Ons 1 dec / År 39 / Nr 4 2021

Life Science 2021

The task of developing the healthcare systems, technology and treatments of the future requires a much sharper focus on facilitating collaboration across borders. Not only geographical – but across disciplines as well. Gothenburg has a strong and growing Life Science cluster which deserves to be highlighted from a national point of view.

Developing healthcare of the future requires joint forces

The task of developing the healthcare systems, technology and treatments of the future requires a much sharper focus on facilitating collaboration across borders. Not only geographical – but across disciplines as well. Gothenburg has a strong and growing Life Science cluster which deserves to be highlighted from a national point of view.

Klementina Österberg, CEO of GU Ventures, Maria Strömberg, Director Clusters & Innovation at Business Region Gothenburg, Magnus Björsne, CEO of BioVentureHub and Marie Uddenmyr, Community Manager at GoCo Health Innovation City.

Targeted precision medicine, increased patient centricity and extensive preventative care are only a few examples of what the healthcare of the future will require. In all three examples, collaboration is key.

The very idea of GoCo Health Innovation City

It is already well-known that the best innovations and developments are created in open and collaborative environments. With this in mind, several major stakeholders of the Gothenburg Life Science industry are currently creating a new arena for open innovations, better collaborations and new ideas to flourish.

“The very idea of GoCo Health Innovation City, located in the vicinity of AstraZeneca and several other large industrial players here in Gothenburg, is to bring together the brightest minds in Life Science. Further, we want to put Gothenburg and Sweden on the global map of great places for companies, researchers and experts to set up their ground-breaking business”, says Marie Uddenmyr, Community Manager at GoCo Health Innovation City.

“It is important to recognise that in order to build a fruitful arena of cooperation, we must involve not only industrial partners but academic and public partners as well. It is the ability to collaborate between all three that makes our region stand out amongst others. To increase this ability even more, we need to build an infrastructure to facilitate and make cooperation between actors easier”, says Maria Strömberg, Director Clusters& Innovation at Business Region Gothenburg (BRG).

Making space for new ideas

In the Gothenburg region there are a large number of companies actively developing new innovations in Life Science, such as Getinge, Mölnlycke Healthcare, Essity, Dentsply Sirona and Wellspect Healthcare for example. At GoCo Health Innovation City, there will be plenty of space for new ideas to grow.

“In the initial phase, we will develop GoCo largely based on AstraZeneca’s presence in the region and benefit from their research activities with more than 2,000 employees. They are already here, and we know that talents attract other talents. This is a first step to attract more expertise to our region as well”, Marie Uddenmyr continues.

Other platforms contributing

There are already several other collaborative platforms in the Gothenburg region. Essentially, GoCo will be an extension of all of them, and directly reaping the benefits of their innovative climates.

“BioVentureHub gives emerging biotech, medtech and digital health companies and academic groups from Sweden and abroad a unique opportunity to co-locate with−and tap into−the power of AstraZeneca’s world-class scientists and state-of-the-art lab facilities and infrastructure, and with each other. With GoCo, we want to extend the possibilities of cooperation to also include large and growing companies, financial stakeholders, universities and the public sector”, explains Magnus Björsne, CEO of BioVentureHub.

One of the incubators and seed investors in the region, GU Ventures, helps to start, finance and build new businesses out of ground-breaking ideas emanating from the University of Gothenburg and delivers numerous new life science startups and scaleups each year.

“From our perspective at GU Ventures, we see the creating of GoCo as an opportunity to increase visibility and mobility within the Life Science cluster in our region and attract more international attention. Our role in this is to support researchers and entrepreneurs to develop  and grow our jointly owned businesses in a suitable environment. Together with GoCo, we can also increase collaboration between industry and our companies, and thereby also increase visibility and mobility of ideas, talents and capital”, says Klementina Österberg, CEO of GU Ventures.

Creating new opportunities – but for whom?

Prominent companies have already found GoCo. Fujirebio Diagnostics and Xvivo Perfusion are both world-leaders in their fields. Both have chosen GoCo as their main hub for further development through setting up headquarters here. Yet another example is the recent development of the Swedish medical initiative Oligonova, a national platform for developing oligonucleotide pharmaceutical drugs.

“Perhaps the most important aspect is to bring together the very best from the various platforms and creating a common ground for growth at the heart of Scandinavia – namely the Gothenburg region. We are talking in terms of a Swedish and a Scandinavian perspective rather than just focusing on one isolated region”, reminds Magnus Björsne.