Catalonia Trade & Investment

Fast-track program to Barcelona-Catalonia Life Sciences Hub

Competition for Advanced Therapies companies

Apply here

Program Overview.

Catalonia's‘ Health 2030' project aims to mobilize €2 billion to scale up its Life Sciences ecosystem in the region and transform its national health system. A central feature of this strategy is the planned National Center of Advanced Therapies in Barcelona, which will connect industry and innovative advanced therapies firms.

Following the Government's commitment to the growth of this strategic field, Barcelona-Catalonia has become a highly sought-after location for companies of all sizes to develop their R&D in Advanced Therapies, benefitting from the presence of excellent hospitals for clinical trials, efficient operative costs, and the availability of highly skilled talent. Examples include SpliceBio, which raised €50M in the most extensive Series A round for Spanish biotech, and AstraZeneca, which recently announced a record-setting investment of €800M to establish a global innovation hub in Barcelona dedicated to the development of new therapies.

The 2nd edition of the Fast-Track Program aims to offer tailored support to 20 selected Advanced Therapies companies wanting a better understanding of the current opportunities, potential collaborations, and public funding options available in Barcelona/Catalonia.


Selected companies will benefit from:

The program offers advanced therapies organizations exclusive access to the most relevant players and business opportunities in one of Europe's most important biotech and pharma clusters. This includes:


  • Introductions to key R&D players for your specific project in Catalonia

  • Identification and connections with vetted suppliers, manufacturing partners, and technology providers

  • Guide to European market access, public/private funding available, and talent pool

  • Visits to Catalonia for interested companies to learn in person about the region's assets

  • Office space at Barcelona's Pier Healthtech for 3 months

  • Complimentary ticket to attend BioSpain (26-28 September, Barcelona)

  • Media & Press Coverage to publicize strategic projects in the local media

  • Advice on location, legal, tax, and recruitment issues

  • Continuous aftercare service to grow, reinvest & expand (post-setup support)

Stages of the program.

Discover below the different phases of the Fast-Track Program's development.

  • Open Call

    • Fast-Track Program Kick-off

      The competition started on March 27th, 2023.

  • Selection

    • May, 2023

      A total of 20 companies will be selected to participate in the competition.

  • Meeting the Health Sector leaders

    • May 11th, 2023 - Online session

      Meet with life sciences investors and decision-makers from international and local pharma companies, from AstraZeneca to Grifols and Hipra, to learn why Catalonia is the perfect place to drive the development of your Advanced Therapies project.

  • Meeting with Key Innovation partners

    • May 16th, 2023 - Online session

      Introductions to world-leading hospitals and research organizations to understand how to benefit from Catalonia's R&D infrastructure, including collaborations with research partners.

  • Regulatory, Funding, Market Access & Talent

    • May 17th, 2023 - Online session

      Understanding the regulatory framework to access the Spanish-European health system, identifying public and private funding sources available in Catalonia/Spain, and mapping the region’s talent regarding available workforce, quality, and costs.

  • Follow-up Support

    • Individual Consultation

      The Catalonia Trade & Investment team will offer individual follow-up support to the selected organizations.

Why Barcelona-Catalonia for Life Sciences



  • Vibrant Life Sciences Network

    A world-class network of medical institutions, with 91 research institutions and over 1,350 companies (including 53% of the largest global pharma, such as Boehringer Ingelheim, AstraZeneca, Sanofi, Novartis, or Roche), turn Catalonia into Europe’s most dynamic pharma environments.


  • Global Hub for Clinical Trials

    Spain ranks 3rd in Europe in the number of clinical trials, 75% of them being conducted in Catalonia. Catalonia participates in over 1,200 active clinical trials to test new therapies and drugs in patients, mostly in the fields of oncology, cardiovascular diseases, ophthalmology, and CNS.


  • Tax incentives

    Catalonia has one of Europe’s most attractive R&D Tax incentives schemes, with corporate tax deductions of up to 59% of R&D expenses, and a patent box tax relief of 60% of net income, among other business incentives such as the High Impact, offering grants of up to €500,000 to new investment projects in R&D centers.


  • Highly Skilled Talent

    As one of the best locations in the world to live and work in, Barcelona has become a magnet for young professionals and top-level scientific talent and researchers in Europe. Catalonia enjoys Europe's 3rd best university system and offers 93 degrees and 104 master's programs in life sciences.


  • Competitive Operating Costs

    Barcelona’s operating costs are 42% lower than in other top European cities in life sciences (fDi Benchmark). Investments by foreign companies in the BioRegion accounted for a total of €689 M in direct investment and have created over 2,900 jobs (2018-2022). In 2022, investment was up 70% on the previous year, and employment was 96%.


  • Access to funding

    The availability of public funding for R&D projects (via Horizon Europe, Catalonia’s ‘Health 2030’ program, and the EU’s Next Generation Funds), alongside a fast-growing presence of venture capital investors, offers immense possibilities for international collaborations and expansion plans in the region.


Which organizations can participate?

Participating organizations will need to be in the Advanced Therapies field and comply with at least one of the following criteria:


  • Minimum of Series A investment in the last 3 years
  • Over €2 million in revenue
  • Over 25 employees
  • Being a world-renowned organization in the field of Advanced Therapies and precision medicine with the capacity to establish meaningful R&D collaborations with Catalonia


If you require further information, check out our Fast-Track Program FAQ.


Program collaborators.

Meet the institutions that will be working together on this program.