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During 2020-2021, the work of the Innovation Unit intensified and bore fruit with the creation of 4 spin-offs (Nora, Frontwave Imaging, Tesai and Manina Medtech). To reach this point, it is important to highlight the in-depth work of recent years to professionalize the team and bet on a strategy of valorization and transfer of knowledge that has culminated in the deployment and consolidation of its own incubation model, which already proves competitive, efficient and successful.

In this sense, the intellectual and industrial property regulations and the creation of spin-offs that we have approved during 2022 constitute a framework similar to that of the main innovation systems in international health (Boston or Israel) and that places us at the forefront of the knowledge transfer ecosystem of Catalonia and very well positioned in Europe.

VHIR’s model of valorisation and technology transfer involves having talent and knowledge, being skilled and efficient in using in each case the strategy that is most effective or that is optimal for the occasion. The creation of spin-offs and start-ups is one strategy to commercialise this knowledge.But there are more, such as licensing the innovation model.

On the other hand, the global vision of the VHIR in health innovation should also be highlighted. The process of internationalization in which we are immersed has led to several of our spin-offs being able to attract private international funding and European competitive funds and also to be located outside the Spanish territory as in the case of Modis and IMIDomics, in the USA, or ABCDx in Switzerland.

Sara Marsal

IMIDomics co-founder and head of the Rheumatology Service at Vall d'Hebron University Hospital and head of the Rheumatology research group at Vall d'Hebron Research Institute.

IMIDomics is a Vall d’Hebron spin-off co-founded in 2015 by Dr. Sara Marsal. It is a privately held global biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of new targets and better drugs for the treatment of patients with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMIDs). Last June it completed a $16.5 million financing round in which DNS Capital, Bristol Myers Squibb, The Pritzker Organization and TAO Capital, among others, participated.

“Deep science, hard work, high motivation and talented team are essential for success in knowledge transfer. Vision and confidence are personnel key elements. The vision is what allows us to create, imagine and advance to the needs that will arise. From my experience, trust in people, among the institution, researchers and investors is what will really determine the value of our contribution.

However we cannot ignore the fact that knowledge transfer is highly complex and costly process. Investments that can have a real impact through experienced investors are essentials since there are many risky elements. The researchers cannot entry into this field alone. We need experienced innovation teams in knowledge transfer and work very closely to them. I have been so fortunate to found the trust, the accompaniment and the experience in the VHIR.

Finally, to be realistic, what really determines the success of investment in innovation is whether we are capable of transforming knowledge into wealth and social welfare”.

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VHIR Annual Report 2021