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The life sciences and healthcare sector in Catalonia

This latest pandemic has made us see health from a different perspective. 2021 was one of the years with the greatest efforts channeled towards innovation in health worldwide. This rapid growth, seen around the world, spells new opportunities in healthcare innovation in the next few years.


“COVID-19 has invigorated the industry, accelerating the use of therapeutic strategies and digital technologies that are bringing about the long-heralded transformation of the healthcare industry. And investors have turned to startups as a disruption-proof asset “.


Catalonia: a driving force in healthcare innovation


In Catalonia, the health and life sciences ecosystem is considered one of the main innovation hubs in Europe. Due to the high quality of its research and educational system. It also has an important network of talents and institutions and investors who intend to provide the sector with services and innovation.


In fact, 40% of the main health and life sciences companies are based in Catalonia. And the city of Barcelona is considered, according to the Financial Times, the most attractive place in southern Europe to invest in a science R&D center. What makes Barcelona attractive are its competitive property and public services costs, the highly efficient logistics systems and the top-notch life sciences and healthcare talent.


In recent years, it has been digital health startups and companies that have risen in rank. In 2020, biotech became the predominant subsector again, just as it had been years ago. A record was also established in the creation of startups working on new therapies, specifically focused on oncology, infectious and respiratory diseases.

And since 2011, the number of women in executive positions in startups in the sector has increased by 51%.


Digital health companies have played a key role during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has accelerated the use of technologies by health professionals. The accelerated pace of development for new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), 3D printing and virtual reality (VR) is fueling the ecosystem’s growth. All together, this will have a significant impact on how healthcare will be delivered in the not-too-distant future.



2021 BioRegion Report – The life sciences and healthcare sector in Catalonia (biocat.cat)

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