Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

This time last year, I was tasked with summarizing an exceptional year. A year in which we, together with our member companies, got a taste of what the word societal preparedness means. With pride we added up our efforts, the difference we had made and looked forward to a more peaceful existence. Bah.

Here I am again, saying that every year for the foreseeable future will be exceptional for us. What we have achieved together with the 2021 membership deserves the cheers of the people on Sergels torg. But in our industry, we are often overlooked. It’s not easy for politicians and the public to fully understand the logic of building a company with risks and lead times that would make entrepreneurs in other industries cringe. Or how dependent society is on the spinning wheels of pharmaceutical, biotech and medtech companies for both job creation and healthcare. It is one of our missions at SwedenBIO to explain this and point out what prevents us from making an even bigger difference. In that spirit, we have had countless dialogues with decision-makers, things that are not always visible but, as the saying goes, patience wins. Small steps, sometimes big ones. What issues are we working on? How and why? Find out here. Are you missing anything? Let me know. And be prepared to be supportive. This is our special model, with over 100 member representatives in working groups, task forces and other forums.

The more visible has been our work with campaigns on the conditions for companies to initiate clinical trials in Sweden and the AMR, and our work to make Swedish and Nordic life science visible internationally. When Nordic Life Science Days went digital for the first time last spring, we knew from similar events that around 80% of participants drop out. We ended up with 20%, and reached an all-time high in the number of investors participating, almost 200.

In 2022 it will become physical. Absolutely sure. How do we know? Yes, because we have booked the Malmömässan twice. We are working hard to organize an exceptional partnering meeting on 20-21 April, but in the unlikely event that it is impossible, we have 27-28/9 as a back up. So hurry up and book, because if there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that there are long queues for our events. Congratulations to those of you who won a place at the recent Executive Dinner and SwedenBIO Summit. Or for that matter to the Business Development Course we launched in October, with 100% satisfaction.

In the fall, we welcomed our 300th member, Boehringer Ingelheim. Every time a new member joins, we ring a bell in the office and it finally fell down. At the time of writing, we have 313 members. How big should we really be? I don’t know.

But I know that we are opening the umbrella over Swedish life science and keeping it steady. From drug development companies to biotech and medtech, we see strong organic growth. Such growth must, of course, be matched by both resources and broadened skills. Therefore, we have also expanded the office, and in November we welcomed two new employees! Together with our board and our hard-working advisors, we can handle the expansion. We also respond to the broadening with the help of the members themselves. One example is when member company Kickfile thought there was a lack of a podcast on MDR. Shouldn’t we organize one then, we thought. From word to deed, it took 3 weeks. Just as the new regulations came into force, we bought some podcasting equipment, got the hang of it and recorded an episode with our first guest. My personal favorite was when the studio was visited by the Swedish Medicines Agency. Having a close dialog with authorities that define the conditions for Swedish life science is close to our heart.

So is Christmas. My favorite CEO task each year is to decorate the Christmas tree in the office, which is increasingly visited by members. There has been a lot of movement during the year. Capital market days and board meetings have been held on our premises. We are so grateful that we have been able to see you, and each other again, and with that confidence, we are now closing in 2021. And then it only remains to be said;

From all of us, to all of you, a Merry Christmas! And turn on your OOO.