AseBio and Biocat present BIOSPAIN 2023 in Barcelona, with greatest potential on its 20th aniversary

Barcelona, the leader in the biotechnology and life sciences sector in Spain, will host this edition from 26 to 28 September, which is the 20th anniversary of the event.

Access to innovation

The Spanish Bioindustry Association (AseBio) and Biocat presented BIOSPAIN 2023 this Tuesday at the Barcelona Science Park, in collaboration with the Government of Catalonia and Barcelona City Council. Now 20 years after the first edition, BIOSPAIN has consolidated its place as a benchmark international event for the biotechnology sector. The congress is a complete showcase for all the potential of this industry and its presence in all arenas of society, offering specific solutions to the new challenges that may arise in day-to-day life.

BIOSPAIN 2023 will be held from 26 to 28 September in person in the Catalan capital, epicentre of biotechnology in Spain. Barcelona has been chosen to host this congress because, as the 2021 AseBio Report shows, Barcelona and Catalonia lead the international rankings in number of start-ups, science publications and clinical trials, among others, in addition to having renowned research centres and hospitals. The same document also shows that the region accounts for 45% of all turnover in the sector in Spain. 

“Biotechnology start-ups and scale-ups established in Catalonia stood out again in 2022 as one of the most attractive segments for venture capital and set new investment records that year,” explained Biocat CEO Robert Fabregat, who also advanced an “extraordinary close to 2022, exceeding expectations taking into account the international context” in terms of operations and investments. The CEO of Biocat took advantage to remind participants that, at the presentation of the 2022 BioRegion Report on 13 February, they will also announce the total investment figures for 2022 and other important indicators for the healthcare and life sciences ecosystem in Catalonia.

For his part, Secretary of Enterprise and Competitiveness and CEO of ACCIÓ Albert Castellanos i Maduell explained that “hosting events like BIOSPAIN in Barcelona shows why we have become one of the great drivers of the biotechnology sector in Europe. This year’s event will be highly strategic for promoting a key sector for our economy and society, bringing about much of the innovation and technological development in our country and acting as a great bridge between the research and business arenas.”

That’s why hosting the event in Barcelona will be a driving force to position the Spanish biotechnology sector on the global agenda and for 2023, which desperately needs innovative solutions to build a more sustainable and resilient economic model.   

Félix Ortega, CEO of Barcelona Activa (Barcelona City Council), highlighted that ,“a sector such as life sciences and healthcare (and especially biopharma and biotech) is one of the sectors that attracts most investment, but above all, one of the sectors that devotes most investment to R&D at European level. Some of these leading companies form part of our industrial fabric, promoting quality employment, and the administrations - including local ones - must accompany the growth of this sector with effective support policies. Barcelona City Council is fully committed to technological and scientific innovation, to innovation in health and sustainability”.


Challenges of the biotech sector in the context of crisis

In such difficult moments as the pandemic, biotechnology has proved it can provide real solutions to problems that arise suddenly and in areas as essential as health. 

In this 2023 edition, one of the challenges is to show that, in addition to continuing work to tackle healthcare challenges like antimicrobial resistance and the ageing population, the biotechnology industry is also working to tackle climate change, a key part of our daily lives, by developing more resistant and sustainable crops, new sources of protein and alternatives to fossil fuels, among others. All with a firm commitment to advancing towards the green transition. .


In the words of AseBio Chairwoman Ana Polanco, given the current context of crisis and uncertainty, biotechnology “is bringing and will continue to bring progress. BIOSPAIN 2023 will be a showcase for that and a key moment for promoting the work of a sector that is strategic for building a new economic model that is more sustainable and resilient.” As a result, Polanco considers this edition will be “like no other” and that there is an urgent need for “commitment to science and innovation by biotechnology companies.”

Paula Olazábal, partner and D&I officer at Ysios Capital; Laura Soucek, CEO of Peptomyc; and Richard Borreani, Public Affairs, Science and Sustainability manager at Bayer Hispania, also took part in the event in a panel discussion moderated by AseBio CEO Ion Arocena. In this space, the participants noted the importance of BIOSPAIN and the great expectations for this 2023 edition.


BIOSPAIN: business opportunity

BIOSPAIN is one of the leading events in the sector in Europe. It brings together more than 850 innovative organisations working in health, sustainable agrifood and industrial transformation to find solutions to climate change. In previous editions, over 1,500 professionals from 30 countries attended this event with more than 200 exhibitors and over 50 investors from Spain and abroad. All this plus the strategic factor of hosting the event in Barcelona, with its great power to attract international companies, will foster new business opportunities in the sector, helping participating companies and those being set up explore new business pathways, as all the speakers confirmed.

For both AseBio and Biocat it is very clear that biotechnology still has a lot to contribute and even more so in our current situation. That’s why BIOSPAIN 2023, by encouraging companies and/or professionals to join forces and promoting innovation, science and collaboration, can bring about new ideas and opportunities to achieve a common goal: improving people’s lives and protecting the planet through biotechnology.