To provide support at an early stage – before an idea has reached commercialisation; is at the core of Sahlgrenska Science Park’s strategy in strengthening the life science cluster in the Gothenburg region and the south-west parts of Sweden.
The past ten years have been interesting for Sahlgrenska Science Park, creating a prosperous and growing business park and a platform for innovators and entrepreneurs operating within life science, medical- and biotechnology.
“We are commissioned by strong regional parties to provide solid grounds for both innovators as well as new and existing companies within the life science industry. We are acting as an intermediary between academia and industry, between innovation and commercialisation, on behalf of Business Region Göteborg, Region Västra Götaland, the University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology”, states Gunilla Bökmark, MD at Sahlgrenska Science Park.
Supporting multitude through actions
At the early stage of innovation, projects are supported by the in-house business incubator at Sahlgrenska Science Park. Funding comes primarily from Region Västra Götaland and Innovationsbron.
An innovation must meet an actual need in order to reach realisation. “We maintain close contacts with our innovators, and before taking an idea further we always conduct an extensive analysis of what the product or innovation can do for society. If we can identify a need, the innovation is brought forward with the common goal to reach commercialisation”, explains Gunilla Bökmark. She continues: “We provide facilities and contacts, and can help innovators find suitable financial support, for example by contacting business angels or dedicated investors connected to life science. It is important to remember that we strive to realise commercially feasible innovations and products”.
Growth and progress illustrated
There are currently around 40 active companies operating within Sahlgrenska Science Park. These companies illustrate a healthy multitude of operators; involving anything from biotechnology developers to service providers within medical technology applications.
“We have several examples illustrating both growth and progress in Swedish research. Professor Suzanne Dickson has started up a new company, Abunon, with support from our incubator facilities”, Gunilla Bökmark reveals.
The activities of Abunon are based on previous research on the substance ghrelin and its effect on the brain. Together with Professor Emeritus Jörgen Engel and his research team, Suzanne Dickson’s group have been able to show that mice that receive ghrelin increase their alcohol consumption and that the addictive effect is reduced if the ghrelin hormone is blocked. “The aim is to develop a drug used in the treatment of alcohol addiction”.
Another example is Observe Medical, also supported by the incubator at Sahlgrenska Science Park. The company has developed a medical device, Sippi, which is a revolutionary digital urine meter. The system is characterised by simplicity. Sippi is fully automatic during the length of treatment, enabling medical staff to focus on evaluating data output and patient care.
“In supporting new innovations, we are also at the core of creating new employment opportunities in our field”, Gunilla Bökmark explains, and concludes with: “This is of utmost importance in our mission to create sustainable growth and a strong life science cluster within our region”.