The Catalan bioregion is making steady progress. So much so that the industry create a company a week, that their ‘start-ups’ bind higher and higher investment rounds and that the interest of international investors It is four times higher than before the pandemic. This is reflected in the annual report prepared by the associations Biocat Y CataloniaBio & HealthTech, and this year also the agency for the competitiveness of the company of the Generalitat, Action, which indicates that the companies that are part of this network captured 238 million euros last year. Although this figure represents only 16% of the money raised by Catalan start-ups in general and is barely 5% higher than last year, it indicates not only that the sector continues to grow, but also that consolidate the jump than it had given the previous year, when the tied volume grew by 83%.
This amount also shows that the health and life sciences ecosystem of Catalonia (what is known as bioregion) moves more and more money. With biotech companies once again in the lead, the sector’s start-ups closed six fewer agreements with venture capital than a year earlier (36 in total), and instead obtained 47 million euros more, reaching 187 million. The rest was obtained from grants or ‘crowdequity’, among other investment tools.
Further proof that more and more operations are closedn, is that last year Impress carried out the largest round registered in this ecosystem (41 million euros), and that 70% of the capital obtained was shared between nine companies, with Impress itself and Corus Dental Y Koa Health capturing more than half of this cake.
“It is evident that we are still a small sector, and large operations have a great impact on the final figure”, pointed out the president of CataloniaBio & HealthTech, Jaume Amat. “This does not have to blur a more global view, as a whole: every year we increase investments,” he said.
At his side, the CEO of Biocat, Robert Fabregat, has highlighted that in addition, 83% of the money obtained has come through rounds with international participation: if in 2019 the volume related to international funds was 37 million, this 2021 the figure rises to 155 million. In short, he summarized, “the bioregion is consolidated as a pole of attraction for international capital.”
eye de los ‘spin offs’
Both spokespersons have highlighted that we are in one of the “most prolific” periods in terms of the number of ‘spin-offs’ created (companies that leave research centers or universities), an indicator that after years of decline, tripled in 2020 in relation to 2016. Although in this case they do not have more recent data, Amat and Fabregat understand that it is a sign that increasing collaborations is beginning to be seen as “essential”.
According to the X-ray presented this Wednesday, the bioregion of Catalonia is made up of some 1,300 companies, especially biotechnological and pharmaceutical companies, with a turnover of more than 21,000 million euros, generating around 9% of the Gross Domestic Product (START) of Catalonia and employ 244,000 people, 8% of the employed population of the community.