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New milestone for world-class Swedish life science cluster

In May 2023, Sweden's innovation agency Vinnova together with an industry consortium, decided to invest 160 million SEK in the innovation platform at GoCo Health Innovation City to give Sweden a world-leading role in life science, located in Mölndal outside Gothenburg.

Just eight months later, construction is now starting on GoCo Active Lab where research into new drugs and therapies will be combined with a unique approach to accelerate development in preventive healthcare. This is celebrated with a major event on January 25th together with the most interesting actors in health.

- We see that the future in urban development involves combination buildings. GoCo Active Lab is a fusion of modern lab spaces, future training, and conference environments, where we offer food experiences and meeting places for the industry where ideas and knowledge can be exchanged, says Jacob Torell, CEO of GoCo Health Innovation City, which with the new establishment physically connects to AstraZeneca's research facility.

- It feels very pleasing for us that the next major step is now being taken to further strengthen Sweden's life science cluster and increase our competitiveness. That GoCo Health Innovation City is getting closer to AstraZeneca means that together we improve the conditions for innovative collaborations that can lead to future treatments and medicines, says Anders Holmén, VP Head Pharmaceutical Sciences at AstraZeneca.

GoCo Active Lab's state-of-the-art laboratories will be the base for CCRM Nordic, a national center focusing on the development and production of advanced medicines that provide groundbreaking opportunities for the treatment of diseases that have not been cured so far. CCRM Nordic is a non-for-profit company backed by an industry consortium consisting of AstraZeneca, CombiGene, Cytiva, Getinge, GoCo Health Innovation City, Takara Bio Europe, BICO, Verigraft and CCRM Canada. The building will also be a research arena for several major players such as Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Chalmers and the University of Gothenburg.

- In Western Sweden, there is a very strong collaboration between healthcare, academia and business. Sahlgrenska University Hospital is the best in the country in clinical research according to the Swedish Research Council's evaluation and a given partner to GoCo and other actors in the life science area. We work together with relevant partners for a health-promoting, preventive and proactive approach where the individual can be a co-creator in their own care and health. Close collaboration is key to achieving our goal of becoming Europe's leading university hospital, says Boubou Hallberg, Hospital Director at Sahlgrenska University Hospital.

- This is an exciting and important investment. We look forward to even better conditions for research and innovation in preventive health and advanced therapies, but also see opportunities for our students. With the investment, we strengthen life science in the region, says Professor Jenny Nyström, Dean at Sahlgrenska Academy, the medical faculty at the University of Gothenburg.

The second part of the center consists of the Active concept where new findings in sports medicine, mental health and nutrition are combined with resources for training and rehab for both elite athletes and the general public. A key person in the investment is the hockey legend Henrik Lundquist, who is one of the owners. The goal is to contribute to better public health by creating bridges between elite, general sports and the latest research.

Mats Börjesson, cardiologist, national team doctor for the Swedish women's national football team and professor of sports physiology at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, is also involved in this part.

- Collecting existing competence from us at Sahlgrenska Academy, the rest of the university, Chalmers and Sahlgrenska University Hospital, sports and business in one place will provide fantastic opportunities for both collaboration and new research. This will benefit both sports and public health, says Mats Börjesson.

Collaboration across borders is the core of the entire GoCo Health Innovation City, and the current GoCo Active Lab is a clear example of the triple helix model as a lever for innovation in Swedish life science. The interaction between the public sector, business and academia is key to solving complex health challenges and attracting cutting-edge expertise for world-leading research and development in Sweden.

- Chalmers sees unique opportunities to combine cutting-edge research and disruptive commercialization at GoCo. For example, Chalmers Precision HealthTech Hub will be able to grow in close interaction with, among others, Sahlgrenska Academy and Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Astra Zeneca, the CCRM initiative and startups, says Mats Lundquist, vice rector at Chalmers.

The multi-facility GoCo Active Lab is designed by the world-leading American architectural firm SHoP, which among other things has designed the headquarters for Google and YouTube.

- We are very proud and pleased that we get to move into a building that meets our needs for advanced labs and at the same time provides us with an opportunity for collaboration, innovation and focus on people's health. This is completely in line with what we stand for and gives us the right conditions for successfully contributing to the development of future drugs, says Fredrik Wessberg, CEO of CCRM Nordic.

Parallel to the development of GoCo Active Lab, the district is growing rapidly with more operations. Already today, over 70 actors have moved in. Among these are the diagnostic company Fujirebio Diagnostics, the medtech company Xvivo Perfusion, the specialist clinic Atleva for hand and foot surgery, the research-oriented elderly home Norlandia, the women's clinic Akleja and the biotech company Ribocure - and at the beginning of 2025, Mölnlycke Healthcare will move its headquarters to the site.

- We love collaborations and welcome more researchers and innovative companies that contribute to making Sweden a global benchmark for future medical research and healthcare, says Marie Uddenmyr, Director Corporate Relations at GoCo Health Innovation City.

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