Umeå Biotech Incubator (UBI) has been named the only incubator in the Nordic region to once again be granted funding from the prestigious Erling Persson Family Foundation.
UBI is being granted SEK 10 million between 2020-2022 to help researchers commercialise their ideas for the greater benefit of society. It is the third time UBI has received funding from the Erling-Persson Family Foundation. The first time was back in 2014 when the money was used to support twelve research projects with promising commercial potential. Five of those ideas were turned into companies and attracted external capital, two are still active but have not yet been commercialised and five have been prematurely terminated.
“In other words an incredible 42 per cent of these ideas have been transitioned from the academy into businesses. This is an impressive result compared to other incubators”, says Jennie Ekbeck, UBI’s CEO.
“We can fill the void that exists between academic funding, government grants and equity capital investment”
The money from the foundation goes directly towards activities that help researchers transform their research into innovations – taking their ideas and refining them so that they can be developed into medical innovations that might one day benefit society.
“With the help of the Erling-Persson Family Foundation we can fill the void that exists between academic funding, government grants and equity capital investment. In other words the money finances activities needed to transform research from the academy into innovations ready for the business sector. At the same time the money makes it possible for the taxes we have invested into research in Sweden to really contribute to creating medical solutions for the future”, says Jennie Ekbeck.
Every year UBI evaluates between 25 and 30 ideas and only the most promising ones are adopted by the incubator program. Ideas can come from all over the country, with the majority emanating from northern Sweden. The purpose of the incubator is to support ideas that have the potential to improve human health and create sustainable growth in Sweden through the creation of new companies.
“UBI is a model for incubators in the Nordic countries”
The Erling-Persson Family Foundation was established in 1999 and supports scientific research, teaching and education, as well as the development of children and young people.
“It was easy to approve additional investments to UBI. We have been following UBI for many years and have seen how successful they have been in developing ideas that one day could offer patients better diagnostics and new drugs. UBI is a model for incubators in the Nordic countries”, says Ylva Linderson, Research Secretary for the Erling-Persson Family Foundation.
The foundation’s support provides more benefits than just creating new innovations from research, says Jennie Ekbeck.
“Our incubation process, which all companies that join us are guided through, gives researchers new perspectives – increasing their opportunities to attract funds for their basic research which in turn creates the best conditions for taking research forwards. We hope that more innovators around the country will get to learn about UBI and all the good we do here together,” says Jennie Ekbeck.
Photo of Jennie Ekbeck: Umeå Biotech Incubator