The European EIT Health project is a consortium with nodes in Barcelona, Paris (France), London (United Kingdom), Rotterdam (Benelux), Stockholm (Sweden/Denmark) and Heidelberg (Germany). It is comprised of more than 50 core partners and 90 associated partners from 14 countries in the European Union, all of which are committed to innovation in health and its impact on improving quality of life.
Biocat, which has been working to promote this initiative since 2009, is an associate member of EIT Health and has participated actively in drafting and coordinating the proposal for the Spanish node.
In 2008, the European Union founded the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), an independent body to foster innovation and entrepreneurial initiative throughout Europe through Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KIC) focusing on different disciplines. In February 2014, the selection process began for the KIC in innovation in healthy living and active ageing.
Catalonia is a leader in research, has world-renowned universities and business schools and is home to one of the most dynamic industrial and service business fabrics in southern Europe. This is why Biocat, with the support of the Governments of Catalonia and of Spain, has promoted and coordinated the Catalan bid for a KIC in health since 2009. On 9 December 2014, this bid was chosen to set up the KIC in health, EIT Health, based at the Barcelona Science Park (PCB).
The EIT Health consortium is made up of a total of 144 leading companies, universities and research centers from 14 European countries and aims to generate roughly 80 new business ideas by the end of 2016 and 140 before 2018. In short, the goal is to create some 70 start-ups per year and get one million students involved in the programs promoted by EIT Health
EIT Health has nodes in Spain, France, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Sweden and Germany. The University of Barcelona, with support from Biocat, is leading the Spanish node, made up of 25 organizations: companies, universities, research centers, hospitals and technology centers. The core partners include Ferrer, IESE, Polytechnic University of Madrid, Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) from the CERCA network, Biomechanics Institute of Valencia, Hospital Clinic and the Madrid Hospital Consortium.
The other associate partners in the Spanish node, in addition to Biocat, are: GMV, Sociedad de prevención FREMAP, Linkcare, PAU Education, BIOPOLOIS SL, Inveniam innovation, La Caixa Foundation, LEITAT, Sant Joan de Deu Healthcare Park, Servicio madrileño de Salud (SERMAS), Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Catalan Agency for Health Information, Assessment and Quality, SEDECAL, OSM, Alphasip and Telefónica
The fact that the BioRegion of Catalonia is participating in EIT Health makes Barcelona part of a framework European alliance of knowledge and entrepreneurship that will boost the city’s international projection and help drive the Catalan economy.