1st of April 2019 the European Medicines Agency (EMA)will open in a new location outside the UK following Brexit. As of the 1st of August 2017, nineteen different cities in Europe are in the run to host the EMA. The Stockholm-Uppsala region is one of them, and the innovative climate and entrepreneurial vibe is considered a major strength in Sweden’s offer #ematosweden.

Sweden’s offer to host the EMA from 2019 is a strong candidate. The bid relies heavily on Sweden’s good international ratings, high quality of life and education and a strong labor market. In addition the future proximity to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), already situated in Stockholm, is highlighted as a great opportunity for effective collaboration and synergies between the agencies.

EMA in Sweden – a chance to boost pharma in Europe

One of the strengths highlighted in the bid is Sweden’s innovative culture, our start-up scene, and the innovation support system that allows creativity to be coached into global businesses. Sweden is rated number one country for innovation in the European Innovation Scoreboard 2017 and Stockholm has the world’s second highest count of unicorns per capita – surpassed only by Silicon Valley. In the official application, the Swedish government writes;

“The start-up ecosystem also offers a strong support network with experienced and well-established incubators, accelerators and co-working spaces specialising in everything from ICT, fintech and gaming to life science and social innovations.”

Sweden is a true entrepreneurial society with a history as one of the leading life-science nations worldwide. The innovative powers in Sweden are partly due to a non-hierarchical business culture. Therefore, the EU’s leaders now have a grand opportunity to tap into this unique resource to benefit the entire pharmaceutical industry in Europé.

Umeå Väven Johan Gunséus


Umeå a northern source of skill and expertise

Together with the Swedish government and organisations as SwedenBIO (eng. website) and Swelife (eng. website), the life science cluster in Umeå we are one hundred percent committed backer to the Swedish offer to host the EMA.

As a highly specialised innovation stakeholder – Umeå Biotech Incubator already host a diverse and multicultural group of entrepreneurs and researchers in the field. We hope they will soon be able to welcome over 800 new branch colleagues to Sweden and create new networks and collaborations.

Situated right next to Umeå University – home to one of the most innovative and progressive medical faculties in Europe – we work with cutting edge science and research talent. Umeå university is where the now world-famous Emmanuelle Charpentier made the ground-breaking discoveries behind the “genetic scissor tool” CRISPR-Cas9.

Prime location that combines quality and equality

It is not hard to see that EMA placed in Sweden would give the European Union a great advantage. Access to the growing innovative community of start-ups and scale-ups in Scandinavia in combination with the progressive work culture could potentially reposition the European Union as a prime location for health care and pharmaceutical development in this globally competitive area.

High quality operations and a well-known patient safety culture would provide the EMA with the best combination for developing future medicines and treatments that would benefit all Europe’s Citizens – and in the long run – patients worldwide.

Related links #ematosweden
Read the full application here – “The Swedish Offer to host the EMA” (pdf)

Check out the website – #ematosweden (web link)

See the pitch film directly – (Youtube clip, 3:01 min)

Here is the full list of competing offers to host the EMA – (applications from all 19 cities)

Photos from top:

  • Emmanuelle Charpentier during her time at Umeå University. Photo courtesy of Umeå University media database.
  • Fredrik Almqvist, professor at Umeå University with passion for antibiotics development, and serial entrepreneur. Photo: Umeå University
  • Umeå by night, with architechtural icon “Väven” and the city centre right by the Ume river. Photo by Jonas Gunséus
  • Stockholm in late summer. Water view from Grand Hotell. Photo by Carolina Hawranek.