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November 03, 2020
Catalonia, at the forefront of Europe in life sciences and health; the Alba synchrotron contributes to this leadership
Catalonia has a leading position in Europe in life sciences and health, according to the BioRegion 2020 Report, the reference study of this ecosystem presented last September by Biocat (the institution that brings together the life sciences and healthcare innovation community in Catalonia).
 
The Alba synchrotron, the icon of our park, contributes to this leadership as a top-level scientific infrastructure (along with the BSC-CNS MareNostrum supercomputer and the CNAG-CRG National Center for Genome Analysis) dedicated to cutting-edge research and technological development in the field of life sciences and health, among others.
For instance, the synchrotron can probe the interior structure of biological samples, such as cells, and produce 2D or 3D representations and pictures with high-resolution and contrast (see photo).
 
Catalonia concentrates more than 50% of the Spanish pharmaceutical industry, is home to five of the largest companies in the sector (Almirall, Esteve, Ferrer, Grífols and Uriach) and major global multinationals such as Amgen from the US. Companies such as Roche Diagnostics, Boehringer Ingelheim, AstraZeneca, Sanofi and Novartis have established their production and innovation centers in the region. This region is home to more than 1,200 companies in the field of life sciences and health, mainly biotech and pharma, digital health and medtech. The sector represents 7.3 % of the Catalan GDP, the second highest in turnover after the automotive sector, and has grown steadily since 2010.
 
On the other hand, Catalonia has 89 leading scientific, technical and research centers working in the health, wellness and life sciences industries. It also has internationally renowned hospitals that carry out innovative work in different medical fields, such as the Vall d’Hebron Hospital, Clínic Hospital, Sant Joan de Déu Hospital, Quiron Hospital, etc.
 
Biocat points out that this year there has been a new record investment: € 120 million so far in 2020, surpassing the total reached in 2019. Venture capital with international participation has increased by 67.1 % and exceeds € 50 million for the first time. In fact, according to fDi Markets, Catalonia remains from 2016 as the best region in southern Europe for foreign investment.
 

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