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More life science companies could leave Sweden

If the climate for research and innovation in life science isn’t improved, there is a risk that more large companies leave Sweden, concludes VINNOVA in a new report.

According to the report Global trends with local effects – The Swedish Life Sciene Industry 1998-2012, presented on March 5 by VINNOVA, Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems, the Swedish life science industry has decreased by 4000 employees during the last five years, whereof 2200 posts since 2009.

The agency states that it is a consequence of a few large firms deciding closing research operations and production units in Sweden, to a great part AstraZeneca’s closure of two research facilities. The report is written by Anna Sandström at VINNOVA who points to the structural transformation of the international life science industry; Big Pharma companies are drastically decreasing their internal R&D and are to a greater extent putting their trust to external partnerships, licensing and acquisitions. The large firms also have a global presence and there are several attractive altneratives when it comes to the location of investments and R&D.

“There is a substantial risk that they find more attractive environments in other countries… We need to improve the anchorage of the successful companies to Swedish research and innovation environments. We should invest more in developing attractive environments where academia, healthcare and companies collaborate and stronger incentives for clinical research is needed,” said Anna Sandström in a press release.