Following the record $ 320 million investment in life science infrastructure in the autumn budget, the Swedish Government has announced a major drive to attract and support both the best established and young scientists from Sweden and abroad.
Ola Bjorkman, CEO of Stockholm-Uppsala Life Sciences, explained the reasoning behind the initiative and its two main elements: “Sweden already has a significant cosmopolitan research community – for example, over 30% of PhD students at Karolinska Institutet are from overseas – bringing international insights and networks and thus complementing the country’s own talent pool. In such a global sector, we need to ensure this talent is not wasted. Firstly a special program with a funding level of $ 115 million over 4 years is being established to provide long-term funding to outstanding, established, international life scientists. Secondly, an additional $ 27 million over 4 years will be dedicated to a special fund supporting young, talented scientists. The latter addresses the problem that young researchers often find it difficult to secure such funding and start building their own independent research career.”
The moves are also welcomed by one of Sweden’s rising young life science stars, Karolinska Institutet Professor Thomas Helleday, who is directing translational research programmes at SciLifeLab. His groundbreaking work has already won him a string of young European research awards, generate huge funding and seen his team’s work described as ”Potentially the biggest breakthrough in cancer research for decades.” Helleday was previously an MRC Professor of Cancer Therapeutics at the University of Oxford and thus well positioned to compare the benefits of working for young researchers in Sweden with other countries.
”This is a great time to be working in the life sciences in Sweden. Not only is the funding great, also the environment and spirit in Sweden inspire to work in collaborative teams, which really helps to push the science to a higher level. The attitude I meet is often 'what can we do together?’. I believe the new funding and optimistic attitude in Sweden can attract more talent from abroad. In our own institute we offer young researchers highly competitive contracts matched by a great quality of life. “
Further backing for Helleday’s assertion about the quality of life in the region also came last week when fDi Magazine ranked the Greater Stockholm region as the Overall Winner of their European Cities and Regions of the Future 2012/13. The awards assess 253 European Cities and 110 European regions according to six categories: economic potential, human resources, cost effectiveness, quality of life, infrastructure, business friendliness and FDI promotion strategy.
For more information please contact: CEO, Ola Björkman, Stockholm-Uppsala Life Science +46 70 245 74 97
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