The end of 2020 is fast approaching.  A year that will go down in history. We are all aware of the difficulties and negatives, so I’d like to put the spotlight on the positives and what has been achieved in the wake of the crisis. This has truly been the year where digital solutions in healthcare were not only discussed but became reality. And indeed, many healthtech startups got a well-deserved lift off in their aim to bring better health for all.  

At Sahlgrenska Science Park we talk a lot about how sector convergence is transforming healthcare. Taking learnings, experiences, and technologies from one sector, applying it in another has finally reached life science. It’s been amazing to follow some of the companies up close during the year on their quest to challenge and improve healthcare systems. We’ve seen Cuviva taking their first steps outside Sweden, signing an agreement with NHS in the UK. Gnosco, shortlisted for HSJ Award for their project on the Isle of Wight, helping to speed-up skin cancer diagnosis. PExA, awarded with this year’s Arvid Carlsson Award for their outstanding work enabling early diagnosis of lung disease, now hoping their method will be of help in the fight against covid-19. Detectivio develops a specialised version of their product in response to the pandemic, performing automatic screening for infection by contactless scanning of vital signs. To quote Stefan Malmberg, CEO of Detectivio; “Covid-19 meant that a lot of research and clinical validation had to stop. But for us it meant that we could start.” 

The list of examples where healthtech now proves its worth is of course by far much longer. As part of the Healthtech Nordic community with some 270+ startups, it feels incredibly meaningful to support these companies together with our eight Nordic partners, all contributing with their specific expertise under one common motto: Let’s change the world care.  

The burning issues with covid-19 has also been picked up by Inn2Health, a ground-breaking project aimed at tackling challenges defined by the healthcare providers and then matching these with problem solvers, innovators and researchers from a range of different sectors including gamification, smart textiles, urban development and more. Read about Inn2Health in the article below. 

Health Innovation West is another great example of collaboration. The formation of this new cluster organisation for West Swedish Life Science aims to facilitate international talent attraction, increased regional investments and interdisciplinary innovation. Behind the initiative stands a broad group of private and public organisations in the region and Sahlgrenska Science Park acts as project leader until the cluster organisation is fully up and running. More to come during 2021, but you can join the Health Innovation West LinkedIn group already now.   

On the theme of collaboration, many of our partners regionally, nationally and internationally have really spurred the progression of new innovations and ways of working during the year. A special call out to GoCo Health Innovation City for signing their first tenants and kicking off the construction work, the Swedish government for launching a dedicated national life science strategy, and to our sister park Lindholmen Science Park celebrating 20 years in business. Congratulations.

Back to Sector Convergence. I’d like to stress that this is really no longer a matter of if and when. It’s a matter of how it’s transforming Life Science and the business landscape as new companies emerge with disruptive business models. Someone asked if society can afford all these new solutions. For me it’s the other way around. The healthcare of tomorrow is personalised, digitalised and affordable. Sector Convergence was the theme of this year’s Park Annual and if you missed any of the sessions you may enjoy them on demand at any time.  

Thank you all for great collaborations during 2020 – wish you healthy holidays and a great new year!

Lotta and the Team @Sahlgrenska Science Park 

Charlotta Gummeson
Sahlgrenska Science Park