Anders Persson on his new job

Anders Persson is Executive Director Strategy & Innovation at AstraZeneca and a new member of the SwedenBIO board. We ask Anders about key issues and industry trends.

There is talk of sector drift and sector convergence. What do you see happening from your perspective?

“Innovation is largely based on the application of ideas from another context, plus need is the mother of creativity, as we have been reminded during the pandemic. One example is that, before the pandemic, there had been discussions for quite some time about how digital solutions can make a difference in healthcare, and some tests were carried out, but the pandemic and the urgent needs that arose have really accelerated the change, and this has happened by combining competencies from different industries. I would also add that I think the pandemic has opened the world’s eyes to the power of science and medicine (from new virus to vaccine in less than a year is amazing). Really creates the conditions for all those working on scientific and evidence-based solutions to have their solutions heard.”

What can you do to help SwedenBIO and the industry capture these changes and translate it into actions that meet the needs of a broader membership?

“Some topics that are close to my heart are that by applying new technology (often influenced by other industries, however, it is important to remember that solutions that really get traction must be robustly evidence-based) can enable better health and that we in the clinical drug development ensure that the individuals who participate in clinical trials are not only more numerous but also that their experience of participation means that they feel that they are an active confirmed participant and not a passive data source.”

In your role as Executive Director Ecosystem Strategy & Innovation AstraZeneca, what are your main challenges and opportunities going forward?

“On a daily basis, I work with the innovation environment in and around AstraZeneca in Gothenburg where we have the AZ Bioventure Hub (which today hosts more than 30 scale-up companies), plus Health Works (an environment where we, in collaboration with other stakeholders, identify and seek solutions to tomorrow’s health challenges) and GoCo Health Innovation (where we contribute to establishing a new and exciting life science cluster). One area of focus is the technological and scientific platforms of tomorrow, the challenge is to look to the future and ensure that the innovation created is put to use.”

Feel free to visit:

AZ Bioventure Hub

Health Works

GoCo Health Innovation