The Gothenburg region has been the scene of several medical breakthroughs over the years. One of the world's biggest selling drugs, the stomach ulcer medication Losec, was developed here, as was an effective treatment for Parkinson's disease. The latter was developed in a collaboration between the pharmaceutical industry and Professor Arvid Carlsson, who received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2000.
Gothenburg also has a strong international standing in both odontology and biomaterials. Per-Ingvar Brånemark's discovery that bone tissue can grow on foreign material – osseointegration – was a major breakthrough. His ideas for dental implants, which could be anchored in bone tissue with the aid of titanium screws, was commercialised in the company Nobel Biocare. The innovation has since been developed to encompass bone-anchored hearing devices and prosthetic legs.
Today, the region is a leading centre for clinical research in Sweden and home to about 450 different companies in the life sciences. Stem cell research, cell therapy and regenerative medicine are other areas in which the Gothenburg region is at the forefront, as are the fields of cardiovascular and metabolic medicine and vaccination. The first woman to give birth after receiving a womb transplant made international headlines – and the research took place in Gothenburg.
Academia and healthcare
Gothenburg University, together with Sahlgrenska Academy and Chalmers University of Technology, boasts strong research activities in a number of fields, including bioscience and medicine. Together with Sahlgrenska University Hospital, one of northern Europe's largest healthcare facilities, these seats of learning open the way for innovation and provide the industry with expertise. Here you'll also find good opportunities for clinical trials.
Companies large and small
Close collaboration between academia, the public sector and trade and industry makes the Gothenburg region attractive to companies. The life sciences sector currently employs about 7,500 people. The largest employer in biomedicine is AstraZeneca.
Medical technology is another strong area, primarily within implants and biomaterials with companies such as Dentsply (formerly AstraTech) and Nobel Biocare. Australian Cochlear, which develops hearing implants, has located some of its R&D operations in the Gothenburg region. In the past, Cochlear also acquired Gothenburg-based Entific, which in turn was a spin-off from research at Nobel Biocare.
Over the past ten years, the number of micro companies with fewer than ten employees has increased dramatically.
Environments for growth
Sahlgrenska Science Park offers new companies and projects, as well as established actors, in the life sciences the right conditions for growth. Here companies can work in a stimulating environment and receive support with, for example, business development.
Another incubator is Chalmers Innovation, which supports technology-based business concepts and growth companies. Mölndal is home to AstraZeneca's BioVentureHub, where biomedical companies and research groups can gain access to AstraZeneca's laboratories.
What we do
Business Region Göteborg strengthens the life sciences industry by creating arenas and networks where research and companies can meet. Among other things, we're involved in Sahlgrenska Science Park. We mediate contacts and support investors and companies that are interested in establishing or expanding their operations here.
Others involved in building the life sciences in the Gothenburg region
Almi Invest >
Almi Invest invests in young companies with scalable business concepts and long-term value growth potential.
Gothia Forum >
A unit within Region Västra Götaland that acts as a meeting place and a voluntary resource for everyone working with clinical research in the region.
GU Holding >
Incubation and investment activities with the aim of turning ideas based on knowledge and research results, linked to Gothenburg University, into new companies.
MedTech West >
Network and collaborative platform for research, education, development and the evaluation of new biomedical concepts and technologies.
Park Annual >
Innovation event arranged by Sahlgrenska Science Park for researchers, companies and other actors in the life sciences.
The Nordic region's leading e-health event. This conference at the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre offers education and perspectives in e-health.
Did you know that…
…researchers at Chalmers and Sahlgrenska Academy have developed a microwave helmet, Strokefinder, that can differentiate strokes and embolisms in patients?
…620 million Swedish kronor is being invested in a new centre for molecular medicine in Gothenburg? It will open in 2016 and cancer, obesity and diabetes are a few of the research areas.
…researchers at Sahlgrenska Academy and Sahlgrenska University Hospital can create a new blood vessel, grown from the patient's own stem cells? All that is needed to harvest the stem cells is two tablespoons of blood.
…Gothenburg-based Monivent won the Swedish Embedded Award 2014? The company develops monitoring equipment that measures air flow in new born babies that require respiratory assistance.
…AstraZeneca has invested about one billion Swedish kronor in its research facility in Mölndal since 2010? Research in the cardiovascular system, metabolism, the respiratory system, inflammation and autoimmunity is pursued at the facility.
…Sahlgrenska Science Park houses about 50 companies in the life sciences? These include Tridentify AB, which created transmitters for monitoring blood bags.
…the company Immunicum develops therapeutic vaccines for certain types of cancer? The company is based on research from Sahlgrenska University Hospital.