EMA battle: SwedenBIO survey shows that Sweden is praised by those already living here

International key figures in life sciences and drug development praise Sweden as a country with a professional research climate and entrepreneurial spirit. At the same time, Swedish society is praised for providing real opportunities to combine work and family responsibilities.

This is according to SwedenBIO’s survey of life science experts who have already moved here, which is now being presented and disseminated in social media ahead of the final battle over which country will take over the hosting of the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

The background to the initiative is a previous survey that showed that some of the current EMA employees are reluctant to move to Stockholm if Sweden is chosen as the new host country for the European Medicines Agency (EMA). At the same time, the Swedish life science sector depends on the willingness of foreign experts and researchers to move to Sweden to work here.

– We wanted to find out what it’s really like by interviewing some of the foreign industry colleagues who have chosen to move to and work in Sweden, says Jonas Ekstrand, CEO of SwedenBIO, who is pleased with the enormous response.

The interviews focus on the expectations international life science personnel had of Sweden before individuals and families moved here – and how they view the country and the opportunities today.

The answers paint a completely different picture than the “cold, gray Sweden”. Sweden is praised for everything from its professional research climate to its ability to balance work with an active and social life.

– These are people with extensive experience who have lived in many different countries. We are pleased that they speak so highly of Sweden. Recruiting international experts is critical to the functioning and development of our industry,” says Jonas Ekstrand. If we can highlight the many benefits of living and working here, it is a good step forward.

The evaluations of all candidate cities are currently being discussed and a decision on the new location of the Agency will be taken after a vote at the General Affairs Council meeting on 20 November.

But Jonas Ekstrand is also critical of where the EMA discussion is going.

– We need to look at the future and location of EMA. Ultimately, it is about ensuring that patients have rapid access to adequate treatment rather than details of premises and the like. Sweden has what EMA needs today, but also what EMA needs to develop, so everyone would benefit from having the agency here.

So far, 15 people have shared their experiences, and more interviews will be published on the SwedenBIO website as they come in. The interviews are available at www.swedenbio.se/ema and as excerpts here.

For more information:

Jonas Ekstrand, CEO SwedenBIO – 070-302 08 96

More interviews on swedenbio.se/ema.