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Björn Arvidsson: ”We need to change perspective”

If you say “life science” to a person on the street and ask them to explain what it is, you will probably get no good answer. The same question to your network will generate as many versions as the people you ask. Most likely, we will miss many opportunities with our lack of communication, writes Björn Arvidsson in a column.

Life Science is goods and services that directly or indirectly have to do with treating patients or citizens’ wellbeing. Sometimes I say that life science is the ability to understand and enhance the standard of life. However, both of these explanations are very abstract
for the uninitiated.

At the same time, life science, just like other sectors, is dependent on recruiting skills outside its industry, mostly as a result of the digital transformation. We also know that investors often specify themselves within life science, where we would like to see that those who do not invest today would do so as well. But of course, they then need to understand what they are investing in. And if we are to be able to benefit from interdisciplinary collaborations, our potential partners must know how we can benefit from each other. Thus, our communication is crucial in many ways.

We understand medical technology, pharmaceutical drugs, and diagnostics, but we see an apparent widening towards, among other things, materials science and food tech. At the same time, the increase in access to data means that e-health, digital health, and health tech areas also place themselves within life science. Furthermore, we have large manufacturing industrial companies as well as smaller, more lab-close developers.

Additionally, we have both entrepreneurship and care. And soon, the public sector will have even greater responsibility for health in general, increasing the number of players who profess life science. So, what are we doing?

It´s easier to say that you work with healthcare or medicines than life science. Maybe we are doing ourselves a disservice by including too much within the framework of the same expression. A desire to simplify that only makes it more complicated. For the individual player, it is enough to say what they do. Still, for all those who work for the system, for the regional attractiveness, to position Sweden as a strong life science nation, to attract talent, investment, and establishment, the clarity of the communication becomes
even more critical.

And in competition with the rest of the world and other sectors with the same goal, we need to sharpen our approach.

The conclusion may be that if what we strive for is agnostic to our sector or region, then we should stop trying to describe our industry and instead talk about the societal challenges we want to solve.

Artikeln är en del av vårt tema om News in English.

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