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The second 'Barcelona Health Innovation Week' surpassed all expectations. This year, there were 43 activities on innovation in healthcare, research, entrepreneurship, funding and new technologies applied to healthcare, which is more than twice as many as last year (20 activities).

The activities were hosted by 37 different organizations from the life sciences and healthcare sector in Catalonia, bringing together 2,930 participants all over Barcelona and the metropolitan area from February 12 to 15. Hospitals, research institutes, technology centers, specialized consultants, sector organizations and associations, and startups and scaleups from the sector were the main drivers of this initiative promoted by Biocat for the second year in a row. All together, the activities aimed to showcase the richness and diversity of the life sciences and healthcare ecosystem in Catalonia.

On Monday, February 12, the week kicked off with the presentation of the 2023 BioRegion of Catalonia Report organized by Biocat, attended by over 700 professionals from the sector to learn the main results from this report and attend sessions on investment, advanced therapies, talent and artificial intelligence. Another ecosystem activity that brought together quite a few participants was Tech Spirit Barcelona - Health Edition by Tech Barcelona, a new version of the now consolidated Tech Spirit Barcelona event focusing exclusively on health and covering such relevant topics as innovation adoption in the healthcare system and digital strategies for pharmaceutical companies.

Artificial intelligence was the star topic of this second Barcelona Health Innovation Week. A dozen activities focused on this technology, with cases like Asphalion, which organized an event sharing regulatory tips for AI-based medical technology companies, and Cuatrecasas, which invited international speakers to explore the legal framework in the US and Europe and the impact AI is having on the life sciences industry. Also SANNO, which hosted a debate on the importance of data, development and training of AI models, and the ethical issues stemming from this technology.

There were also activities on science led mainly by research institutes and biotech firms. In this group, IBEC discussed the innovation challenges of personalized medicine and emerging therapies; OloBion, emerging omic techniques in medical research; and IRB Barcelona looked at the past, present and future of innovation in healthcare.

Other unique sessions included a recording of the BioEmprendedores podcast, which interviewed Neuroelectronics CEO Ana Maiques for the first time live, and a new series from Hospital Clínic Barcelona – IDIBAPS called ‘Tardes d’Innovació al Clínic’ (Innovation Evenings at the Clinic) to debate the use of new technologies in healthcare. This group hosted more activities than any other organization over the week, with four sessions.

In terms of the audience, international professionals made up a significant part and participated in most of the activities, although most of the participants were Catalan and from Barcelona. Regarding the format, the most attractive activities were those held in person and many combined this with an online component.

These figures show the successful turnout for this week devoted to the life sciences and healthcare and, as a result, highlight the high implication of stakeholders in this sector made up of 1,400 companies that employ 264,000 people (6.5% of the working population of Catalonia), which is consolidating its place as one of the most noteworthy healthcare innovation hubs in Europe, according to data from the latest BioRegion of Catalonia Report.

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Silvia LabéDirector of Marketing, Communications and Competitive Intelligence
Laura Diéguez
Laura DiéguezHead of Media Relations and Content(+34) 606 81 63
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