Andreas Lindberg and Lisandro Bernardo from UBI are pleased with the response to Open up for Innovation. “We hoped for 50 participants, now we have double! We hope this will lead to a win-win for science, industry, and ultimately society”.

Umeå Biotech Incubator (UBI) is inviting academic researchers and life science companies to meet and collaborate at its new ‘Open up for Innovation’ event on the 27th of February.
“We have world-class research being conducted at Umeå University and internationally successful companies based in town. Now we’re gathering 100 bright minds under one roof to stimulate innovation”, says Andreas Lindberg and Lisandro Bernardo, business coaches at UBI and initiators of the event. 

UBI has long pushed for increased knowledge exchange between academia and the life science industry. The idea for ‘Open up for Innovation’ was born while Andreas Lindberg listened to Professor Chas Bountra speaking at the University of Oxford in England. He explained that it is relatively common in the USA to switch careers between academia and the life science industry, allowing knowledge to be quickly transformed into valuable innovations.

“We have all the tools and opportunities in Umeå to create the same climate. The life science research at the university is filled with interdisciplinary collaborations, while the life science industry in Umeå is characterized by its generous ‘pay-it-forward’ culture. Now we want to open up the dialogue between academia and the city’s life science industry even further”, says Andreas.

Hope to spark fruitful collaborations
Around 100 participants are expected to attend the inaugural ‘Open up for Innovation’ event on February 27th, where researchers from Umeå University, Region Västerbotten, and representatives of the city’s life science industry will have the opportunity to highlight their work and discuss future collaborative research and innovations.

“We are delighted by the huge response. The academia will showcase their research expertise and infrastructure within Life Science while the industry will share what is important in their field, and present their interests and needs for upcoming innovations. We hope that this event will spark fruitful collaborations that nurture groundbreaking advancements, creating a win-win for science, industry, and ultimately, society”, says Lisandro.

Sweden BIO’s CEO Jessica Martinsson will also attend the event. Sweden BIO is the national industry organization for life science in Sweden.

“We’re thrilled to have her join us! Sweden BIO’s broad national perspective of the life science industry will be valuable to the discussion. Our former CEO Jennie Ekbeck, who will act as moderator, will surely contribute with her unique insights and experience to the event.”

Co-organized with CU4LS and the Innovation Office
The idea is that ‘Open up for Innovation’, which is a part of UBI’s regional development project ‘Life Science City’, will become an annual event. It is being organized together with the Innovation Office at Umeå University and Coalition Umeå 4 Life Science (CU4LS) – a network for life science academic centers and research infrastructure in Umeå. CU4LS is helping to make research more visible and promote interdisciplinary collaborations.

“We look forward to developing this event even further”, says Andreas and Lisandro:

“Strong academic research is a prerequisite for innovation, and innovation is key to continued growth for life science in Umeå. The city’s life science industry today employs around 1,200 people, and the goal is to grow that number to 2,000 employees by 2030. Our hope is that this event is another small piece in the puzzle for continued growth!”.