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Fifty professionals make up the Catalan delegation that will attend, between 22 and 25 April, the BIO International Convention, 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.”

Montserrat Vendrell is aware of the great efforts being made by Catalan companies for their internationalization, but she 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

The Catalan delegation attending BIO Chicago 2013 comprises 35 companies and organizations that focus their activities on the fields of human health, diagnostic services, vaccines, consulting legal services and venture capital.

Most companies (60%) are biotech companies involved in therapeutics, diagnostic and R& D services. They are: AB-Biotics, Althia, Anaxomics, Archivel Farma, BCN Peptides, Biochemize, Bionure, Grífols (Gri-Cel), GP Pharm, LykeraBiomed, Oryzon, PhytureBiotech, PlasmiaBiotech, Readycell i Salvat Biotech.

Pharmaceutical companies account for 12%. They  are: Bioiberica, Lacer and Laboratorios Rubió. The rest (28%) are conmpanies that provide consulting services related to engineering and different work areas such as business development, legal services and venture capital. These companies are: Grifols Enginyeering, Backer&Mckenzie, Bioemprèn, JanusDevelopments , Performlab and Caixa Capital Risc.

Regarding research institutions, those participating in the convention are: Center for Biomedical Engineering Research (CREB), Center for Genomic Regulation (CRG), Clinic Foundation for Biomedical Research (FCRB), Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), Leitat Technological Center, Health University of Barcelona (HUBc), and the Oncocat network and the BioNanoMed Catalunya alliance, which have been fostered by Biocat, organization that, along with ACC1Ó, complete the Catalan delegation present in Chicago.

The delegation of the BioRegion of Catalonia will be located in the official Spanish pavilion (number 1417), which occupies an area of 418 m2, where the BioBasque (5 companies) and AndalucíaBIORegión (4 companies) clusters as wells as 5 companies from Spanish autonomous communities without established bioregion are also present. The participation of Spain in Chicago is coordinated by ICEX together with the bioregions and Asebio, the trade association of Spanish biotech companies.

The recent celebration in Barcelona of BIO-Europe Spring 2013 (March 11-13) 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. Specifically, 50 companies and 22 organizations in the biotech, biomedical 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 (see the description of the participating companies and research institutions in the attached kit press).

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 Bioibérica, 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 Conference 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 the day before the start –April 21— OneNucleus —biotech cluster in London and Cambridge— and Biocat organize a dinner for Catalan, British and American companies to promote contacts in a more informal atmosphere and foster future collaborations.

Previously, on the evening of Sunday 21, the Spain Kicks Off Biotech organized by ICEX, with the support of its Economic and Commercial Office in Chicago and with the collaboration of the Catalan firm Baker & McKenzie, will take 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, at noon, 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 Repception 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.

The BioRegion of Catalonia features 520 biotech, pharmaceutical, innovative medical technology, and services companies; 10 universities offering degrees and doing research in biosciences; 15 hospitals with an outstanding research activity; and 20 science and technology parks. In addition, Catalonia has high-level scientific infrastructures, such as the ALBA--CELLS synchrotron, the Mare Nostrum supercomputer of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), and the National Center for Genome Analysis (CNAG), among others.


Biocat is the organization that coordinates and promotes biotechnology, biomedicine and innovative medical technology in the Bioregion of Catalonia. Its mission is to stimulate all thpse that work in this field, as well as their initiatives, to set up an environment with a powerful system of research, active knowledge transfer and business entrepreneurialship that can become an economic driving force for the country and contribute to the welfare of society.

More information:

Press Office • +34 662 315 523 •

In Chicago:
Adela Farré • +34 626 992 057 •
Silvia Labé  • +34 662 315 400 •

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Silvia LabéDirector of Marketing, Communications and Competitive Intelligence
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