L’Ajuntament de Barcelona and Barcelona Health Hub will promote entrepreneurship and innovation in digital health as a strategic sector of the economy

It is a city commitment to attract talent and investment and, at the same time, position Barcelona as a world reference in digital health

L’Ajuntament de Barcelona, through Barcelona Activa, and Barcelona Health Hub (BHH), have signed a collaboration agreement to promote entrepreneurship and innovation in the digital health sector. The signing ceremony was led by Jaume Collboni, first deputy mayor for Economy, Employment, Competitiveness and Finance, and president of Barcelona Activa, and the president of BHH, Cristian Pascual.

Digital health, a strategic commitment of the city

The agreement refers to Barcelona’s commitment to digital health as a strategic sector of the economy. This collaboration agreement aims to promote initiatives at supporting entrepreneurship, business innovation and competitiveness, talent attraction and promotion, and public-private partnerships in the digital health sector. The scope of action will focus on accompanying the creation and growth of new companies, on promoting technology transfer to the sector and enhancing the creation and growth of scientific, technological and business talent to gain competitiveness. It should also be noted that BHH is a world reference in digital health and is considered one of the 10 best hubs in the world in this field.

The first deputy mayor for Economy, Employment, Competitiveness and Finance and president of Barcelona Activa, Jaume Collboni, emphasized that “Barcelona is a benchmark city in the field of science and technology, with first-rate scientific equipment. This positioning responds to a strategy to diversify our production model, the BCN Green Deal, based on the structural commitment to talent, innovation and strategic sectors such as Health and Bio. It is in this framework that the alliance with the BHH is registered, which will surely generate new business initiatives with social return and capacity to improve people’s lives”.

The president of Barcelona Health Hub, Cristian Pascual, stated that “the latest technological advances have emerged as solutions to many of the challenges facing the healthcare system. This has led to the emergence of Digital Health as a sector. In this revolution on a global scale, Barcelona has all the necessary ingredients to become a reference for innovation in Digital Health. This alliance that we sign today encourages us to continue working to make Barcelona a pole of attraction of talent to build the health of the future”.

The challenge of turning the city into a world center for digital healthcare

The agreement also foresees to activate the international promotion of Barcelona as a world reference ecosystem in the digital health sector as well as to generate new alliances with international actors and new links with other cities or territories of excellence in this field. Including the BHH in the BCN Green Deal, the economic agenda of the city of Barcelona 2030, is another of the agreements signed.

The growth of the BHH will require more space, and in this sense, the Barcelona City Council will study the possibility of expanding the BHH’s physical space, preferably in the same modernist site. Currently, BHH occupies 5,000 square meters of the Sant Manuel, Sant Leopold and the Operations Pavilions of the Recinte Modernista de Sant Pau, where 33 startups are housed with a total of 184 employees and also functions as a center of interaction between more than 350 members (startups, corporations, health institutions, universities and investors), with a presence on five continents.

The signing ceremony was also attended by the CEO of BHH, Eva Rosell and the medical director, Oscar Garcia-Esquirol; and the general director of Barcelona Activa, Fèlix Ortega, and the executive director of Entrepreneurship, Enterprise and Innovation, Lorenzo di Pietro.