Ons 17 apr / År 42 / Nr 1 2024

VINNOVA strengthens Sweden’s innovation capacity for sustainable growth

The Swedish life science industry is flourishing with a large number of highly competent SME’s, all at the frontline of their areas of expertise. In order to support Swedish innovations, VINNOVA (Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems) has the national responsibility to support Swedish industry in the international cooperation scheme EUREKA.

The role of VINNOVA
Swedish life science industry has a great potential in innovations in the health sector, with a well developed health care system, unique patient registers and an open minded population towards new innovations. Sweden also benefits from strong academic research in the life science field and is world leading in several areas with a long tradition of close cooperation between public health care, industry and academia.
The activities of VINNOVA are also based on the national objective of sustainable growth, with special focus on environmental-friendly innovations. VINNOVA assists innovators in realising the commercial possibilities of their research, also helping them to reach a global market.

Cooperating over boundaries
EUREKA is an independent European network devoted to promoting European collaborations in SMEs. EUREKA project partners can apply for national funding from their respective countries. EUREKA projects aim at strengthening the competitiveness of the European industry and especially the SMEs.

VINNOVA runs the national EUREKA office and provides information and advice as well as public co-funding of Swedish partners in collaborative R&D projects.
One of the projects within EUREKA that VINNOVA supports is a local company focusing on R&D, MAIIA Diagnostics AB, founded in Uppsala a few years ago. The collaboration is part of a Eurostars programme developed under EUREKA.
At MAIIA Diagnostics a new set of unique tools for erythropoietin (EPO) isoform identification has been developed, enabling faster and more accurate doping analysis at a remarkably lower cost than that of before. VINNOVA is also supporting MAIIA Diagnostics as a local initiative, enabling Swedish primary research to reach the global market.

National research centres for further growth
As a partner for sustainable growth, VINNOVA also aims to develop initiatives such as the Berzelii research centre, a programme initiated between VINNOVA and the Swedish Research Council.
VINNOVA is together with the Swedish Research Council supporting the Uppsala Berzelii Technology Centre for Neurodiagnostics. The centre was established three years ago, with the overall goal to enable early diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases, in particular Alzheimer’s disease and chronic pain.
In close collaboration with the national pathfinder within life science Uppsala BIO and their in-house developed BIO-X programme, the researchers at the Berzelii Centre are focusing on developing new treatments and improving current healing methods, with the ambition to spread such expertise to the rest of the world.