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According to Biocat’s annual report, the Catalan healthcare startup ecosystem raised a total of 445 million euros in 2022, almost double the amount raised the previous year. The healthcare sector already represents 8.7% of Catalan GDP and is made up of 1,350 companies and a hundred research institutions, with an aggregate workforce of 247,600 workers. The CEO of Biocat, Robert Fabregat, highlights that “the ecosystem has continued to grow in most of the identifiers, despite the unstable international situation”, and describes 2022 as “historic”.
The €122 million round from Impress, which specialises in digital treatments for invisible braces, was the highest in the history of the healthcare sector and has driven investment growth. However, the sector would still have outperformed last year’s investment even without the Impress deal, attracting €323 million.
The biotech sector also broke records with €185m, while investment in digital health companies declined for the first time in five years, falling 40% compared to 2021, with only €39m.
Venture capital continues to be the main source of funding, providing 343 million euros, 77% of the total. The Biocat report on the Catalan healthcare sector shows that in 2022 competitive grants were the second most important source of funding for Catalan healthcare startups, with 53 million euros (12% of the total). This figure is the highest ever and almost doubles the figures achieved in previous years. The main contributions came from the European Innovation Council (EIC Accelerator) and the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI).
The health sector in Catalonia shows great business and research dynamism, with more than 1,200 active clinical trials in Catalan hospitals and a participation in 75% of the clinical trials carried out in the rest of Spain. Half of these trials focus on oncology, followed by cardiovascular diseases, ophthalmology, central nervous system, mental health and minority diseases. It should be noted that Catalonia ranks fifth in Europe in terms of scientific publications per million inhabitants.