Catalonia is presented as a biotechnological cluster at Bio Boston 2012

The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, travelled to Massachusetts and New York to promote Catalan businesses and present Catalonia as one of the main biotechnological clusters and tourist destinations in Europe. In addition, Ernst & Young presented their report on life sciences companies and research centres in Catalonia, which indicates that almost 30% of this sector’s turnover in Spain comes from Catalan businesses.


June 23, 2012 12:00 AM

Barcelona (ACN).- Catalonia is the most important biotechnology business cluster in Spain, with more than 1,100 companies and with a turnover of €15 billion, 29.4% of the Spanish total. The pillars of the Catalan biomedical sector are companies such as Grifols, research centres such as Barcelona’s Biomedical Research Park, and university hospitals such as the Hospital Clínic. This is the main highlight of Ernst & Young’s Catalonia Life Sciences Report 2011, which was presented at the 2012 Boston Bio fair with the presence of the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas. 60% of the Spanish companies present at this year’s edition of the most important trade fair of the sector –Bio Boston– were Catalan. The President of Catalonia, who is on an official visit to the United States, visited the fair to encourage 70 Catalan companies and organisations participating at the fair to continue their work as one of the flagships of the Catalan economy. The day before he had visited the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he met with Catalan researchers. In his visit to Massachusetts, Mas also met with the former State Governor and US presidential candidate, Michael Dukakis, and the current Governor Deval Patrick, with whom he signed a cooperation agreement.

Besides leading the Spanish market, Catalonia is becoming a biomedical cluster in Southern Europe in its own right, emphasises the report issued by Ernst&Young. Catalonia has more than 1,100 companies, organisations and research centres working on Life Sciences, employing around 30,000 people (22,000 in private companies and 8,000 in publicly-owned research centres). And most of them work in biomedicine, a sector whose world leaders are states such as Massachusetts. Catalonia’s biomedical sector has 481 companies, 80 research centres, 20 scientific parks, 15 hospitals with their own research programmes, and 12 universities. Hospitals, universities and research centres have 435 research groups, which lead studies at world level in the field of oncology or neurodegenerative diseases.

The Catalan President stated that Catalonia uses Massachusetts as a model, as both share a similar geographical and demographic size, and a similar economic structure. Despite the American state’s economy being around 60% larger than Catalonia’s, both have an important industrial sector, based on innovation and exporting. In addition, both Massachusetts and Catalonia have a powerful biotechnological industry, although that of the American state is much more important than the Catalan. Furthermore, both territories are significant tourist destinations, although Catalonia leads in this sector.