ANALYSIS: "Gothenburg and Scandinavia's competitiveness is strengthened in Life Science"
A large-scale research arena for Life Science is to be built near AstraZeneca’s R&D facility in Mölndal, Gothenburg. The plans concern 100,000 square metres with space for 7,000 people. Business Region Göteborg’s Iris Öhrn, Life Science Investment Advisor, and Maria Strömberg, head of the Clusters and Innovation department, explain what the plans mean for the region and the sector.
“The rapid technology development is demanding strategic investments and cross-disciplinary partnerships as well as a better use of existing infrastructure and expertise. This investment will further strengthen Gothenburg and Scandinavia’s life science position and competitiveness,” explains Iris Öhrn.
“I can imagine internationally recognised IT experts, engineers and life science professionals from SMES, large corporations and public institutions, without forgetting the individual, old and young; working together at what will be one Scandinavian’s most innovative areas,” she adds.
So, how does our region compare on the international stage?
“In recent years, we have seen many nations such as South Korea, China, Japan, UK, Germany and USA making strategic moves to grow their innovation capabilities. West Sweden is well known for its long track-record of success and innovation. We excel when we talk about entrepreneurship and growth potential. We are also aware that we will need a new way of collaborating and working together over boarders.”
Why is Gothenburg interesting for investors?
“I am sure what matters for those who invest in our region is not where we are today or where we have been - but where we will be tomorrow. Vectura and Next Step Group have realised that a great part of our future growth will stem from high-technology industries such as life science. They are investing not only in AstraZeneca’s piece of undeveloped land, but also in the right environment for innovative and commercial success.”
What does the investment mean for the Gothenburg region, both in the short and long term?
"In the short-term it will lead to more companies getting the opportunity to be close to each other and be able to share expertise and resources. These are important core components in developing a strong cluster and an ability to innovate, both within the companies and in the cluster on the whole," says Maria Strömberg.
"Longer-term, it will promote not only the Life Science cluster but also Gothenburg as an attractive region for both R&D investments and talent. When highly skilled workers are positive about moving here and contributing to development, we get a positive expertise development spiral," she adds.
Why does Business Region Göteborg work with promoting different clusters and their development?
"We have a long tradition of collaborating across borders, the city - the business community – academia, and making joint ventures in the Gothenburg region. To be part of a cluster and to be able to take part of those relations is highly valuable in different ways. To find solutions, for example, for societal challenges such as an aging population or innovations within care, requires broad collaboration between big and small companies across sectors, as well as with cities, regions and the research community. If these actors are physically and relationally close, it attracts new actors that want to place themselves in the same context, it generates a high R&D level and innovativeness that lead to global breakthroughs," explains Maria Strömberg.