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Montserrat Vendrell, CEO of Biocat, was named chair of the Council of European Bioregions (CEBR) at the latest meeting held this week in Brussels. Vendrell, who was already on the Steering Committee of this European network of biotechnology support professionals, believes that this new era “will allow us to strengthen relations between BioRegions in northern and southern Europe and to foster one of CEBR’s missions: to act as a platform for sharing knowledge and best practices, as well as for starting up and raising awareness of joint projects among bioclusters in order to drive competitiveness in Europe.” Moreover, for the CEO of Biocat, this appointment “is also recognition of all the work carried out in Barcelona and Catalonia to support biotechnology in recent years.”

CEBR, created in 2006, has nearly one hundred members, forty of which, including Biocat, are full members, meaning that they are the main contact point for biotechnology companies within their BioRegion, the primary point of service provision to companies and key players in designing sector development strategies.

This council is the first European network of biotechnology support professionals, whose mission is to build a competitive European biotechnology sector on the world stage through networking and collaboration between BioRegions. In order to encourage the development of biotechnology in each of the BioRegions, CEBR provides a number of services for its members, such as the creation of associations and cluster promotion. One of CEBR’s main objectives is to create a European platform to design and execute transversal projects. Current projects include ABCEurope, with a budget of €3.5 millions, which brings together 13 of the most active groups in Europe to create and develop new support services in biotechnology clusters, in the fields of internationalization, competitiveness and organizational support.

During the presidency of Montserrat Vendrell, work will continue in the line previously initiated by CEBR to support the development of the bioclusters: “We will work to support initiatives in the various European bioregions, above all facilitating collaboration and access to European development funds and, especially, providing guidance to the newest clusters, which can benefit from the experience of veteran clusters.”

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