After some tough years much effort is now being made to strengthen the Swedish life science industry.
Sweden has a long tradition of medical research and groundbreaking innovations. The life science industry has yielded innovations, such as the gamma knife, the ultrasound scanner, the artificial kidney and pharmaceuticals like Bricanyl and Losec. The country holds a world-leading position in research within several therapy areas, such as neuroscience and oncology as well as biomaterials, regenerative medicine, gene therapy, genomics, diagnostics, pharmaceutical development and medical implants.
But in recent years the Swedish life science scene has been experiencing some difficult times. An industry report from 2014 also showed that the Swedish life science market was losing ground. According to the Vinnova report, the sector decreased by 4 000 employees over the past five years, corresponding to 2 200 posts since 2009. A consequence of a few large firms deciding to close research operations and production units in Sweden, including to a great part AstraZeneca’s closure of two research facilities. The number of clinical trials has also seen a downfall in recent years, as in other Nordic and European countries.
So how shall Sweden maintain its long tradition as a successful life science nation?