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BioVentureHub CEO: “Companies with a high degree of interaction achieve greater success”

For the first time since its inception, AstraZeneca’s BioVentureHub can now recruit new companies, as some of its tenants have grown significantly and are leaving the hub. This is the message from the biohub’s CEO Magnus Björsne in an interview, in which he also highlights a study that points out that companies with a high degree of interaction with other companies achieve greater success.

“For the first time, we can say goodbye to companies and announce that we have vacant space for new companies,” says Magnus Björsne, CEO of AstraZeneca Bioventurehub.

He tells that four companies have grown too big for the incubator and are now moving to the nearby Goco Health Innovation City. The idea is that the companies should leave the incubator when they have reached the point of having launched a product, and this is now the case for several companies in the biohub.

“Previously, the companies in our biohub had nowhere to go, and therefore, they stayed here, but thanks to Goco, taking the next step will be easier.”

Astra Zeneca recently hosted an event at BioVentureHub and the company’s other innovation hub in Mölndal outside Gothenburg, Health Works. Before the event, a compilation was composed over the year at BioVentureHub.

Five new companies joined the hub last year, and there is now a total of more than 30 companies and three academic groups in the hub. Together, these companies brought in capital of SEK 556 million in 2021. During the year, the companies took out 36 new patents, and five companies launched new products.

Besides investigating clear values ​​such as capital inflow, BioVentureHub also enlisted the help of the Gothenburg School of Economics to assess the value that a place in the biohub creates for the companies. Professor Alexander Styhre, with colleagues and students from the School of Economics’ Matrix programme, made the assessment on behalf of BioVentureHub.

Astra Zeneca Bioventurehub was established in 2014. The hub includes 34 companies and 3 academic groups. 42 % of the companies collaborate with other companies within the hub, and 32% have ongoing collaborations with AstraZeneca.

Source: Astra Zeneca BioVentureHub

“We wished to find out if there is a correlation between this type of environment and value creation, so they looked at the portfolio in BioVentureHub from 2015 to 2021 and compared value development in the companies. Is there a correlation between the degree of utilisation of the ecosystem and the increase of monetary value in a company? This was the question we wanted an answer to,” says Magnus Björsne.

According to the survey, the answer is yes.

“We investigated the degree of cooperation among the companies in the hub and the number of questions they asked Astra Zeneca. We also examined the degree of collaboration with academia and with other companies, and all this was mapped and analysed. The result shows that there is a clear correlation between a high degree of interaction and capital success.”

Magnus Björsne points out that this was a small study, as it only includes about 30 companies in the hub. 

“However, it is a terribly interesting observation of how such an environment contributes to the creation of capital value.”

Now that the hub is ready to welcome new companies, the spotlight is pointed at companies in Sweden as well as in other countries.

“Right now, there is a huge focus on companies from the USA and Israel that are looking to establish themselves in Sweden. The foreign companies that join us are establishing offices in Sweden. These companies are in a growth phase and need to recruit, and therefore, this is an interesting way of attracting companies to Sweden,” says Magnus Björsne and mentions that the hub already includes companies from the USA, Holland, Switzerland and the UK.

The hub brings together companies in pharmaceuticals, medical technology, diagnostics and digital health. Above all, companies working in the tech field with sensor systems or AI may become relevant as new tenants, according to Magnus Björsne.

“We wish to establish a synergy between the know-how that already exists here and the ideas of the new companies.”

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