Tina Verolin discusses the opportunities of public funding for life sciences and health tech actors in Sweden and beyond

We had the pleasure to talk to our Senior Consultant Tina Verolin, who joined our Gothenburg office in August to strengthen our funding services in the Health Tech team. Her journey through academia, research, and the corporate world has equipped her with a unique perspective and invaluable expertise in the field of health tech, life sciences and public funding.

 Our new colleague Tina Verolin is a true health domain professional with academic background in immunology and molecular biology. Her work experience brings to the table innovation management and public funding for life sciences and health tech sectors. Furthermore, she brings a wealth of knowledge and a vast network to her role at Spinverse. Based at Spinverse Sweden in Gothenburg, Tina’s deep understanding of the innovation ecosystem in West Sweden and on national level brings valuable insights to our innovative health domain clients in Sweden and beyond.

West Sweden is an exciting area for life sciences and health tech

According to Tina, the life sciences and health tech domain in Sweden, and particularly in West Sweden, is experiencing rapid growth. GoCo Health Innovation City, located south of Gothenburg, is being developed into a world-class health innovation cluster. It will host a range of actors, from large corporations to small SMEs, all working together with possibilities to meet in open co-working spaces.

The region also boasts the AstraZeneca BioVentureHub, where SMEs are invited to share ideas and leverage each other's competencies. Other notable establishments in the area include the OligoNova Hub of SciLifeLab, an infrastructure for therapeutic oligonucleotides, and the new national centre for accelerating Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMP) to be established in the upcoming years.

In addition to these, West Sweden is home to the University of Gothenburg, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Chalmers School of Technology, and a mobility cluster with actors like Volvo and MobilityXLab, among others. This unique blend of institutions and companies is driving AI development and making West Sweden an exciting arena for life sciences and health tech.

However, fostering collaboration and data sharing among these diverse actors presents a challenge. According to Tina, true innovation happens when these actors can work across their fields of expertise.

Funding for pharmaceutical drugs and health tech innovations

When we asked about the role of public funding in this ecosystem, Tina emphasized that the development of pharmaceutical drugs and health tech innovations often requires substantial time and financial resources. Transitioning from publicly funded academic research to a scale-up company with secured funding can be a daunting task.

Although for example Vinnova, Sweden’s Innovation Agency, offers public funding and incubators connected to the universities provide support and sometimes initial investments, this is far from enough. A report earlier this year came to the conclusion that there is very little venture capital for early deep tech innovations in Sweden. Further, for really early innovations, venture capital is usually not the best way, public funding is needed in the first stages to be able to focus on developing the technology. In such cases, EU funding can be a solution. However, the process to apply and coordinate an EU-funded project appears complicated and time consuming to many researchers. Sweden also has relatively few EU grants every year, and even fewer EU projects are coordinated from Sweden.

Allow Spinverse experts support you in identifying the right funding for you!

Public funding, particularly EU funding, can play a pivotal role in maturing ideas and innovations to a level where they can secure investment. It can also help expand networks and leverage results when the best impact of an innovation is through open access and public awareness.

Spinverse can assist in this process, building consortia for large EU calls that will enable these new innovations to move forward and make a real impact in our society. Spinverse's role is to help researchers, innovators, entrepreneurs and companies secure the funding they need to focus on their work.

In conclusion, Tina stressed the need for Sweden to increase its share of EU funding and the number of projects coordinated by Swedish partners. Many may get overwhelmed by the process of setting up consortia and writing applications, and this is where Spinverse's expertise can make a real difference.

Would you like to learn more about the funding opportunities for the life sciences and health tech domain? Contact us today!  

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