Tor 25 jul / År 42 / Nr 3 2024

The Lund model of turning challenges into business opportunities

The step from site manager at AstraZeneca to Business Development Director employed by the City of Lund may seem insurmountable. Not for Dr. Per Persson. After being involved in several major regional development projects, many of which covering the entire Øresund region, Dr. Persson soon found himself at home in his new role as one of the chief spokesmen of the entire business community in Lund.

Dr. Per Persson is highly involved in the development and retention of a healthy business climate in Lund. Dr. Persson is a member of the board of the Øresund Institute and has also been involved in various projects conducted by the Chamber of Commerce in southern Sweden. He has in many ways dedicated his life to building strong collaborations and business opportunities throughout the entire Øresund region and Medicon Valley.

In the footsteps of a giant
“To say that there is a lot going on in Lund would be an understatement”, says Dr. Per Persson. “The establishment of the ESS, based on the world’s most powerful neutron source, contributes to the region now being one of the world’s most attractive to research-based companies in various fields”.
It seems that Lund has an ability to create success, no matter the challenge. One success factor may be the close proximity of key activities and the ability of people and businesses to collaborate, involving expertise from academia, the industry and the public sector.
“Take the establishment of Medicon Village for example”, Dr. Persson continues. “When AstraZeneca chose to relocate, there was generally a great concern as whether it was in fact the end of Lund as medical development center in Northern Europe. But instead of losing key competence and in many respects world-leading expertise, Lund managed to turn the development to an advantage”.

Turning challenges into success stories
With great dedication and strong motivation, Lund was able to create something new in the footsteps of the previous pharmaceutical stronghold. Medicon Village was initiated with the help of a generous donation from entrepreneur Mats Paulsson, founder of Peab, and Lund had yet again revealed its fighting spirit and an untamed desire to succeed.
“I think that one of our main success factors here in Lund is the personal involvement of individuals. Many of AstraZeneca’s former employees chose to stay in the region and start up their own businesses”.
“Another major and crucial aspect is that we have such a large concentration of activities in the central parts of Lund. The ESS and MAX IV are being built in close proximity to each other, not far from Medicon Village and Lund University”.
Per Persson explains that people from different backgrounds and disciplines have a unique opportunity to meet and exchange ideas in Lund. “I think many successful projects are initiated over a cup of coffee at informal meetings between experts”, he says.