The Catalonia Health Technology Cluster is now reality
A firm wager on health ICTs in Catalonia. In late June, the Healthcare technology Cluster was constituted with the support of the Government of Catalonia through ACCIÓ, the agency specialised in fostering innovation and business internationalisation. The main aim is to promote competitiveness in this sector’s value chain. In fact in Catalonia health technologies now add up more than 300 companies and agents, a joint turnover of 3,600 million euros and nearly 15,000
During the presentation of the new Cluster, the Catalan Minister for Enterprise and Occupation, Felip Puig, stressed that “Catalonia is an international benchmark in the development of medical technologies.” He added that “This is a strategic economic sector of the country, of one of those that make up the RIS3 strategy of economic specialisation developed by the Catalan government.” The Minister went on that with the creation of the cluster, “The companies will be able to share synergies to seek more opportunities in the global market.”
The Health Technology Cluster starts up with the leadership of 17 companies and Catalan institutions bringing in a joint turnover of more than 650 million euros and 6,500 workers. The members of the board of management of the cluster are Arber Surgical, Avinent, Costaisa, OSM, Pulso Ediciones, Sensofar Medical, Sibel, Tecnoconverting, Telstar, Vecmedical, Ventura Medical Technologies, Vesismin, NTE-Sener, Centre de Recerca en Enginyeria Biomèdica – UPC, Hospital Clínic, Xarxa d’Innovació en Salut per Catalunya (XISCAT) and the Fundació TicSalut.
The new cluster’s main strategic challenges include promoting technological innovation, internationalisation in the market with more opportunities, the need to establish public-private alliances in the face of changes amongst the patterns of demand and the customisation of the solutions for patients in surroundings in which the population is ageing.
The president of the Health Technology Cluster and managing director of the company Avinent, Albert Giralt, said that “The companies of the cluster are divided between those offering a service or digital product and those making industrial products, and the two types work in collaboration.”
A cluster manager will soon be chosen to lead the project.
A sector involving more than 300 companies in Catalonia
Health technologies account for nearly 2% of Catalan GDP. Catalonia has research and technology transfer centres as well as prestigious hospitals, 13 of which are leaders in biomedical research. The business expenditure in R&D of the sector is high and accounts for 4.5% of the turnover. The international projection of the sector is also outstanding: the world market of health technologies has a volume of 200,000 million euros and grows by 4% each year.
This action forms part of the Catalan government’s cluster policy, which favours this system as a tool to improve the competitiveness of Catalan enterprise. In Catalonia there are currently 25 business clusters gathering nearly 1,200 companies.