ACTION visits Sweden

June 05, 2019

ACTION traveled to Sweden in May to re-ignite existing, and forge new relationships with cleantech and medtech organizations based there. Cleantech Scandinavia, based in Lund, is the leading promoter of sustainable innovation in the Nordic and Baltic markets. The organization held the 8th edition of its Nordic Cleantech Open Finals in Stockholm. At the Finals, 10 semifinalists pitched to an audience of investors, industrial partners and other organizations, and the top three companies were announced. The event was held at Munchenbryggeriet, a former German brewery which brewed beer on the site from 1857-1971. The beautifully restored building is now a popular event venue, offering a fully sustainable meeting place.

A trip to Lund, Sweden followed, with a visit to Medicon Village, the new home of Cleantech Scandinavia and current home of MultiHelix. Medicon Village is located at a former AstraZeneca site in Lund, redeveloped to drive the healthtech economy in the region after AstraZeneca vacated the site. It's overarching mission is to provide a unique environment for life science by integrating research, innovation and industry under one roof, thereby helping to improve people’s health and lives. Lund University moved 200 cancer researchers to Medicon Village which was well-equipped with labs and state-of-the art instrumentation. Today Medicon Village boasts over 120 member organizations with over 1600 employees, and continues its growth with the construction of a new research hospital, R&D facilities, and business space.

ACTION visited with the founder of Multihelix, a collaborative network of stakeholders supporting the life science, ICT and functional food sectors. Twins' International MultiHelix (TIM), an initiative of MultiHelix, is focused on bringing together international superclusters of life science and cleantech organizations to collaborate at the global level.

Ideon Innovation, founded in 2001 and located in the Ideon Science Park, adjacent to Medicon Village was the next stop. Ideon is a mixed use incubator and currently supports around 30 seed-stage companies with mentoring, pitch and sales coaching, and business resources to help the startups scale and reach international markets. We had an interesting discussion on the similarities and differences in the way US and Swedish incubators support their resident startup companies, noting different cultures, policy, and social structures.