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A growing industry in Denmark: “One new life science company a week”

The life science sector in eastern Denmark continues to grow in the number of employees, as well as the number of companies. An emerging problem is the shortage of labour, a new report reveals.

The Oresund Institute and the Danish-Swedish cluster organisation, Medicon Valley Alliance, have mapped the life science sector in the Oresund region in a series of reports in the interregional project Greater Copenhagen Life Science analysis.

The last interim report has now been published, focusing on the Danish part of the Oresund region´s life science sector, which also constitutes the largest part of the cluster. According to the report, as many as 58,000 people are employed in approximately 700 life science companies in eastern Denmark.

Among the most important results in our report is the fact that life science now employs a total of 65,500 people in the Medicon Valley region. The majority, 58,000, are employed in the Danish part of the region, but a further 7,500 are employed in Skåne, which is still a significant number and an important contribution to the economy and society as a whole,” writes Medicon Valley Alliance CEO, Anette Steenberg, in an email comment to Life Science Sweden.

Furthermore, she notes that 12,000 new jobs have been created in the sector over the past five years, together with many new companies.

More than 300 new life science companies have been founded in five years – more than one new company a week, which testifies to the region’s thriving ecosystem for life science innovations.”

As previously reported by Life Science Sweden, the project reports show extensive investments in life science in eastern Denmark and southern Sweden.

It is a huge investment wave, with investments made in the expansion of factories, research facilities and headquarters,” said Johan Wessman, CEO of the Oresund Institute, in an interview with Life Science Sweden last month.

Anette Steenberg is also delighted with the investments.

The number of new investments in life science is impressive. Now and in the coming years, more than DKK 32 billion will be invested in the expansion of production, research and office facilities in the Danish part of the region alone, which is expected to generate an additional 3,500 new jobs.”

David Munis Zepernick, Head of Member Engagement and Communication at MVA, was part of the steering group that worked on the analysis. He emphasises the need to address the shortage of labour, which several players in the industry highlight in the latest interim report.

To meet future demand and ensure continued growth, we need to be able to attract and recruit more people from abroad and also to educate more master’s students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. This was the industry’s message to political decision-makers, which was highlighted in the report and again when it was presented earlier this week,” he tells Life Science Sweden.

Nevertheless, he believes that the report gives rise for optimism and emphasises the importance of the exchange that takes place between Danish and Swedish life science.

Investment and employment are flourishing, and the approximately 800 commuters who live in Skåne and work in the Danish life science industry are a significant and positive contribution to the success,” he says.

Read the full report:

LIFE SCIENCE IN EASTERN DENMARK – THE DANISH PART OF MEDICON VALLEY – a survey of companies in the sector

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