Biocat Conferences: Encouraging participation of all stakeholders in the BioRegion

In 2014, Biocat held numerous events with the aim of making information and knowledge on the latest innovative trends and key topics for business and scientific development available to the sector.

In January, under the framework of d·HEALTH Barcelona, Biocat held an event entitled How can Design Thinking improve my business? Successful Innovation in Health at the Museu del Disseny de Barcelona to show how to improve healthcare through design thinking. This new methodology uses the principles of design to involve patients in the process of defining new products and services.

To demonstrate the success of applying design thinking in real situations, Biocat invited six of the top national and international companies that apply this methodology to improve their business model: Humberto Matas (Designit), Roberta Tassi (Frog), Lekshmy Parameswaran (Fuelfor), Anna Cucurull (A piece of pie), Pär Blanking (Borders Crossing) and Gary van Broekhoven (Instituto Europeo di Design, IED, and openIDEO) explained their experiences in this field.

Additionally, in 2014 Biocat participated in many sectorial events to help project the BioRegion of Catalonia and encourage participation of its stakeholders in events that can help them reach their funding, internationalization and strategic collaboration and partnering goals.

With this aim, Biocat co-organized the 12th and 13th editions of the Healthcare Investment Forum, held in March and May respectively, with the Barcelona Medical Association (COMB), Barcelona Activa, Esade BAN and IESE. This forum brings together businesses and investors in the field of healthcare services, biotechnology, medical devices and information technology for health. The 13th edition was held during the MiHealth Forum, the global benchmark event in healthcare innovation organized by the Fira de Barcelona with collaboration from the Government of Catalonia, the Barcelona City Council, the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce and Biocat, among others. Biocat CEO Montserrat Vendrell participated in the Scientific Committee for this event, which brought together nearly 70 international experts.

Biocat also collaborated with the European Fit for Health 2.0 project to organize the International Strategy Development Training session in Barcelona in April. This 24-hour intensive training program is geared towards SMEs in the life sciences sector. 40 students and 9 mentors participated in this initiative that aims to tackle strategic challenges, provide guidance and boost business growth.

In June, Biocat participated in the official program of conferences at Bizbarcelona, organizing a panel discussion entitled The hospital environment as an entrepreneurship igniter: the d·HEALTH experience and with a stand to raise awareness of the d·HEALTH Barcelona project.

Additionally, Biocat was one of the judges in the Open Thinking initiative, a program for entrepreneuring students at the Gimbernat University School of Nursing (May), and at Food & Health Entrepreneurship Program 2014, organized by the UAB Research Park (October).

Likewise, Biocat also helped prepare the Science, Technology and Innovation Festival, contributing case studies of successful R&D companies for the program.

Lessons Learned presentation at Barcelona Science Park

Lessons Learned: learning from experience

For the first time, and in collaboration with CataloniaBIO, in 2014 Biocat began to hold a series of sessions entitled Lessons Learned in order to promote the exchange of experience and networking among professionals from companies in the life sciences arena. Approximately 150 professionals participated in the three sessions held in 2014. 

The first session, The strategy of product development on the way to the clinic, analyzed key issues for understanding the strategy and management of product development, covering regulatory issues (David Mauleón, Asphalion), analytical strategy in the various phases (Lluïsa Garcia, Kymos), drug-delivery systems (Laurence Lachamp, ASCIL Biopharm), scaling (Gemma Lahuerta, Reig Jofré Group) and quality control and management (Javier Fuentes, InKemia IUCT Group, and Judit Amposta, Archivel Farma). 

The second session, organized by Biocat and Catalonia BIO with collaboration from the Barcelona Science Park (PCB), covered The keys to success in accessing international (public) funding. This event analyzed the strategies and keys to attracting international public funding for R&D projects (Minoryx TherapeuticsBionureOryzon Genomics), creating and leading international consortia (InvereadyAromics), and the impact this type of project has on the participating organizations (NeuroelectricsLeitat).

In the third session, Biocat and Catalonia BIO again with collaboration from the PCB, focused on Different innovation models for biotechnology companies: experiences to overcome hurdles. This event shared several different models for funding R&D-based biotechnology companies, from the classic venture capital model through a more or less committed relationship with industrial partners, as well as going public on secondary markets.

This session featured speakers like Teresa Tarragó, co-founder of IProteos, explaining her experience with crowdfunding; Carlos Arias, CEO of iMicroQ, who showed that venture capital investment can be successful; and Luís Ruiz-Avila, CEO of Spherium Biomed, speaking about corporate investment.