Mån 25 sep / År 41 / Nr 3 2023

He’s Been Tasked to Coordinate Swedish Life Science

As the new national life science coordinator, Anders Lönnberg leads the work of improving healthcare quality, increasing the pace of implementation of new methods and facilitating new jobs and export revenues in the life science industry.

On April 1st, 2015, Anders Lönnberg was appointed national life science coordinator by the Swedish Government. He’s been chosen for his experience of all sectors concerned and basically combines the triple helix in one person. He has industrial experience as well as merits from working in government offices. He’s also been a member of the Stockholm County Council and Chairman of Stockholm’s Diabetes Association.
As life science coordinator he’s been assigned three tasks: 1) to coordinate the three government ministries of Enterprise and Innovation, Health and Social Affairs, Education and Research. 2) to produce an action plan and cooperation programme with concrete actions and distribution of responsibility among the triple helix of industry, healthcare and academy. 3) to provide information on which the National Council for Innovation and Quality in the Public Sector can base its decisions.
Anders Lönnberg and his group of experts from the life science sector have also been given three goals to accomplish: 1) to improve the quality of Swedish healthcare. 2) to increase the pace in which new methods are spread and implemented at the clinics. 3) to facilitate new jobs and export revenues in the life science industry.

Freer Access to Patients
The life science industry clusters in Sweden have sent requests, to the government, which they think would benefit the life science sector in general and their respective cluster in particular.
“We’ve compiled all these requests into a 45 pages document. Our current task is to decide on how to prioritise between them. Some lines are already set, such as the prioritisation of which research areas and research centres that the government shall support. Other issues will be implemented, as they are solved, one by one. I have direct access to the ministries concerned, which facilitates a swift and smooth handling process,” says Anders Lönnberg.
A common request from the industry is that companies should be given freer access to patients for clinical research. Historically, the clinics have regarded medical research as a governmental concern and something that disturbs the medical professionals in their work.
“It’s important that we put this old debate behind us and that all parties involved transmit clear and distinct signals that the clinics are the new healthcare development divisions. Only the clinics can turn an innovation into an evidence-based therapy, so it’s my opinion that it’s their job to create evidence-based results rather than consuming them,” Anders Lönnberg comments.
”In addition, we need to build a common information infrastructure encompassing IT, biobanks and gene banks,” he adds.
Looking at West Sweden, Anders Lönnberg finds good collaboration between the different parties on a regional level.
“There’s the AZ BioVentureHub, jointly funded by AstraZeneca and Västra Götaland Region. Then you have the life science centre, Sahlgrenska Life, coming up in close proximity to the Sahlgrenska University Hospital,” he concludes.

Fact box:
Anders Lönnberg’s group of experts from the life science sector, assigned by the Swedish Government for May 28th to December 31st, 2015:
Göran Ando, Chairman
Ingrid Bengtsson Rijavec, Healthcare Director
Anders Blanck, CEO
Lena Gustavsson, Principal
Anders Hamsten, Principal
Ingrid Heath, Executive Vice President
Anders Henriksson, Vice Chairman
Jan-Olof Jacke, CEO
Danica Kragic Jensfelt, Professor
Patric Källman, Strategic Advisor
Anna Lefevre Skjöldebrand, CEO
Lars Liljedahl, Director of Municipal Health and Care Department
Ann-Sofie Lodin, Regional Director
Anna Nilsson Vindefjärd, Secretary General
Sara Riggare, Engineer
Heidi Stensmyren, Federation Chairman
Steinar Stokke, CEO