Life science offices important signal for the industry

The Government is establishing a permanent office within the Government Offices to ensure a coordinated policy, clearer priorities and a faster pace in the work towards a competitive life science in Sweden. - I am pleased that the government has taken this need for coordination and clear priorities seriously. Now it is important that the office is allowed to be permanent, this is a sector in great need of continuity, says Helena Strigård Deputy CEO SwedenBIO.

Minister for Enterprise and Innovation Mikael Damberg, Minister for Higher Education and Research Helene Hellmark Knutsson and Minister for Social Affairs Annika Strandhäll write jointly in Dagens Medicin today about the new office. The establishment is described as a next step, following the creation of the Expert Council for Life Sciences and the collaborative programs.

– We don’t know exactly how the new office will be designed or what will happen to the Council of Experts,” says Helena Strigård. But we assume that the new body within the Ministry of Economic Affairs will be given a sufficient mandate to deliver on its policy coordination role. It is about how the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Ministry of Education work together. We choose to interpret the joint statement by the ministers as a promise to continue on this path.

The Expert Council for Life Science has been a valuable ear to academia, industry and healthcare, she says.

– Life science in Sweden needs good cooperation between all three, including the patients who will ultimately benefit from all this. Therefore, the life sciences office must now find ways to keep its ear to the ground in all three sectors.

In terms of the focus of the Office’s work, she sees several heavyweights among the areas listed.

– We will see what is hidden behind priorities such as “increased innovation in healthcare”, “digitalization” and “Sweden as a test market”. It is also important for us to coordinate the quality registers, national biobanks and that we in Sweden are able to regain our former strength in clinical trials,” she continues. What we lack in the program statement so far is an understanding of how important the investment climate is for this industry. And that we need to highlight how strong our small and medium-sized Swedish life science companies are to the outside world. It is not enough to be good, we need to say it too. With one voice.

The biggest expectation that SwedenBIO sees linked to the new office is about continuity.

– When it comes to framework conditions and investments in life sciences, you can’t turn the wheel too often. This applies to most industries, of course, but for our industry in particular it is important to be able to see the road ahead in order to invest. Our member companies take enough risks as it is to be able to invest in developing groundbreaking innovations,” says Helena Strigård. The best thing you can give them is stable conditions that last beyond the next mandate. We hope that an office like this can contribute to that,” says Helena Strigård, Vice President of SwedenBIO.