The 2013 BIO-Europe Spring conference turns Barcelona into the capital of the biotechnology sector once again
Between the 11th and 13th of March, Barcelona will host the spring meeting of Bio-Europe, the continent’s largest partnering conference of the global biotechnology industry, for the second time. 1,300 biomedical companies will participate in the event, with more than 2,000 delegates and executives. 60 out of the 100 Spanish companies attending are from Catalonia. In the last decade, Catalonia, particularly the Greater Barcelona area, has become the most important centre in Southern Europe within the biomedical field and one of the main centres internationally. Barcelona’s Deputy Mayor for Economic Affairs, Sònia Recasens, praised the importance of the event as it boosts those “added-value sectors that are strategic for the city’s economic growth”.
Barcelona (ACN).- Between the 11th and 13th of March, Barcelona will host the spring meeting of Bio-Europe, the continent\u2019s largest partnering conference of the global biotechnology industry, for the second time. 1,300 biomedical companies will participate in the event, with more than 2,000 delegates and executives. 60 out of the 100 Spanish companies attending are from Catalonia. In the last decade, Catalonia, particularly the Greater Barcelona area, has become the most important centre in Southern Europe within the biomedical field and one of the main centres internationally.
Barcelona\u2019s Deputy Mayor for Economy, Business and Employment, Sònia Recasens, praised the celebration of the 2013 BIO-Europe Spring conference in the Catalan capital. On Thursday, during the conference\u2019s presentation, she stated that \u201Cevents with an international projection such as this one contribute to position the brand \u2018Barcelona\u2019, especially within those added-value sectors that are strategic for the city\u2019s economic growth\u201D. She also added that they are so important \u201Cbecause they facilitate networking and new business opportunities between companies from other countries and the local business community\u201D. For these reasons, Barcelona City Council \u201Csupports those strategic sectors, which currently are offering important foreign investment possibilities, business growth and the creation of qualified jobs\u201D, she concluded.
In addition, Montserrat Vendrell, the General Director of BioCat \u2013 the body fostering Catalonia\u2019s transformation into a world-level biomedical cluster \u2013 explained that the conference \u201Cis a valuable tool because it efficiently facilitates, in only three days, entrepreneurs, executives of multinational companies and SMEs, patent managers, service providers and investors being able to hold hundreds of effective meetings, which otherwise would cost months of contact and travel\u201D.
An \u201Cimportant\u201D event \u201Cfor furthering innovation in Catalonia\u2019s Bioregion\u201D
On top of this, Carola Schropp, the President of the EBD Group, which organises the Bio-Europe conferences, underlined that despite the economic recession, more Spanish companies will be present at the second event in Barcelona. \u201CThis is very important for furthering innovation in Catalonia\u2019s Bioregion and also for the whole of the life sciences industry, because the agreement reached in Barcelona will boost this industry in the future\u201D, emphasised Schropp.
The impact of the congress
The main impact of the congress in to be calculated in the mid- and long-term, positioning Barcelona and Catalonia as a true hub for the biotechnological industry, creating new business opportunities, attracting investment and talent, and developing new knowledge, which will later be applied to the entire society. However, the conference will also have an immediate impact, bringing \u20AC2.2 million to the local economy from direct investment in the event and the presence of 2,000 delegates in the city for 3 days, who will go to restaurants, attend shows, buy presents and sleep in the city hotels.
This year\u2019s congress is likely to surpass the figures from 2010 in Barcelona. Then, 1,738 delegates were present, representing 1,056 companies from 44 different countries. 9,016 partnering meetings were held and 62 companies showed their products.
In 2012, the BIO-Europe Spring conference was held in Amsterdam, with 1,304 companies present. 26 of them were Catalan, which represented 50% of the Spanish delegation. Now, in Barcelona, Catalan companies will represent 60% of the Spanish delegation, made up of 100 companies.
An opportunity for new contacts and develop new business
Most of the companies present in Barcelona will try to make new contacts with executives from other corporations, with a special emphasis on high-level contacts fostered through the programme PartneringONE, an online tool created by the EBD Group that coordinates the diaries of the delegates attending. This tool enables those using it to find meeting times and therefore it facilitates the setting-up of new associations and the development of new business opportunities with other companies.
Launching new projects, promoting franchises, presenting new products about to be clinically tested, finding partners, labelling technology developments, presenting the company\u2019s activities, offering services, finding new market opportunities and internationalising sales are some of the objectives sought by the participating companies. The sector is profiting from the recovery of the investment levels in mature markets such as the United States and from the high growth in emergent markets such as China.