Medicon Village celebrates five years – SwedenBIO wishes continued success

After five years, it is time for Medicon Village to enter a new phase, building on the experience of the past years. More cross-border cooperation and even new construction is on the horizon.

Five years have passed since Medicon Village opened its doors. There is still a lot of interest in obtaining a place on the site.

– One of the highlights of the takeover from AstraZeneca is the filling of the premises with researchers and entrepreneurs. It is a truly international environment, with more than 55 different nationalities now working here. Perhaps the most important place is the restaurant. Many people go there for meetings and sometimes companies stand there and say hello. It’s a way to stay up to date and get close to those who are there,” says Medicon Village CEO Mats Leifland.

Clusters

One of the success factors is the dynamics of the Lund area, with its proximity to other researchers and the emerging cross-border collaborations. In a small confined area, the university is joined by major research facilities and various industrial clusters.

– This gives Lund a significant advantage. More and more businesses will set up in places where interaction with others suits them best. The ESS and MAX IV are less than three kilometers away, and right next to us is the Ideon Science Park with many bright minds in software, sensor technology and smart materials. Mobile Heights is a platform for development and cooperation in mobile services and wireless communications, including Sony Mobile. With all this expertise, the German industrial group Bosch has located part of its development for connected applications in Lund and Volvo Cars has decided to open a research and development center. For us at Medicon Village, with our connection to e-health, we can benefit from cooperation in areas such as mobile programming and the internet. Cross-border collaborations are created that become new clusters where, for example, clean tech, internet and materials can become a whole.

The challenge

The challenge, says Mats Leifland, is to do what is required to enable member companies to develop. Triple helix cooperation between academia, industry and the public sector is an important cog in the wheel. One of the difficulties with the triple helix is that it can take a long time to reach a decision.

– We are more nimble, others need to create more of a foothold. In some organizations it takes 6-8 weeks to make a decision, here we can make a decision in an afternoon. It is a challenge to parry but we learn from each other.

– Our basic concept is to support the research process. Here we have come a long way and are very happy, but see the challenges as even more exciting. We must create the best conditions for researchers, which in turn creates growth. “I have this problem, where do I turn?” For those who need it, other member companies offer services such as HR, accounting, coaching or sales. We will simply contribute with good examples and new collaborations, not least for researchers who are ready to commercialize their ideas.

Offices and apartments

What do you see for the future in this area?

– We have come through the first phase, the actual takeover and construction of a life science park. Now we will continue to develop the facility. It was built in the mid-80s and things are changing. We have already made a lot of changes based on our members’ needs, but there is more to do. We have large areas so we can double up, develop and bring in more companies. Getting more research here, preferably in care and treatment that is within our concept, is of course a key issue. Then we will also create housing.

Two construction projects are underway this year. In March, the groundbreaking for a new office will take place, and in the fall, construction of 200 apartments will begin.

– The area will be a vibrant part of Lund that doesn’t close at five o’clock. By mixing offices with apartments, there is more life and movement and this also increases the interest in sitting here.

Rings on the water

Over the past year, the smaller companies at Medicon Village have raised up to SEK 400 million from investors. Alligator Biosciences has also made a multi-billion dollar deal with Janssen Biotech, an oncology company within the Johnson & Johnson group.

– We are fortunate to have had companies in new areas establish themselves here. If 40 small companies in Medicon Village can employ one person each, this means more growth than if a larger company employs 40 people. If we can get small companies to grow and become bigger, it will have a completely different volume. It adds value and creates a ripple effect. Moreover, this is only the beginning; the foundation that owns Medicon Village has a long-term perspective. When a surplus is generated, it will be reinvested in research, innovation or back into the research infrastructure at Medicon Village.

Many ambassadors

Mats Leifland talks about Helena Ekdahl who previously worked for AstraZeneca. When these closed down, she decided to start her own business. Then came the day when she could hire her first employee.

– Helena said “this is the biggest thing that has happened in my new working life”. During an after-work session, she stood up and told everyone present. The atmosphere was very high. That’s one of the benefits of being here, enjoying each other’s successes and saying congratulations. It creates an environment of daring. We are very happy to have so many ambassadors. This is a very important success factor.

Text taken from mediconvillage.se

Welcome to the Medicon Village 5 Year Anniversary Seminar: Nebel and Wester turn the clock back.