New political practice puts focus on life sciences

SwedenBIO launcheslife science entrepreneurs for a day, an opportunity for politicians to take part in the everyday life of our member companies. The aim is to highlight the importance of the industry to Sweden and what it needs from policy to grow stronger. First up was Lars Hjälmered, the Moderate Party's industrial policy spokesperson, who was put to work separating enantiomers at the Gothenburg company IRLAB therapeutics in Sahlgrenska Science Park.

For Lars Hjälmered, the day was a way to get solid information on what constitutes obstacles and conditions for the industry, both nationally and locally for Gothenburg.

– The availability of expertise was one thing we discussed. Housing shortages, visa regulations and access to international kindergartens and schools are all factors. We need to do more here, both in Gothenburg and nationally. We need to do more to keep experts in the country.

IRLAB therapeutics’ CEO Nicholas Waters appreciates the opportunity to discuss the conditions that are important to them with a national politician integrated with a practical understanding of how the business works. Nicholas highlights two main issues as important to them: the availability of capital and the prioritization of clinical trials by the healthcare system.

– We need more capital in the form of specialist managed funds in the region; geographical proximity to investors is a factor,” he says. Another concern we see is the lack of time for doctors and other health professionals to do research. This is not encouraged, he says, and is supported by Charlotta Gummesson, CEO of Sahlgrenska Science Park.

Helena Strigård, Head of Policy, participated from SwedenBIO.

– This was the first time we tested the concept and I think it went well. We learned a lot from both the host company and the political trainee. We are careful to keep this initiative politically balanced. Our next trainee will be a Social Democrat from the Economic Affairs Committee. It will be very interesting to see what she can do later this spring.

The politicians will then meet in a debate at SwedenBIO Opinion on May 16 in Malmö. Read more at

For more pictures and comments from the day, check out Twitter under #lifescienceentrepreneursday. and @SwedenBIO

For more information:

Helena Strigård, Policy Manager SwedenBIO – 073 640 28 05

The industry organization SwedenBIO’s more than 230 member companies have a total of 20,000 employees who contribute in various ways to the development of new treatments to prevent and alleviate ill health. Members include companies that are active in drug development, biotechnology, medical devices and diagnostics or are experts in areas such as business development, financing, intellectual property and law.