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New Quality Assurance network established in Umeå

The network, established by Umeå Biotech Incubator, brings together representatives from some 15 companies, focuses on sharing experiences and strategies to deal with the increasingly complex quality requirements facing the industry.

The Quality Assurance (QA) role is critical to ensuring product quality and regulatory compliance, and the network actively discusses how to engage employees best and motivate them to prioritize quality issues.

It can sometimes feel lonely, but the role also gives you a unique insight into all parts of a company – from procurement to production.”

“You are often last in the process chain working as a QA Manager, and your questions can sometimes delay the process even further. It can sometimes feel lonely, but the role also gives you a unique insight into all parts of a company – from procurement to production,” explains Maria Åhman, QA Manager at Diamyd Medical and a board member of SARQA, the Swedish Association for Quality Assurance.

Different parts of the life science sector

The network provides a platform for members to discuss common challenges and share knowledge, which is especially valuable for smaller companies with limited QA resources. Members come from different parts of the life science sector, including those working with ISO standards and GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice).

It includes participants from large organizations such as Cytiva, APL, Agrisera, and Nordic Biomarker, as well as smaller companies like Diduco, Medicvent, Lipum, and UmanDiagnostics. Companies that operate outside of the pharmaceutical and medtech industries are also represented.

Part of UBI’s development project

UBI coordinates the network, launched after a discussion with local companies who expressed fears that a lack of qualified personnel was a potential risk for continued growth in Umeå. SARQA was also positive about a local hub in Umeå – a city that had previously lacked such an initiative.

UBI coordinates the network, launched after a discussion with local companies who expressed fears that a lack of qualified personnel was a potential risk for continued growth in Umeå.”

The QA Network aligns seamlessly with UBI’s regional development projects, the recently completed “Life Science Engine 2.0” and the upcoming “Life Science City,” both of which aim to foster growth within Umeå’s life science industry.

“Quality assurance plays a crucial role in ensuring the safety and efficacy of products and services. While often overlooked, it’s an indispensable aspect for success in our sector,” remarks Peter Jacobsson, operations coordinator at UBI. “The QA Network not only enhances knowledge among participants but also elevates the importance of the QA function. “This initiative marks a significant step in solidifying Umeå’s position as a Life Science hub. Umeå’s success stems from its open-minded approach and its ‘pay-it-forward’ mindset. By collectively leveraging our strengths, we create fertile ground for the Life science industry’s continued expansion.”

Photo: Tomas Ruuth/UBI