The Generalitat de Catalunya promotes the development of the “Bioregió catalana” (Catalan Bioregion)
On Wednesday 17 November, the "conseller en cap", Josep Bargalló, presided the meeting of the constitution of the "Bioregió catalana" (Catalan Bioregion).This initiative aims to coordinate the activities of scientists working in basic and clinical research, entrepreneurs and enterprises involved in biomedicine and biotechnology. The project brings together several agents of Catalan society, such as public administration and a number of public and private entities, one of which is the Parc Científic de Barcelona (PCB, Barcelona Science Park).
The meeting involved the participation of the minister for Universities, Research and the Information Society (DURSI), Carles Solà; the minister for Employment and Industry, Josep Maria Rañé; the minister for Economy, Antoni Castells; and the minister for heath, Marina Geli. It also included representatives from the diverse agents that collaborate in the project; among others, the director of the PCB, Màrius Rubiralta; the director of the Catalan Foundation for Research, Enric Banda; the director Novartis Health, Innovation and Society Foundation, Joan Artells; the deputy mayor of the city of Barcelona, Jordi Portabella; and the director of the CIRIT, Marta Aymerich.
The Catalan Bioregion seeks to establish a setting to favour the efficient transfer of technology, promote the use of new technologies in order to improve industrial competitiveness and develop a dynamic biomedical and biotech sector that can produce new medical breakthroughs that will contribute to enhancing the quality of life. These objectives are aimed at strengthening, mid term, industrial activity in sectors involved in these scientific fields and making them international references which contribute to improving social well being.
The experience of more developed countries in life sciences has highlighted the role that biotech development and its applications have on the economic growth of a country. In this regard, the European Union, through the European Commission, promotes these fields as the cornerstones on which to build a strong knowledge-based economy in Europe.
In this economy, the new structures that promote the interrelations between the public and private sectors are crucial. Among these are the so-called bioclusters, which is a similar concept to the bioregion. Bioclusters can be defined as a grouping of enterprises and institutions in close proximity and that are interrelated and linked to life sciences and biotechnology.
Catalonia has the characteristics necessary to ensure the success of this project. These include institutions with high scientific productivity, such as universities, hospitals, research institute and centres, and the new structures in the science and technology system, such as science and technology parks, bioincubators and technology platforms. A first step towards the development of this sector was the establishment of the Barcelona Biomedical Alliance, which, together with its associates, brings together the most important biomedical research centres in the metropolitan area of Barcelona.
Furthermore, Catalonia has a strong business sector, which is traditionally innovative, in the pharmaceutical industry and in medical equipment, in addition to the new biotech enterprises that are now emerging. Finally, the political, social and legal context of Catalonia favours the development of collaboration agreements between the public and private sectors.
For more information go to European Bioclusters