Lucy Robertshaw: Did you know Stockholm wants to be in top 5 in the world for Life Sciences?

Karolinska Institutet Solna Campus has certainly become the next “Kendall Square”, writes Lucy Robertshaw in a column.

I could not believe my ears when attending Karolinska Institutet Science Park Day 2022 that Stockholm wants to be in the top 5 places in the world for Life Sciences which really is the best news!

Irene Svenonius, Regional Chair for Finance at Region Stockholm, said “We want action, we must tell the world what is available here in Sweden. We want to help save more lives and be part of helping the new innovations created by SME’s. We need to find out what our weakness are and market our strengths. We should never be a fat cat and never be happy with what we have!”

Something unique to Sweden is that researchers own their own work which gives us a clear advantage to develop new companies and get products or services to market better.

Karolinska Institutet Solna Campus has certainly become the next “Kendall Square” which is in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. This is now the headquarters to many international companies including Waters who understood 5 years ago how important it is to be located where their customers were and to be in the heart of the this amazing ecosystem. They have opened a lab room which is available to everyone and have also done the same at AstraZeneca in Göteborg.

There is certainly room for improvements which is better cooperation between Sciences Parks and also incubators are really important in creating new business and also creating new jobs.

Going forward there needs to be more investment for clinical trials so that we can be the best in the world, today at the Karolinska Institutet 75 clinical trials are in progress but of course this could be much more and why should other countries come to have access to our eco system.

More infrastructure is needed for climate and sustainability, AstraZeneca have recently moved next to the Solna Campus and they have pledged an ambitious programme for zero carbon emissions from its global operations by 2025, maybe we can all learn something from them on where to start.

We need to be universal properness for continued life due to the aging population, new health crisis that may come along. The question was asked how can we benchmark ourselves with the other Life Science eco systems in the world. One clear answer is the reduction of people dying from illnesses, how quickly they are treated in hospital so they can return to work and how healthy is the population.

One worrying factor to the success of becoming one of the 5th top ranked life sciences is governed by what political party is in office, in Sweden we have a general election on the 11 September but we surely have all the same goal is to save more lives and help humanity?

This is a great discussion which I am looking to dive deeper into at The Future of Swedish and Danish Life Science event at Medicon Village on the 7th September.

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