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By Jamie Smith - 1 Sep 2016
New innovation model to create more life-science companies in Sweden

The Swedish government has commissioned Vinnova to develop a new model whereby innovation in established companies will be used to create new growth companies in the life sciences.

A pilot is being set up in collaboration with AstraZeneca.

The new model will make it possible to breathe life into projects and innovations that established companies, for various reasons, have decided not to commercialize, but which are considered to have such great value that they can provide the basis for new businesses and consequently new jobs.

The project, which is part of the Swedish government's collaboration program for the life sciences, is split into two phases and runs over 12 months. The first phase is about establishing frameworks and processes. In the project's next phase, a pilot is planned to ensure the model's relevance and attractiveness. This includes co-financing from Swedish and international investors.

AstraZeneca will contribute two projects to the pilot initiative. These will be used to validate the innovation model. The idea is that the model could in the future be applied by other major companies in other industries.

The initiative has a total budget of SEK 19 million, of which VINNOVA is providing SEK 10 million. The remaining funding will be provided by AstraZeneca and the investors.

"To meet the societal challenges in the health sector, it is important that good ideas get the opportunity to develop to the benefit of society. We look forward to working with industry, and with Swedish and international investors, to develop an innovative innovation model that recycles great ideas and strengthens Sweden's competitiveness through exciting new companies," says Jenni Nordborg, director and head of health at Vinnova.

"In a company like AstraZeneca, our whole business concept is based on creating value from innovation processes. We are proud to collaborate with Vinnova on this important project and to be able to share our knowledge, experience and projects to build a model that contributes to better health and to strengthen Sweden's position in research, development and international competitiveness," says Magnus Björsne, CEO of AstraZeneca BioVentureHub.

Related links (in Swedish)

- Vinnova press release: New innovation model to create more life-science companies in Sweden 

Vinnova is Sweden’s innovation agency - promoting sustainable growth by improving the conditions for innovation and by funding needs-driven research. Vinnova promotes collaborations between companies, universities, research institutes and the public sector. This is done by stimulating a greater use of research, by making long-term investment in strong research and innovation environments and by developing catalytic meeting places. Our activities also focus on strengthening international cooperation