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BIOIBs Press release (Biotechnology and Biomedical Cluster of the Balearic Islands) regarding the current health situation and the future Plan for Economic and Social Transformation and reactivation of the Balearic Islands

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In the context of the current health crisis caused by the coronavirus, the biotechnological  and biomedical cluster of the Balearic Islands, BIOIB, reiterates its demand that the government continue to increase the number of tests performed (PCR and antibodies), using all the available capacity and expanding it significantly in order to conduct mass tests, in line with the persistent WHO recommendations.

Diagnostic methods provide an accurate picture of the situation, a more exact idea of ​​the extent of the pandemic and seroprevalence in the population; information that can be very useful to better understand the real incidence, mortality and speed of the virus infection, facilitating the current decision-making process of the authorities, quickly and appropriately, and preparing us for a second wave. The only way to make rational decisions is to rely on reliable information.

Although tests are being carried out, they are not being done on a massive scale yet, despite the insistence of the WHO at global level and our recommendations to the regional government since the beginning of the crisis. Although we might think that the priorities are elsewhere, each day of delay in this matter means multiplying the negative effects of the pandemic in our region.

We are in an autonomous community highly dependent on the services sector. This makes us a prosperous community in times of prosperity, but it weakens us more than others in the face of each crisis and the effect is even greater in an unprecedented situation like the current one. Therefore, while recognizing the importance of the tourism sector, we believe that we must build (not replace) on the current production model and promote the economic diversification. While here we continue to discuss about such basic aspects as the real importance of R & D & I and what our commitment is, other countries are an order of magnitude ahead of us, and despite we are all suffering from global crises, in our territory are deeper and last longer in time.
Over the years we have worked as a cluster, the importance of our task has always been recognized, as well as the relevance of research and innovation. In spite this and despite the different governments that we have had, the intensity in R&D relative to GDP has never moved from 0.3-0.4%.

As a result of the future Plan for the Economic and Social Transformation and reactivation of the Balearic Islands, from BIOIB we propose a great political pact, supported by all political forces, 20 years from now, in which, based on the current situation, we place the investment in R&D at 2% of GDP in 20 years, with systematic and protected growth of 10% annual investment. This task goes far beyond one legislature or political color, and only a real commitment will allow us to build a diversified social and economic model. This plan should involve companies, training and research centers and the public administration.

Some of BIOIB’s proposals are:

  • Innovative companies to have real access to credit.
  • Promote science and technology education, in order to generate specialized human talent (high-level technicians, doctors).
  • To promote the entrepreneurial culture in the teaching field of the University (UIB).
  • Promote entrepreneurial R&D as an engine for economic diversification and the productive model.
  • A clear clusters policy by the Government of the Balearic Islands, giving priority to the consolidation of the existing ones, as a necessary step prior to the creation of new ones.
  • Finally, to create an INNOVATIVE ECOSYSTEM, which allows the talent generated by knowledge generation centers to be maintained here and is also a driving force for human talent from abroad.

BIOIB, the biotechnological and biomedical cluster of the Balearic Islands, was born in 2010 as an initiative of the Government of the Balearic Islands and the Balearic Association of Biotechnology Companies, made up of companies in which technological innovation plays a key role within its competitive strategy.

It currently has 19 members and brings together all the actors of the triple helix, which includes the Administration, public and private hospitals, the University of the Balearic Islands and other knowledge-generating and interface institutions, as well as the business fabric of the biotechnological and biomedical sector.