Financial support to our organisation – now transformed into further action!
I am pleased that an internationally-led evaluation of Uppsala BIO’s actions and deliverables over the last four years has concluded that we deliver strongly and that we shall receive further solid funding. Planned actions can thus now be executed. The long-term goal is, as always, to contribute to growth by driving actions that complement those of the private and public sectors.
Sweden has a small population so we must pool forces and not fragment resources. This includes the innovation support system, as well as more long-term support to other selected functions. For a growth initiative like Uppsala BIO, a situation of increasingly short-term funding may sometimes hamper more complex actions. Nevertheless, an upside is that we need to show results very frequently. Now further funding both from Vinova and the region is in place. So what more shall we achieve with it?
Uppsala BIO will continue to develop its network. Our Partnership model is in place and the network is growing. In particular, we will continue to work increasingly closely with companies generally ‘too mature’ to be part of innovation support systems such as incubators. Often they may have 10-100 employees and are frequently still part of a ‘death valley’. At this stage, some are open to further investments in the range of, for instance, 30-100 MSEK. We may also have a further role to play, e.g. supporting their needs for match-making with national and international investors. Our dialogue with these companies tells us that we shall try to be more efficient in supporting those who want to grow. Such actions are now being planned. They should increase international competitiveness and lead to further business establishments nationwide. I will come back to this!
At Uppsala BIO, we also support collaboration and coordination among innovation support organisations, not only in our region. Better support for projects and small companies in need of competence, capital and networks nationally will also benefit our region. Such actions include contributing to the strategic innovation programmes Swelife and Medtech4Health. I am a member of the Governing Board of Swelife and staff from Uppsala BIO lead certain programme activities at an operational level, e.g. national calls for proposals. Swelife has already shown good results in strengthening the whole life science ecosystem.
Uppsala BIO also supports the development of infrastructure. A very important task is to contribute to building external processes to support the unique new government-funded BioProcess Innovation Center. The facility is under construction as I write. It’s located in close proximity to GE Healthcare, the world-leading provider of equipment, reagents and support to the global pharmaceutical industry. Without such products there would be no biological pharmaceuticals! And these products are produced at GE Healthcare Life Sciences in Uppsala, Sweden!
From 2018, the BioProcess Innovation Center will have fully-equipped facilities to train students focusing on both technology and biology. Furthermore, projects and companies can gain access to laboratories to test new equipment, new methods and new biologicals in an authentic world-leading manufacturing environment. Uppsala BIO and SWElife are ready to support building external interfaces – because this resource is in principle open to anyone! We have a great track record in building such interfaces and we will, together with our partners, support your efforts!
Wishing you a great autumn!
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