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IVI’s Director General on establishing in Sweden: Will need up to 40 employees

The International Vaccine Institute, IVI, hopes to have its first staff on-site in Stockholm within a couple of months, says the institute’s Director General Jerome Kim in an interview with Life Science Sweden.

Earlier this month, it was formally made clear that the International Vaccine Institute, IVI, would open an office in Stockholm; see the previous article in Life Science Sweden. The office in Stockholm will be the Institute’s first establishment outside South Korea, where the head office is located in the country’s capital Seoul.

When Life Science Sweden talked to IVI’s Director General Dr. Jerome Kim on a link from London, he revealed that the plan is to have temporary staff on-site in Stockholm by the end of the summer. He reckons that the Institute will have found an office and started recruiting a manager and a management team for the Swedish office by the autumn.

We expect to have an operating licence ready in Sweden by the end of the summer and then immediately place staff in Stockholm. However, it will be somewhat difficult to schedule meetings without an office, so we will not start with our work fully from Sweden until we have our own office.”

Once the office has been found, the aim is to employ 30-40 people in Stockholm, of which a large proportion will be Swedish researchers.

Facts

  • The International Vaccine Institute, IVI, was founded in 1997 by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
  • The Institute’s head office is in Seoul, South Korea, and employs about 200 people.
  • 36 countries are members of IVI.
  • The institute works with access to vaccines in low-income countries, among other things.

At our office in Seoul, about 80 % of our employees are from South Korea and about 20 % from other countries, and there may be a similar mix in Sweden with a larger proportion of locally-based staff. But it’s hard to say right now. Since Sweden is part of the EU, it will be relatively easy to recruit from all over the EU, and this may affect the mix of employees at the Swedish office.”

According to IVI´s current plan, the Stockholm office will be fully staffed within 4 years.

Where are you looking for an office?

We are considering both central Stockholm and surrounding areas, for example, Huddinge. We are a research organisation, and as such, we do not need a remarkable office, but it must be practical,” says Jerome Kim, who has visited Stockholm several times in recent months to prepare for the new office, which he emphasises is crucial because it is the Institute’s first establishment outside South Korea.

Jerome Kim says that he wants either the top manager or the second top manager to be locally based in Sweden.

It would be advantageous if either the manager or the deputy manager is familiar with and knowledgeable about the Swedish ecosystem for vaccines.”

What additional staff will you employ in Stockholm?

We will need a number of researchers and senior researchers who can work with grant applications. We will also employ programme managers and project managers, as well as people who are acquainted with quality issues. Another category we need is people who are sufficiently experienced in manufacturing to be able to work with our partner organisations, and we will also need administrative staff.”

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