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The area of microbiome research is booming and Medicon Valley is very much a part of that growth of research, talent attraction and investments.
The Microbiome Signature Project is coming to its close after three years of attracting foreign talent, researchers and companies to the region, and promoting Medicon Valley as the central life-science region in Europe when it comes to microbiome research.
At a well-attended event on 7 June in Copenhagen the results of the project were presented, including a mapping of microbiome-related activities in the region, a report on scientific publications, establishments of foreign companies and a talent attraction campaign.
The mapping of microbiome activities conducted within the project has revealed Medicon Valley’s very broad set of microbiome research and how well that compares with other microbiome clusters. In the welcoming speech, Ulrika Ringdahl, Managing Director Invest in Skåne puts the finger on the heart of the matter:
I didn’t know how strong we are in the microbiome. We can compare with the biggest hot spots in the world.”
One of the key functions for the Microbiome Signature Project is to fuel the development within microbiome regarding networking, collaborations, and increasing awareness of all the activities that are going on.
It’s inspiring to see how much has been happening in the past three years,” says Nikolaj Lubanski, COO Copenhagen Capacity.
Anette Steenberg, CEO Medicon Valley Alliance points out that Medicon Valley has an extensive approach to the microbiome where academia, industry and government are involved.
We have a fantastic stronghold. Here is a strong triple helix engagement towards the microbiome across various segments. This is the beginning of an amazing collaboration,” she says.
Sarah Lidé, Senior Strategy & Project Manager Medicon Valley Alliance presented the key take aways from a recent analysis of microbiome-related research activity in Medicon Valley. In Medicon Valley, 57 percent of all microbiome-related research publications were published in the last three years. A similar trend applies globally.
The analysis shows that Medicon Valley has a strong position when it comes to quantity, quality and productivity of microbiome research compared to six other clusters with Boston as the leading example. When looking at segments, Medicon Valley has a very strong position in the established areas of gut microbiome and metabolic disease, but also in some emerging areas such as oral microbiome, women’s health, skin microbiome and environmental microbiotics.
Camilla Münter, Investment Manager Copenhagen Capacity, and Micael Györei, Senior Investment Advisor Invest in Skåne, presented two of the four company establishments made in the past three years, Viramal and Enbiosis Biotechnology. Ömer Özkan, CEO and co-founder Enbiosis Biotechnology didn’t have Medicon Valley on the map from the start, but got convinced when Camilla introduced him to the region.
Medicon Valley is a melting pot for multi-disciplinary industries,” he says.
There are several career opportunities for foreign talent in the Medicon Valley region, says Dan Rosenberg, Strategy & Talent Acquisition Lead Copenhagen Capacity. The unemployment rate is extremely low in Denmark and Sweden in the life science sector. Albert Palleja Caro, Bioinformatics Specialist, Clinical Microbiomics moved here from Spain.
The proximity among collaborators and the flat organisational structure are advantages here. I get to talk to professors and experts in a direct and accessible way,” he says.
Another benefit with moving here is the quality of life. “The good work-life balance is at the top,” says Francesca Lanuza, EMEA & Global Regulatory Affairs Manager Johnson & Johnson who transferred from Singapore.
When I came here, I saw how productive people are 8-5. There is no expectation to be online beyond normal work hours so everyone disconnects afterwards and enjoys his or her personal time. That was refreshing! Before I moved here, I was always busy working late nights. The lifestyle is unique for this region,” she says.