Medical Valley: how the Scandinavian “health pill” works and develops
Located in Denmark and Sweden, Medicon Valley is one of the largest biotechnology clusters in Europe, with R&D centers, private companies, and industrial companies involved in the development of the Life Sciences industry.
Geographically, the Medicon Valley is spread on both sides of the Sunda Strait, which separates Denmark and Sweden. The western part includes Copenhagen, and the eastern — the area of the Swedish city of Malmo. Today, the entire Medical Valley is 14,000 square kilometers, home to more than 3.5 million people, and every hundredth of its inhabitants is employed in the field of life sciences.
How Medicon Valley came into being
In the 80s and 90s of the 20th century, it became clear that Denmark was in dire need of new sources of income. The country didn’t have significant mineral deposits and depended on the foreign market. It was then that the idea arose to create an environment that would promote the development of the high-tech industry within the country and become competitive in the world.
Thus began the idea of creating a large-scale technology park that would combine academic science and industry and help create jobs. The strategy required significant investment in order for Denmark to compete with stronger market players, the United States, and Japan. Therefore, we had to look for partners, which eventually became neighbors — the Swedes.
In the mid-1990s, the representatives of Denmark and Sweden agreed with the business to create the Medicon Valley, taking as an analog Silicon Valley in California. And six years later, the Medical Valley Academy was founded, which addresses issues of cooperation between all players in the region.
Education and international partnership of giants and startups
There are 11 universities on both sides of the strait, five of which teach biomedical sciences. There are 150,000 students, a third of whom specialize in Life Sciences. They will provide staff for the growing biomedical companies in the region. Also, the Medico Valley is 33 clinics, 12 science parks, and incubators, six of which focus on the main focus of the project. The main strength of the Medical Valley is the win-win neighborhood: small companies with two to several dozen employees work side by side with pharmaceutical and biotech giants.
The main areas in which the Medical Valley is a leader in the world are new approaches in the treatment of cancer, diabetes, inflammation, and pathologies of the nervous system. The valley is divided into quarters, each of which specializes in the treatment of these diseases, and the development is based on an individual approach to treatment — a separate therapy and personal medication are developed for each patient.
The ecosystem expects that each year the number of resident companies will grow both due to the emergence of their new companies and due to the entry of global pharmaceutical and biotech giants. And these hopes are gradually being fulfilled: living and working in an environmentally friendly region with a record-low crime rate, surrounded by designer architecture — all these are unprecedented benefits offered to highly qualified professionals who choose the area of their residence.