On 29 May 2018, we hosted the third annual AstraZeneca Exchange Gothenburg event at our R&D centre in Gothenburg, Sweden. The event brought together more than 150 senior representatives from across the Nordic Life Science community, including industry, biotech, academia, government and the public sector, under the theme “Meeting the Future Together.”
Our aim with AstraZeneca Exchange Gothenburg is to support the growing Life Science ecosystem in the Nordics, to stimulate innovation, and to make the region as strong as it can be in the biotechnology sector.
This time AstraZeneca Exchange focused even more on the ecosystem – trying to connect, in a stronger way, diagnostics, digital, devices, and pharmaceuticals. The future will very much be in the cross roads between those disciplines.
The day included presentations, panel sessions, and informal discussion and networking. Jenni Nordborg, Director Life Sciences, Government Offices of Sweden, for example talked about the challenges and opportunities for life science in Sweden and the ongoing government work to develop a Strategy for Life Sciences in Sweden by the end 2018.
For meeting the future within life sciences, one of the most important things is co-creation, to really utilize collaboration. When we’re working with health data and precision medicine, we need new actors on board to be able to work toward the future.
At a session hosted at the new CoValley collaboration site being built next to AstraZeneca Gothenburg, Michael Treschow, Chairman of the Wallenberg Foundation Investment Committee, further emphasised the need to foster collaborative environments in order to unlock the potential of the Swedish and Nordic life science communities.
Other speakers/panellists on the day included:
- Gustaf Befrits, Stockholm County Council
- Anders Blanck, Swedish Association of Pharmaceutical Industry
- Penilla Gunther, MP, Christian Democratic Party, Swedish Parliament
- Matthew Bonam, AstraZeneca
- Christer Lindqvist, MentorMate
- Adina Welander, The Boston Consulting Group
- Anders Sonesson, Diasend/Glooko
- Eric Valeur, Medicinal Chemistry, AstraZeneca
- Kevin Lee, Bicycle Therapeutics
- Anna Maria Fuxén, CoValley
- Ian Kirk, Business Development Operations AstraZeneca
- Magnus Björsne, AstraZeneca BioVentureHub
“It’s the third time that we have hosted this exchange event now here, opening up the site for small companies, for people from academia and from the government. And this is happening at a location where just 5 years ago we had a closed site, not much open to anyone outside of AstraZeneca – it’s a fantastic development,” said Kay Brickmann, Business Development Director, AstraZeneca.
Gothenburg is one of AstraZeneca’s three global R&D centres, alongside our sites in Cambridge in the UK and Gaithersburg in the US. Each site is located close to a globally-recognised bioscience cluster to allow us to benefit from a wider ecosystem of universities, researchers, biotechs and peers. This is because we know that innovation does not happen in isolation. We already benefit from collaboration with others across the life science sector and we build on each other’s successes.
“It’s hugely important to AstraZeneca both to demonstrate our desire to be part of the ecosystem and the importance of the ecosystem to AstraZeneca and to other companies in that community, and secondly to have the opportunity to interact on one day in one place with people it ordinarily would take you a year to see in a conventional meeting by meeting basis,” said Shaun Grady, Vice President, Business Development Operations, AstraZeneca.
I think we have an opportunity to redefine what we mean with innovation, because we will need to work across industry segments in order to truly embrace disruptive innovation. Cross-value chains I believe is an obvious opportunity when you listened to the speakers at AstraZeneca Exchange.
For more information about AstraZeneca’s Exchange initiative, please click here.