CaixaImpulse in the biotechnology companies
CaixaImpulse, the first comprehensive programme to promote the establishment of biotechnology companies in Spain
Jaume Giró, CEO of ”la Caixa” Banking Foundation, and Marcelino Armenter, president of Caixa Capital Risc, presented CaixaImpulse, a unique initiative in Spain, established to promote the transformation of scientific knowledge into companies in the field of life science and health that can generate value in society. They were accompanied at the launch by Carles Trenchs, director of Caixa Capital Risc; Enric Banda, director of ”la Caixa” Foundation Department of Science and Environment; Anna Veiga, director of the Stem Cell Bank at Barcelona Centre for Regenerative Medicine; and Bernat Soria, Doctor in Medicine and former Health Minister. These last three are also members of the CaixaImpulse programme scientific council.
Spain is occupies tenth place in the world and fifth in Europe as regards scientific production. The country is provided with cutting-edge infrastructure for innovation and the exponential growth of science and technology parks and research centres, and with highly-trained professionals. All this implies a source of knowledge and wealth with great potential, but with one shortcoming: marketing and turning these resources into value. As regards patents granted, Spain occupies eleventh place in the European ranking. ”la Caixa” Foundation launches the new CaixaImpulse programme with the aim of helping to change this situation.
Taking the floor, Jaume Giró, CEO of ”la Caixa” Banking Foundation, announced that this organisation is: “Whole-heartedly committed to the advancement of biomedical research, to the development of talent and to job creation. Fruit of this commitment is the new project that we are here to present today, designed to convert research projects into sustainable business initiatives, with the ultimate goal of improving people’s wellbeing. I believe that this is an all-round excellent initiative, and we are tremendously enthusiastic about the project”. Complementing ”la Caixa” Foundation’s outstanding record in supporting research.
Caixa Capital Risc has great experience in programmes to establish new companies and boost innovative young enterprises through investment and mentoring initiatives. Marcelino Armenter, president of Caixa Capital Risc, added that: “By establishing the CaixaImpulse programme, we seek to place the know-how, contacts and experience of both ”la Caixa” Foundation and Caixa Capital Risc at the service of a shared objective: to transfer the results from research to the market and to society as a whole”.
State-wide call for proposals for valuation and market transfer with the aim of making this a reference initiative in Europe Biotechnology and the new technologies form a strategic sector and one of the key sectors for promoting a change in the production model in Spain. Moreover, there is great awareness of the importance of building up a patent portfolio that is as complete as possible as the central pillar in R&D&I strategies.
Biomedicine and the new technologies are highly dynamic sectors that have become drivers of a country’s economy. In view of this, the CaixaImpulse call for proposals focuses on the field of life, medical and health sciences. Research centres interested in participating in the programme are invited to submit their proposals online at www.caixaimpulse.com from May 12 to June 12.
Once the projects have been submitted, the selection process will begin. Following European Science Foundation guidelines, this process will include evaluation of proposals by evaluators in the field of life sciences and health and the business world, and face-to-face interviews before a panel of European experts in different fields: pharmaceuticals, business schools and health or biotech companies.