Basque Biosciences and Health companies celebrate the Day of the sector and propose a commitment to growth and greater collaboration with health systems as challenges
The Basque Health Cluster Eguna (Basque Health Cluster Day) will be held on 9 December at 16:15 at the Olatua terminal in the port of Getxo (Biscay).
The event aims to become the annual reference meeting of the Cluster which brings together more than 90 companies and 6,350 jobs in the Basque Country, representing 75% of the sector integrated in the association.
16 November 2021 – The Basque Health Cluster Eguna will be held on 9 December, an event which is celebrating its first edition and with which the Basque cluster of bioscience and health companies aims to establish an annual reference meeting for companies and organisations in the sector.
In its first edition, which will take place at the Olatua terminal in Getxo (Bizkaia), the Basque Health Cluster will present the José Miguel Azkoitia Award for the first time, in memory of one of the actors who dedicated the most effort and commitment to activate the Bio-Health sector in the Basque Country. With this award, the Cluster aims to distinguish those people or entities that work to promote the sector and/or have had a positive impact on its development.
José Miguel Azkoitia, who passed away in 2018, was an Industrial Engineer from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia and PhD from the University of the Basque Country. During his fruitful professional career he developed academic activities linked, among others, to the University of the Basque Country and the Complutense University of Madrid. He was also Director of Health Business Development at TECNALIA. His research career was focused on the areas of Biomedical Engineering, Health Technologies, Robotics and ICTs. He combined these activities with the dissemination of science and technology in the media.
With the Award that bears his name and which will be presented for the first time on 9 December, the Basque Health Cluster wishes to symbolise its gratitude “to a man who worked in science and technology for the development of the biosciences and health sector in the Basque Country. José Miguel Azkoitia brought vision, values and hard work to this Basque sector. This is the small tribute that the Cluster pays to a great technologist”, the organisation stresses.
In addition to the presentation of the Award, during the day, the president of the Cluster, Mikel Álvarez, will take a look at “the years of journey and a long road ahead” of the Basque Health Cluster. There will be an online presentation by Karl Schmieder, CEO of messagingLAB, entitled “What’s Your Bio Strategy? Preparing business for the next generation of biotechnology”. Schmieder, a biochemist by training and award-winning writer, is the founder of a strategy consulting firm specialising in the challenges facing biotech start-ups. He is an active member of Brooklyn’s growing synthetic biology community. This will be followed by a dialogue on synthetic biology with the participation of Karl Schimieder, Juanjo Rubio, Director of the Social Innovation Unit of Navarra, and María Pascual de Zulueta, Director of the Basque Health Cluster.
Overview of the bio-health sector in the Basque Country
The biosciences and health sector in the Basque Autonomous Community is made up of more than 150 companies, 90% of which are SMEs, employing more than 8,085 people and representing 1.9% of GDP in the Basque Country.
With a total turnover of more than 1,668 million euros in 2020, R&D expenditure in the aforementioned financial year was more than 140 million euros.
Half a hundred companies in the sector are dedicated to the development of medical devices, 33 are biotechnology companies, 26 are dedicated to related services (linked to the sector), 20 to e-Health services, 16 develop their activity in the field of Health Care, and 13 in the pharmaceutical sector.
The bioscience sector has a growing business presence in the Basque Country, and has a great opportunity for growth in a market that is set to grow internationally. According to the Basque Health Cluster, some of the main challenges facing the sector are, among others, the need to grow in terms of the number of companies “especially in terms of size and degree of business development, as they are generally young and small companies”. They also point to the need to collaborate with the health system as another challenge, “as this is a key element for making progress in the development of new products and services”.
Basque Health Cluster Eguna Programme
9 December 2021. Olatua Cruise Terminal. Getxo
15:45 Extraordinary General Assembly (only for members)
16:30 BHC: 5 years of journey and a long way ahead.
- Mikel Alvarez, President of BHC.
17:00 What’s Your Bio Strategy? Preparing the business for the next generation of biotech.
- Karl Schmieder, CEO messagingLAB.
17:30 Dialogue on synthetic biology.
- Karl Schmieder, CEO messagingLAB.
- María Pascual de Zulueta, Managing Director of Basque Health Cluster.
- Juanjo Rubio, Director of the Social Innovation Unit of Navarra.
17:45 JOSÉ MIGUEL AZKOITIA AWARD CEREMONY.
18:00 Cocktail networking.