, there will be an event in Barcelona to present the 2013 Biocat Report, the only study to analyze the Catalan life sciences sector, which has been published every two years since 2009.
An attractive country for foreign investment
In addition to its diversified economy, the President of the Government of Catalonia also highlighted that it is “an economy open to foreign markets” and this can be seen in the fact that the region accounts for 20% of the Spanish GDP and 30% of all exports from Spain. Regarding imports, the same trend holds true, as 37% of all exports from India to Spain go to Catalonia and 26% of all Spanish exports to India come from Catalonia.
Throughout the mission, Mas has also said that last year “we were the leading region in continental Europe in attracting foreign industrial investment.”
Related news (13 September 2013)