During the recent Nordic Life Science Days event that took place in Malmö, Sweden, investors and representatives from the biopharmaceutical and life sciences companies in the world had the chance to wander around a showcase of innovations developed in Scandinavia.
Speaking to BioPharma-Reporter, Helena Strigård, CEO of SwedenBIO, the organizer of NLSDays, told us that the impact of the event, which has tripled in size since its launch, reflects the growth of innovation in the life sciences sector in the Nordic countries.
This growth answers a rising need of the global industry, which has seen established companies looking for innovative ideas to adopt and support, according to Strigård.
“The big pharma and big biotech companies are increasingly looking for ‘external innovation’. They can’t do all the creative work in-house; innovation is around them and they need a way to tap into that,” Strigård said.
“And that's where we have this ‘jackpot situation’ in the Nordics, since our true strength is the developing, innovative life science companies that we house,” she continued.
As a result, according to Strigård, larger companies have entered the Nordic region in order to connect with the ‘excellent science’ that lies there.
Factors driving innovation
Sweden was ranked as the European Union ‘innovation leader’ for 2019 in a recent report of the European Commision, while its four Nordic ‘siblings’, Finland, Denmark, Norway, and Iceland, came 6th, 7th, 19th and 20th, respectively, in the Global Innovation Index ranking for 2019.
Asked to explain where the high levels of innovation, specifically in the life sciences sector, come from, the CEO of SwedenBIO told us that it is due to an “entrepreneurial spirit found in the Nordics, combined with our strong traditions in science, as well as a very well-established relationship between academia and the life sciences industry.”
According to Strigård, an increasing number of start-ups and spin-offs are born in universities of the Scandinavian capitals, as the regions’ industry works to “create a climate where it is easy for companies to rely on excellent science and take their first steps.”
During NLSDays, SwedenBIO aimed to “showcase Nordic life science to an international audience, in an attempt to connect capital from global hub spots with intelligent capital found in the Nordics.”