Southern Europe

Healthcare & Life Sciences

On Demand

Find out about the Healthcare and Life Sciences Opportunities

There is a wealth of opportunities across Southern Europe for UK Health and Life Sciences companies who are interested in growing their businesses internationally. The UK has strong links with the region and is a key trading partner for several of its markets.


Opportunities have been identified in the following subsectors:

  • Ageing population care
  • AI and analytics for health
  • Biotechnology
  • Chronic disease management
  • Clinical trials development
  • E-Health/digital health
  • Genomics
  • Medical devices
  • Mental health care
  • Pharma
  • Special needs and rehabilitation care
  • Telemedicine and robotics
  • Vaccines development

This is not an exhaustive list; please see the information for each market below for full details of opportunities.


Southern Europe Healthcare & Life Sciences: Regulatory Update

ON DEMAND (recorded 21 March 22)


Watch this informative roadshow opening session with Chris Barton, HMTC Europe, and  regulatory update from experts Bryan Lister, MBA – Innovation, Commercialisation and Regulatory Manager and Patrick Trotter, PhD, MBA (Techmgmt) Head of Innovation, Commercialisation and Regulatory at Medilink North.



  • Opening remarks from Chris Barton, HMTC Europe
  • The European healthcare market: Regulatory update for UK suppliers - Bryan Lister
  • Clinical evidence and clinical evaluation for the MDR, Planning and execution of the Clinical Evaluation Report - Patrick Trotter

One-to-one Meetings with Commercial Officers

This opportunity has now passed: If you would like to get in contact with any of the commercial officers below, please contact

Meet the Commercial Officers

Cyprus - Elena Orphanidou Rhodes
Country Director - Trade

Joined the Trade & Investment team at the British High Commission in Nicosia bringing years of experience in market research and marketing consultancy. Developed an extensive network with the key local players in all sectors and primarily in priority sectors such as Life Sciences which offer the most opportunities to UK firms.

Offers extensive information on market conditions and opportunities and assists UK firms to expand their business activities in Cyprus. Organises numerous events responding to clients' needs, trade visits to Cyprus by specialised UK firms, official inward missions to exhibitions in UK, government to government meetings, seminars and workshops and product launches.

Collaborates with all major Cypriot business organisations promoting the UK as a business partner of choice and maintains an open channel of communication with local media to promote the UK.

Market Information: Cyprus


UK – CYPRUS enjoy long and strong links on multiple levels: historic, economic, trading, political, cultural, educational, people to people. The UK is a key trading partner for Cyprus. With a population of about one million people Cyprus ranked 55th Export Market for UK in 2020, with about £ 1.4 billion total UK exports to the island.

English is widely spoken on the island and British brands of goods and services are widely known and highly valued. The Cypriot economy has been traditionally robust dominated by the services sector. It has also a small but successful pharmaceutical industry which represents almost a third of the country’s exports.

The economy was impacted by the C19 pandemic but GDP growth recorded for the third quarter of 2021 was 5.5%. Cyprus introduced a new General Healthcare System (Greek acronym GESY) in mid – 2019. The scheme came under pressure because of the pandemic and the second phase of implementation has been delayed.

There are a number of business opportunities developing from the implementation of this new system but also from the need of the sector to upgrade and develop. There are opportunities in many areas including e-health, digitisation of hospitals, telemedicine and robotics, ageing population care, special needs and rehabilitation care palliative care, mental health care, biotechnology etc. 

France Julie Lebouleux
Senior Adviser Health & Life Sciences

With an experience of more than 10 years in the health and life sciences industry, I have developed an excellent network of key stakeholders and have contributed to long-term bilateral partnerships.

I would be pleased to help you identify the most relevant opportunity for your innovation and the most appropriate route to market.




Market Information Video: France


Italy - Claudia Giunchiglia
Senior trade adviser Life Sciences & Government Relations

Claudia leads on Life Sciences and healthcare trade promotion for DIT Italy at the British Embassy in Rome. LS plays a strategic role in Italy’s industrial production and economy accounting for 11% of its GDP. The vibrant LS ecosystem includes science parks, research centres and an innovative pharma, biomedical and biotechnology industries spread across the country supporting growth, jobs and exports. Italy is one of the leading countries in Europe for pharmaceutical production and an importer of medical devices and equipment. 

Claudia will be pleased to discuss market opportunities and country entry strategy in relevant LS subsectors such as: medical devices, pharma, digital health, hospital equipment/instruments, solutions for ageing consumer segments elderly and disabled. 

Market Information Video: Italy


Portugal - Zélia Henriques
Senior Trade and Investment Adviser 

As a Senior Trade and Investment Adviser in the DIT team based in Lisbon, I assist both UK and Portuguese companies within Life Sciences, Healthcare and Tech to explore business and collaboration opportunities for the Portuguese market, in addition to raising the profile of the UK's expertise and innovation.


Portugal - Filipa Saraiva
Trade and Investment Adviser 

As a Trade and Investment Adviser in the DIT team based in Lisbon, I assist both UK and Portuguese companies within Life Sciences, Healthcare and Tech to explore business and collaboration opportunities for the Portuguese market, in addition to raising the profile of the UK's expertise and innovation. 

Market Information: Portugal

DIT Portugal’s goal is to research and foster business and partnership opportunities for British companies wishing to access and/or expand in the Portuguese market. The Life Sciences sector in Portugal presents a wide range of opportunities for innovative and cost-effective solutions, particularly in Healthcare. 

While the Portuguese Government continues to implement restructuring measures aimed at the sustainability of its National Health Service, the private sector players have also continued to expand their services offer and gained market share, supported by the Health insurance market’s growth.

Priority areas within our Life Sciences and Healthcare current work include: personalised medicine, chronic disease management, assisted living technologies, remote monitoring sensors, AI and analytics for health, diagnosis, solutions for healthy ageing and clinical trials development. The most prominent areas within Biotech are linked to Pharma and Industrial applications for different manufacturing industries.

Local companies tend to seek commercial and technological partnerships that are both cost effective and innovative/new-to-market and can support their activity in the internal market as well as with exports (notably in other Portuguese speaking countries). There are many existing links with British companies, universities, and R&D institutions – UK expertise in Life Sciences is highly regarded in Portugal.

Spain - Madrid - Shona Brown
Senior Trade and Investment Adviser

Having worked both in the private and public sector Shona Brown is an experienced trade and investment officer. She leads on healthcare in Madrid and is fluent in Spanish and German. 

Spain boasts an excellent public healthcare system which is free at point of care. The healthcare budget is devolved to the 17 autonomous regions and although the basic offer is the same, services and priorities may vary between regions. There is also a very strong private healthcare system which operates independently from the public system. Both systems are mature and well developed. Opportunities exist for companies that can demonstrate that their product/service can change the patient pathway and influence outcomes. Price and demonstrated health economic impact are important. Areas of particular interest are digital technologies, certain consumables, products/services that improve sustainability and lead to decarbonisation etc. 


Market Information Video: Spain


Spain - Barcelona - Jessica Griffiths
Senior Trade and Investment Adviser

With 10 years' experience in life sciences in the Consulate in Barcelona, Jessica leads on biotech & Pharma. Experienced in private consultancy for NHS Trusts, and international experience in the Maldives and Switzerland.

Market Information: Spain

Spain has a strong pharma and biotech ecosystem (200+ Pharma​​ companies / 3000 biotech companies). ​​The Pharma market is amongst the top 20 in the world and 4th in Europe. The Pharma industry leads investment in R&D in Spain, accounting for 20% of the total amount.

Spain is ranked 2nd in Europe in number of performed clinical trials; almost 4,600 trials were performed over the last 5 years. Spain hosts many global Pharma companies (AZ, GSK, Merck) in sites across the country and boasts Spanish Pharma companies e.g. Almirall, Esteve, Ferrer.

Opportunities for UK companies in Spain are for CROs offering services, such as innovative approaches to drug discovery ​​and development. ​​​​In addition, there are opportunities in AI, clinical trials, big data, cell & gene therapy where UK companies are well respected.​​ Collaboration opportunities are abundant in oncology, genomics, vaccines development and 3D imaging. 

About the Speakers

Patrick Trotter PhD, MBA (Techmgmt) Head of Innovation, Commercialisation and Regulatory, Medilink North

Patrick is the Head of Innovation and Commercialisation for Medilink North of England. Patrick has 30 years’ experience working in academia, small medium sized companies, a global multinational (Johnson and Johnson) and consultancy. Patrick has 14 years’ experience working in consultancy and has run two consultancies in the fields of innovation management and medical devices consulting to companies in the UK, US, Germany and Switzerland. He has supported many companies in the area medical devices and related fields and in a consultancy, capacity has conducted technical evaluations, technology forecasting, patent trending and technology scouting

From an innovation perspective he has conducted original research and published best practice frame works for reducing risk and maximising the probability of success for health-related innovations.
Patrick has PhD in Biochemistry and has expertise in wound healing and tissue regeneration. Patrick has written over 35 CERs for class I-III medical devices including a variety of class III medical implants.
He is currently part of the External Advisory Group for the Health Technology Regulatory and Innovation Programme (HealthTRIP), which is designed to support UK-based HealthTech SMEs in navigating complex regulatory processes
Patrick is an inventor on 17 patent applications (including 10 granted patents) and is an author on 14 scientific or innovation management publications in peer reviewed journals.

Bryan Lister MBA – Innovation, Commercialisation and Regulatory Manager

Bryan holds a BSc Hons in Biology stimulating an interest in health related life sciences that led to working for 14 years in the pharmaceutical and medical devices industry. Roles were a combination of sales, marketing and regulatory affairs roles for AstraZeneca, Novartis, Alpha Therapeutic and Fresenius-Kabi, working internationally on product launches and business development.

Bryan holds a Chartered Institute of Marketing Diploma in Marketing from the University of Salford and an MBA with distinction from the University of Bradford School of Management. Over the last 16 years, Bryan has worked as a consultant for medical technology and start-up companies developing medical technologies, as well as supporting the technology transfer functions of universities including Manchester, Sheffield, Bradford and Leeds. In 2015, he co-founded a spin-out company from the University of Nottingham, taking a human tissue based therapy from research through to the market having successfully raised finance from the VC community. He has also held a number of other board level appointments including being a Trustee for Overgate Hospice in Calderdale, West Yorkshire.


Working both independently as a consultant and more recently as part of Medilink’s Innovation Team, Bryan’s key interests are digital healthcare, medical device regulatory affairs, technology pipeline development. He supports Innovate UK as an R&D grant assessor, as well as co-writing around £20m of successful grant applications to date.

Bryan has a specialism in Regulatory Affairs, is a member of TOPRA and regularly leads regulatory focussed projects.

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