International venture capital is finding its way back to Gothenburg and West Sweden. A record interest in the HealthTech Nordic Investor Forum in October is just one of several signs.
The new life science trend is creating business opportunities in many different areas of industry. This is evident in the survey report ‘The power of coaction – Life Science West Sweden 2018 – from Sahlgrenska Science Park.
“West Sweden has found it difficult to reach investment capital since so few investment companies have been represented here. But now this region is attractive for international capital,” says Carl-Peter Mattsson, head of investor relations at Sahlgrenska Science Park.
In October, the EU-funded project, HealthTech Nordic, organized an investor forum at Sahlgrenska Science Park. 22 investment funds met 14 selected Nordic startup companies. Chinese capital funds participated, as did major Nordic media and telecom groups interested in investing in health tech.
“This is an example of venture capital that was previously attracted to the technology sector, now discovering life science as an interesting investment opportunity,” says Carl Mattsson.
The trend is also evident in Sahlgrenska Science Park’s incubator. From 2016 to 2017, the capital invested in the various incubator companies doubled. In 2018, it seems as though there will be an increase of 200 percent.
Investments in real estate for life science activities are also lifting off rapidly. In the Gothenburg area, two major development projects have been initiated with a value of more than SEK 7 billion, according to Business Region Göteborg calculations.
Next to AstraZeneca in Mölndal, Next Step Group and Investor’s real estate company, Vectura, are developing a major innovation centre for life science (GoCo – Gothenburg CoValley). Around Sahlgrenska Science Park, planning is ongoing for an extensive development project (Sahlgrenska Life) including more spaces for healthcare, research, training and business.
In the report ‘The power of coaction,’ you can read about five key factors that are attracting capital to West Sweden:
- Many viable projects in the pipeline
The category that is now growing fastest is digital health – health tech. The region’s strengths in information and communication technology (ICT) are a major competitive advantage.
- Passionate commitment to life science
In West Sweden, there is a long tradition of successful collaboration between public bodies, the healthcare sector, academia and industry. There is a political commitment to life science that transcends party borders and is reflected in major public financial investments.
- Industrial ability and knowledge required to get things done
West Sweden is one of northern Europe’s strongest high-tech industrial regions. The business environment is characterised by a successful entrepreneurial tradition. The collaboration between industry and the healthcare sector has led to the development of a strong life science cluster.
- Access to qualified employees
With five universities and more than 80,000 students in the region, there is a solid recruitment base for the life science industry. Access to entrepreneurial programs in life science also creates good conditions.
- Short geographical distances
The physical proximity between areas of expertise is one of West Sweden’s biggest assets
You can download Sahlgrenska Science Park’s survey report here.
Learn more about the trends, facts and conclusions in the report here.
Text: Kenny Genborg