July 3, 2014

News from Almedalen: Sweden on the life science cluster map

Life science is one of the five main clusters in West Sweden. The region has to thrive in this field in order to be competitive in the future. Cross boundary collaborations are key to make this happen. Forum for Health Policy, a project seeking to strengthen health policy analysis in Sweden, recently published a report on the competitiveness of Swedish life science clusters. Judging by the figures shown it is going in the opposite direction of what we actually want. Why is that? And what needs to be done to reverse the path direction? This was discussed on a seminar in Almedalen.

The life science research and development conducted in Sweden is of high quality and the innovation climate is considered to be satisfactory. The cluster environments however, where the actual cross boundary collaborations meet, is the weak link that needs to be improved in order for Sweden to remain a competitive force on the international playfield. The panelists requested a national strategy for life science. It is vital to simplify the regulatory system and structures to create better conditions for these types of collaborations. Also, there have to be incentives for all stakeholders.

Another important step is to include patients more, seeing them as the vital resources they are in the research and development. Sahlgrenska I.C. is confident that our region can continue to be competitive in this field and thus contribute to Swedish healthcare’s global competitiveness. But the figures are alarming, and as the panelists in the seminar concluded, necessary steps need be taken to facilitate the development of life science cluster environments – and fast.

From the left, Professor Örjan Stovell, author of the report
From the left, Professor Örjan Stovell, author of the report.

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