Sweden boosts life sciences
21.09.2012 - The Swedish Government is set to boost its life sciences industry with a US$320m investment over the next four years.
Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt confirmed the country’s largest ever investment into the life sciences. Speaking at SciLifeLab in Stockholm, a major research infrastructure project aimed at maintaining the country’s position in protein science, Reinfeldt announced a package of measures totalling US$1.7bn over the next four years, of which $ 320 million is devoted to life sciences. According to the decision of Reinfeldt and four ministers, the budget of SciLifeLab will be doubled to a total of US$100m. The centre combines state-of-the-art research infrastructure with a broad knowledge in translational medicine and molecular bioscience in order to translating discoveries into both tools and therapies. Additionally, US$220m will be pumped into drug discovery, clinical research, antibiotic resistance research, health in aging and the use of patient registries.
Most of the money will be invested into the Stockholm-Uppsala biocluster which is home to more than 50% of Sweden’s thriving life science companies. Stockholm-Uppsala Life Sciences CEO Ola Bjorkman welcomed the Prime Minister’s commitment: “In our recently published report, we pointed out the ambitious, future plans for further strengthening the life science sector in Stockholm-Uppsala, thereby ensuring that the region remains a truly global life science cluster. In particular, the investment in SciLifeLab with its cutting edge research infrastructure combined with parallel investments in drug discovery, clinical research and the use of patient registries open new avenues for developing more personalised and outcome-orientated healthcare.”
According to a report published this August, the Stockholm-Uppsala region is one of the largest clusters in Europe. According to official sources on limited public companies, the region is home to 633 companies, which employ 23,376 staff and had a combined turnover of €20bn in 2010. More than 16,000 employees (70%) work with R&D-orientated companies while 30% are distributors. Pharmaceutical companies such as AstraZeneca (5,600 jobs) employ 13,500 staff followed by medical technology firms 4,700, biotech tools & supply enterprises such as GE Healthcare (1,225 jobs) with 2,750 (12%), CROs and other services with 1,250 staff and diagnostics companies with 1,050 jobs.