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Business Sweden’s new team is rolling out the blue-yellow carpet

According to Business Sweden’s life science team, the combination of substantial medical know-how and an ever-flourishing tech sector is a success factor for Sweden. “It’s a perfect storm, a beneficent, perfect storm,” says Programme Manager Britta Stenson.

The team that markets Swedish life science on a global scale and attracts medical companies to invest in Sweden consists of Britta Stenson, who has a research background, Charlotte af Klercker, who is a trained pharmacist, and Jonas Thulin, who has, among other things, a Master of Law.

We are the team that rolls out the blue-yellow carpet,” said Britta Stenson during Life Science Sweden’s visit to Business Sweden’s office in the World Trade Center in Stockholm city.

Business Sweden works with seven strategic business ecosystems, life science being one of them, and the other ecosystems include, among others, energy and digital technologies. The team involved with life science is relatively new, and its expertise derives from different fields.

Britta Stenson has a PhD from the Karolinska Institute, and she has previously worked at, e.g. The Swedish Brain Foundation. Charlotte af Klercker is a pharmacist who has previously worked at the Swedish pharmaceutical company Sobi and at Apotek Hjärtat.

Jonas Thulin has been at Business Sweden the longest of the three, since 2009. He comes from the market and business development field, and until 2018, he mainly worked with subjects outside life sciences, but he is now pleased to focus on this field.

Ours is the world’s most exciting job: to make Swedish companies grow internationally and to attract companies to Sweden and help them grow here. The driving force is to strengthen Sweden as a leading life science nation,” he says, and adds that internationalisation is key to achieving their strategic goals.

Life Science Sweden visited Business Sweden during early summer, and the entire spring had been marked by Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. Other sectors have been more seriously affected by this than life science. However, according to Charlotte af Klercker, the war still has consequences for the life science sector, as it has become more difficult to bring material to Sweden, and the world market is characterised by greater uncertainty. We also see a reduced willingness to invest as the world becomes more uncertain.

How does Business Sweden relate to the war? According to Charlotte af Klercker, the organisation’s activities in Russia are currently dormant.

The sanctions have resulted in a lack of demand for services from Swedish companies in Russia. We will make a special effort to help Swedish companies that wish to contribute to Ukraine’s reconstruction,” she says.

Of Business Sweden’s approximately 500 employees, the vast majority work abroad to be able to offer regional support to Swedish companies.

“It is a strength to have people operating in the countries where our companies want to go, and that we have people on site who know those markets,” says Charlotte af Klercker.

The life science team works with three programme tracks: connected health, precision medicine and infection control. Britta Stenson is responsible for the programme for connected health. She defines the field as the sum of all digital products, solutions and systems needed to deliver healthcare and care of the future. She emphasises that it is not necessary for a company to develop ideas within the three programme tracks to get help from Business Sweden to go global.

From Sweden, we can especially help small and medium-sized companies by identifying which markets have the greatest potential.”

Which are Sweden’s strengths in life science? Jonas Thulin highlights strong companies and institutions that are linked to the image of Sweden and mentions The Karolinska Institute, AstraZeneca, Getinge and Elekta, among others. He also emphasises the importance of minor companies that inhabit incubators across the country.

Britta Stenson believes that the Swedish tech sector and the expertise found in medical research give Sweden a strong position.

Swedish life science and an innovative Swedish tech sector form a perfect storm, a beneficent, perfect storm.”

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

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