Jennie Ekbeck, CEO Umeå Biotech Incubator
Umeå Biotech

Successful projects with high potential for patient benefit gives Umeå Biotech Incubator renewed confidence from the Erling-Persson Family Foundation.

Umeå Biotech Incubator has been awarded a second grant from the Erling-Persson Family Foundation, this time consisiting of 17 million SEK. The previous funding gave good results as the incubator’s start-ups attracted 200 percent more external capital in 2015 than the year before. Now the foundation extends the cooperation with the incubator for another three years.

The Erling-Persson Family Foundation has supported Umeå Biotech Incubator (UBI) since 2014. The collaboration has enabled UBI to offer researchers and innovators financing for applied research activities and verification of medical innovations.
– This is of of our strengths – that our in-house projects can focus on testing and validating their ideas and not dwell on the practical issues, says UBI’s CEO Jennie Ekbeck.

Successful track record made new grant possible

Every year, the incubator evaluates around 25-30 ideas, but only the most promising are admitted to the incubator programme. UBI accepts ideas from all over Sweden, with the aim to usher medical discoveries into successful life science businesses in order to create real value and contribute to better health in society.

This overall aim is well in line with the goals set by the Erling Persson Family Foundation. The financier supports, among other things, biomedical research, and gives priority to projects that aim at applying health research to meet needs of people and patients.

– The Foundation has followed UBI’s activities in recent years and have seen how academic discoveries have successfully been guided from the idea stage towards a future, where they, for example, may offer patients better diagnosis, more effective rehabilitation or new drugs. For these reasons, the decision to continue our support was easy to make, says Ylva Linderson, research officer for the Erling-Persson Family Foundation.

The ambition is to quintuple capital

During the previous grant period, UBI received 15 million SEK, which has been used to finance research activities in the early projects within the incubator. Along with UBI’s experts in various fields and their large network the incubator start-ups succeeded in raising 26 million in venture capital between 2014 and 2015. The new grant amounts to nearly 17.5 million, also spread out over three years.

– It is great news that our collaboration continues to 2019. Thanks to the funds, our in-house projects receive valuable support and the financier gets great results from their investment, a set-up that benefits all parties, says Jennie Ekbeck.

But despite the successes Jennie Ekbeck’s ambitions reach much higher.
– Our goal is that the applied research funds should provide leverage and result in a five-fold increase in invested capital to the future companies, she says.

Text: Carolina Hawranek
Photopraphy: Johan Gunséus