SwedenBIO hits 300 members!

Finally, we get to ring the bell at the SwedenBIO office for member nr 300. Sliding in right after Agrisera Biotech, an ultimate example of homegrown Swedish biotech based in Vännäs, the jubilar nr 300 is no less than big pharma company Boehringer Ingelheim. Head quartered in Germany and with sites all over the world, their country manager for Sweden, Amy Arthur, have chosen to bring this big pharma into the community of Swedish Life Sciences.

Photo: Johan Stillman, TTV Media

Your company’s slogan is ’Value Through Innovation’. What is your expectation on the value that a membership in SwedenBIO could bring to Boehringer Ingelheim?

I made a commitment to our team that I would bring in several opportunities to inspire them with innovation every year. The Nordics and especially Sweden is a hotbed of innovation with a huge focus on health giving us lots of opportunities. I see our relationship with SwedenBio really strengthening this by finding partnerships to focus on improving patient care pathways in rare diseases as well as enhancing Sweden’s position as a leader in clinical research and real world evidence using digital advancements.

The majority of our members are small and medium sized companies, thus reflecting Swedish life science industry overall. When big companies join us, they often take on the role as big sister/brother, sharing knowledge and sometimes functioning as a first customer. What kind of exchanges do you foresee that you will have as a big sis in this community?

We look forward to connecting with companies from many different backgrounds and sizes through the great networking opportunities that SwedenBio provide. At Boehringer Ingelheim Sweden we work as part of a region including the Nordic countries, Benelux, Greece and Portugal. This enhances cross collaborations across the Nordic lifescience ecosystem and beyond as we really understand where the opportunities for synergies are, whilst respecting the significant differences between the countries. We have a partnership with Google on quantum computing and a project using Swedish registries to enhance global clinical trial design by using algorithms to apply the data to different populations. We also have collaborations in our other Nordic offices, for example, with Helsinki university.

The innovative power is strong in Swedish Life Sciences, as you said, and even big sisters can learn from their younger, smaller and sometimes faster siblings. Are you looking forward to be challenged? What do you think that you and your colleagues could learn from local start ups, micro companies and SMEs?

Yes, I welcome to be challenged! I am sure they could give us some tips on how to engage better with patients in compliant and agile ways. The patient’s perspective is always very important. We are very open to co-create partnerships on areas of common ground and I am always inspired by a growth mindset.

So far this year, we grew by 30 companies and organisations. Do you see this trend to become part of a community and build stronger B2B relations globally, in the other countries where Boehringer Ingelheim is present, or is it a Swedish phenomenon?

I think building partnerships is a global phenomenon but Sweden and SwedenBio does seem to excel in creating opportunities and understanding synergies to create partnerships. I am also glad to see the public healthcare community are more open and more willing to co-create initiatives where the patient is the big winner. Maybe because some stigmas have been removed about working with the lifescience industry?

I think that you are on to something. Thank you Amy and again, welcome to the community.