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The status of Sweden’s Life Science Strategy

Jenni Nordborg Photo Maria Nilsson
On June 3 2021 the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) organized a webinar to explore what has happened since the Swedish life science strategy was launched in December 2019. Participants were Jenni Nordborg, the government’s Coordinator for Life Sciences and Lars Hammarström, Head of Vinnova’s Health section. The moderator was Lotta Ljungqvist, CEO of Testa Center, Cytiva, and Chair of the X Biotech department at IVA. Nordborg started out by describing the strategy’s eight prioritized areas and the 30 concrete goals that are considered especially urgent to achieve. The strategy is complex, involves many authorities, and considers both health and innovation power. One of the challenges ahead is to continue to make the life science sector understandable and attractive, and important issues are to make better use of health data and enable a systemic change towards precision medicine. "During the year that has passed, Vinnova has financed almost 1200 projects, granted 1400 million SEK, and has had 2100 unique actors." Hammarström told the audience about Vinnova’s activities and mandates within life sciences. He also informed us that during the year that has passed, Vinnova has financed almost 1200 projects, granted 1400 million SEK, and has had 2100 unique actors. The importance of testbeds and innovative ecosystems During the discussions there was a question about how we in a better way can help small companies continue to grow, not just get started. Hammarström said that we need to develop our knowledge about the prerequisites needed for companies to grow. "The participants highlighted the importance of testbeds/innovative ecosystems, such as Testa Center and BioVentureHub, to help companies grow and maintain their activities in Sweden." What are the effects from different types of financing, and what do companies need access to when it comes to infrastructures and growth environments? The participants highlighted the importance of testbeds/innovative ecosystems, such as Testa Center and BioVentureHub, to help companies grow and maintain their activities in Sweden. Ljungqvist also said that she wanted more support for employee stock options and personnel programs that are competitive globally in order to maintain companies in Sweden. The future looks bright Another question raised was advice to students aiming for a career within life sciences. Nordborg said that the future looks bright for this sector when it comes to hiring and that the ability to assimilate new knowledge and apply this knowledge will be essential. She said that it is hard to foresee what kind of competencies the industry will need in 5-10 years, so the ability to adapt to new technologies and knowledge will be very important. "The ability to adapt to new technologies and knowledge will be very important." During the pandemic it has become very clear what an important role life science has had for our societies, and it was discussed how
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