The Minister of Science and Innovation, Diana Morant, emphasised that biotechnology drives economic progress in BIOSPAIN 2021

  • The Regional Minister for Economic and Business Development, Mikel Irujo, underlines Navarre's leadership and highlights the importance of BIOSPAIN in promoting relations between Navarrese companies and those from other regions and also at a global level.
  • The international congress concludes with nearly a thousand professionals from 600 organisations from 30 countries and more than 2,000 'one-to-one' meetings.
foto ministra
Pamplona, España

“Biotechnology drives economic progress and social wellbeing. You are a strategic sector, able to turn knowledge into innovative solutions which will improve peoples’ health”. This was the statement given by Diana Morant, Minister of Science and Innovation, who closed the 10th edition of BIOSPAIN, a congress held this week in the Congress Palace and the Navarra-Baluarte Auditorium in Pamplona-Iruña.

Biotechnological is more alive, more present and more recognised than ever. It protects us, takes care of us and helps us to make progress, but it has never done so as much as it does now”, explained the minister. She emphasised the role that biotechnology had played in 2020, thanks to the development of Covid-19 vaccines in record time. 

Morant stated that “we can celebrate this joint success thanks to a historic public investment  and we have sped up the administration process. However, this success is mainly thanks to the scientific cooperation between countries and the public and private sector’s willingness to work together and in coordination for a common, global and urgent cause, such as preservation of life”. 

Mikel Irujo, Counsellor of Economic and Business Growth, described this sector as "strategic to the promotion of economic growth, with great potential for job creation. Navarra has a very favourable and constantly developing ecosystem, which is vital for the promotion of bio-entrepreneurship in the territory”.

To connect the industrial and academic tissue to other companies which promote collaboration in R+D, national and international risk capital, large pharmaceutical companies and companies which provide services are “fundamental” for the counsellor. He pointed out that BIOSPAIN is “key, as it promotes this type of relationship between companies in Navarra and those in other regions. It also attracts the attention of large investors and companies in the international sector who are looking for new business opportunities”.

Choosing Navarra as the host region for BIOSPAIN was not done randomly. The 5th edition of the Congress, which is a reference in the field of health, was held here. ‘Biotech’ is a strategic sector, and as Irujo pointed out, Navarra will continue to be a regional reference within this industry. 

This industry comprises 30 biomedical companies, and 40 further companies in other areas of healthcare. Navarra boasts 5 research centres, which employ more than 2400 people, 2 universities and 2 leading hospitals. This sector is highly specialised in pharmaceutical and biotechnology products, with 17,1% of patents in Navarra, compared with 13,1% of patents in Spain and 7,5% in the EU, and with an extensive public and private healthcare network.

Main data from the 10th edition of BIOSPAIN

BIOSPAIN 2021 was organised by the Association of Spanish Biocompanies (AseBio), in coordination with the Navarra Local Government and collaboration with Merck, ICEX Spain Exportation and Investments, the Galician Innovation Agency, GAIN, and CINFA. 

Around 1000 professionals from around 600 companies from 30 countries attended this edition. More than 2000 one-to-one meetings were held to promote innovation, collaboration and new business opportunities and around 40 international investors also attended. Several scientific roundtable discussions took place, focusing on developing the future, managing possible new pandemics and the challenges and opportunities in Spain regarding access to and management of cancer treatment and the impact of new genomic editing techniques, among others.  

Among the different messages discussed this week, one in particular stood out: Spain is not only in 8th place worldwide for ‘biotech’ scientific production, private biotechnology investment in the country has also grown by 50%. This data emphasised that the development of the biotechnological sector in our country and biotechnological companies is growing faster than in other countries. According to the latest available data, there are already 3585 companies, and biotechnology is the main activity in 790 of these. 

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AseBio brings together more than 290 entities and represents the Spanish biotechnology sector as a whole. Its mission is to lead the transformation of the country, positioning science, innovation and especially biotechnology as an engine of economic growth and social welfare. Its members include companies, associations, foundations, universities, technology and research centres that carry out their activities directly or indirectly related to biotechnology in Spain.