San Sebastian local authority is promoting innovation in the public health services to tackle new challenges related to aging and improvement of quality of life, in association with BIODONOSTIA, the first institute for health research in the Basque Country.

Image: Biodonostia headquarters in San Sebastian

BIODONOSTIA develops its activity by promoting biomedical research, epidemiological, public health and health services, by scientifically supporting the programs and policies of the health system and promote transnational research, aimed at accelerating the transfer of scientific knowledge to clinical practice, in the territorial area of Gipuzkoa. 

Local entrepreneurs and companies seeking a biotechnological health component or biomedical related innovative business idea can apply to the technological vouchers. The services provided by BIODONOSTIA includes: 

Laboratory & Research support services in the field of sanitary biotechnology, 

  • Innovation support services to transfer final products to the market, with the objective that these ideas can become products or services that add value to the Health System and Society

Companies awarded with the technological vouchers can get up to 12.500 euro (VAT excluded).

Image: Julio Arrizabalaga, scientific Director of Biodonostia and Juan Karlos Izagirre, San Sebastian Mayo.

In addition to the technical support, services provided by Biodonostia Fomento San Sebastian offer to the selected projects tailor made innovation support services to promote the consolidation and internationalization of the SMEs applicants. This accompaniment is gathered on a "Road Map" plan that will be designed jointly with BIODONOSTIA and Fomento de San Sebastián.

6 companies have applied to the Biodonostia vouchers, 4 out of them been awarded 50.000 euro support distributed among 2 types of vouchers (6.500 and 12.500 euro VAT excluded).

The companies awarded with the support are:

  • NARU INTELLIGENCE SOLUTIONS S.L, Data Solutions for Biomedicine
  • KIROLDNA S.L, biotechnological solutions for professional and amateur athletes.
  • INDICATE SOLUTIONS, SL , cancer detection and early diagnosis device
  • DENEB MEDICAL S.L. surgical robot for selective tissue ablation

The SMEs awarded with the support have expressed their satisfaction with the services provided: The CEO of Naru Intelligence solutions, a start-up created in 2017 as stated that: “The assessment we make is very positive. We believe that this type of support is very necessary for a company in its beginnings, not only for financial aid, but for personalized advice, which has allowed us to obtain very useful knowledge in the business field”

As the SWOT analysis carried out among the local stakeholders of the local innovation ecosystem within the framework of ecoRIS3 has pointed out, SMEs tend to have limited exposure to public knowledge providers such as universities and research organisations. Thus, so one of the main purposes of the BIODONOSTIA’ Support aids Programme is to build new relationships between SMEs and research institutions which: 

a) Stimulate knowledge transfer directly;

b) Act as a catalyst for the formation of longer-term more in-depth relationships.

BIODONOSTIA’s technological vouchers are intended as pump-priming funding through which initial industry-research centres relationships will be established. The issuing of the voucher has two main impacts, both of which overcome major incentive barriers to the usual engagement between SMEs and knowledge providers. First, it empowers the SME to approach knowledge providers with their innovation/technological-related problems, something that they might not have done in the absence of such an incentive. Secondly, it provides an incentive for the research centre to work with SMEs when their tendency might either have been to work with larger firms or to have no industry engagement at all

For Further information on Biodonostia Technological Vouchers, please see