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BIO International Convention 2024 – SwedenBIO’s take home messages

On the morning of the last day of the conference, before rushing to catch her train to Los Angeles and her flight back to Europe and Sweden, Jessica Martinsson, CEO & Director General of SwedenBIO, shared her impressions.

I am overwhelmed by the friendly and open atmosphere here at BIO and it feels like everyone is present.”

“I am overwhelmed by the friendly and open atmosphere here at BIO and it feels like everyone is present. I’ve attended meetings with sister organizations, explored the vast exhibition hall with country pavilions showcasing their companies and strengths, and met numerous people eager to engage with SwedenBIO. As I head home, I am admittedly tired but filled with positive impressions, energy, and ideas for the future.”

Major trends and key takeaways

When asked about the major trends and key takeaways from BIO relevant to Sweden, Jessica shared her insights:

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“Bioprocessing accounted for a large part of the exhibition, and this is an area where Sweden has a lot to offer. The global trend is to reshore production and be less dependent on Asian suppliers and we should not miss on this opportunity. I was pleased to notice the EU had invested substantially this year through the European Innovation Council (EIC), showcasing 15 selected companies in a highly visible pavilion. Two of the companies were Swedish: Verigraft and AcouSort. I hope that more from the EU will follow in the years to come, as increased interactions with the US will be mutually beneficial.”

Bioprocessing accounted for a large part of the exhibition, and this is an area where Sweden has a lot to offer.”

“Of course, AI has entered our sector over the last couple of years. AI for drug discovery is a highly competitive field and Swedish companies in the field was represented at BIO. Finally, BIO in the US shares several similarities with European conferences like Nordic Life Science Days and BIOEurope, including partnering, exhibitions, company presentations, start-up pitches, and sessions involving science, business, and financing. However, a significant difference is that BIO also includes policy discussions, patient advocacy activities and provides a platform for meeting other associations and sister organizations.”

Looking ahead: A Swedish pavilion at BIO 2025?

Jessica again:

“The clear impression is that everyone is here, and Sweden should be here too. Next year, SwedenBIO will continue to offer discounts and assist our members, but that will not be enough if we truly want to compete for attention. We need to step up and show the world that we mean business by positioning Sweden as one of the leading countries and a Swedish pavilion would be essential for being successful. Sweden’s life science sector is growing and a significant contributor to the country’s export income, an asset worth supporting. An important mission for the team at SwedenBIO is to raise awareness among politicians and government officials about the importance of our sector and the benefits of investing in promoting Sweden at BIO in Boston next year.”

Global roundtable discussions on current topics

The annual BIO International Convention also hosts international policy meetings organized with global partners. Several such meetings with international attendance were arranged, and Sweden was represented by SwedenBIO to ensure the voice of Swedish life science companies was heard.

1.       Annual meeting of the International Council of Biotech Association – EuropaBIOs CEO Claire Skentelbery has taken on the role as chair of the Association. Meeting focused on the biosecure act and how Europe should increase the ambition to take part in global supply chains.

2.       Roundtable discussion on Biomanufacturing hosted by EuropaBIO and BIO. Highligting the global trends in reshoring and securing of supply chains.

3.       European evening: The EIC, together with sponsoring countries, hosted the third edition of the European evening, with over 300 participants, intended to showcase and network European companies.

Photo of Jessica Martinsson: SwedenBIO

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