For the past decade, Nordic Life Science Days (NLSDays) has been building business partnerships, highlighting innovations and showcasing all that the Nordic countries have to offer in the life science field.
For its 10th anniversary, 29-30 November in Copenhagen, the planners expect to do that and more, including focusing on the latest developments in medicine and expanding networking opportunities for women.
“NLSDays has been growing steadily over the past ten years and has established its position as the largest and the most vibrant life science partnering conference in the Nordics,” says NLSDays Programme Director Marjo Puumalainen.
Large pharmaceutical companies are looking for new partnerships from smaller companies and service providers are seeking new customers – all are aiming to boost their business.”
The focus of the conference continues to be on facilitating and enhancing business connections.
“Investors are looking for new innovative companies to invest in, biotech companies are meeting pharmaceutical companies, investors and service providers. Large pharmaceutical companies are looking for new partnerships from smaller companies and service providers are seeking new customers – all are aiming to boost their business,” says Puumalainen.
Closer to the rest of Europe
Expectations are high since last year’s conference broke all attendance records, and this year’s event has a new location. For the first time, NLSDays is being held outside of Sweden.
“We can now engage even better with the Danish ecosystems,” notes Puumalainen. “Sweden and Denmark are very strong in the life sciences. It also brings us closer to the rest of Europe.”
NLSDays 2022 attracted 1,540 delegates, representing 880 companies and organizations from 32 countries. Most of the attendees come from the Nordic countries, while 45 percent are from countries outside of Scandinavia.
This is the place where deals are made.”
“The Nordics are still a small player in the large life science global industry, so it’s important to show what they have to guests from around the world and make it easier for international visitors to see what’s cooking in the five countries,” explains Puumalainen. “Companies need to make deals all the time with international partners. This is the place where deals are made.”
NLSDays has established its niche by bringing together all the players needed to create and expand businesses – inventors, investors, service providers and country delegates – including those from France, Germany and the Netherlands. “We have all the people needed to make a business case stronger,” she adds.
All actors under the same roof
Organizers want to ensure the relevance of the conference by attracting all actors needed for life science businesses under the same roof.
“It’s important to have a one flagship event where the Nordic life science industry can invite international guests,” she continues. “As many Nordic supporters are organizing pre-events the day before NLSDays, we see that NLSDays is turning into a three-day event instead of the previous two days, and thus it is expanding from just biotech to cover also medical technology and health technology.”
European interests will also be prominent, with people from the European commission talking about how the continent can stay competitive, including discussions about where to put manufacturing sites and successful incubators.
On the agenda
The 2023 agenda includes highlighting the building blocks needed to start a business, preparing for the next unicorn (a privately held startup company with a value of more than USD 1 billion), precision medicine, new drug modalities, which often involve gene therapies and nervous system disorders. Speakers also plan to emphasize the importance of licensing deals and business strategies during rocky financial times.
“These are topics where the Nordics are hot. A lot of the work involves innovative companies, and we want the world to know about them,” explains Puumalainen.
A review of accomplishments by the Nordic countries over the past 10 years is also on tap, as well as taking a look at trends in the life sciences, and an analysis of how the Nordic nations have fared in the market individually, and compared to each other.
Academic researchers are expected to play a bigger role this year. Organizers received numerous requests to learn more about the activities in Nordic universities, to see what projects are incubating.
In addition, 30 pre-selected Nordic small-and-medium-sized enterprises plan to pitch their innovations to Nordic and international investors and scouts from large-size pharmaceutical companies in attendance, while selected academic projects will be discussed during poster sessions. Lunch workshops will focus on women in business and the challenges venture capitalists and fledgling companies face in collaborating.
We want to make sure more of the industry’s talented women have a pathway into leadership positions.”
“I think the women in business workshop will be really interesting,” Puumalainen says. “It’s always good to have an interactive session. We want to make sure more of the industry’s talented women have a pathway into leadership positions.”
With so much going on, it is difficult to single out one event on the conference’s agenda, she says. “I am looking forward to meeting people in a very nice setting and being inspired; not just by people, but the energy they are bringing,” concludes Puumalainen.
Featured photos from NLSDays 2022: Camille Sonally/SwedenBIO