COLLABORATION. With applause and gold confetti, GoCo House — the heart of GoCo Health Innovation City — has now been inaugurated. Simultaneously, Vinnova publicly announced a multimillion-krona investment in an innovation cluster for advanced pharmaceuticals based at GoCo Lab, the ultramodern laboratory to be set up locally.
The opening event was held on site at GoCo House, adjacent to AstraZeneca’s science center in Gothenburg, in bright sunshine. The nearly 800 invitees contributed to the festive atmosphere. Staff from Sahlgrenska Academy, a founding partner in GoCo Arena, were among the guests and speakers invited.
“The GoCo House inauguration is a thrilling event, but also one that’s highly significant. It symbolizes the Faculty of Medicine’s solid tradition of collaboration with health care, industry, and the business sector. With this joint platform, the tradition can now become even stronger,” says Dean Agneta Holmäng, who represented the University of Gothenburg and Sahlgrenska Academy at the opening.
Interviews with several prominent Swedish and international business leaders, such as Carl Bennet, Leif Johansson, and Marcus Wallenberg, were held during the inauguration. Topics addressed by Pascal Soriot, AstraZeneca’s Executive Director and CEO, included how the drugs of the future will require even more extensive collaboration among multiple businesses, health care organizations and academia. Professor Claes Gustafsson also took part in one of the panels, providing an overview of development in the OligoNova Hub (a drug development unit focusing on oligonucleotides), another key center of the life science sector in West Sweden.
National innovation cluster
At the opening, Sweden’s innovation agency Vinnova made the pleasing announcement that the innovation cluster in advanced pharmaceuticals created on behalf of the Government will have its base at GoCo Lab within GoCo Health Innovation City.
The Center for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM), part of Sweden’s national infrastructure, will provide better scope for development, production and commercialization of gene, cell, and tissue therapies. Stakeholders from the academic, industrial and health care sectors will be able to access the innovation cluster at GoCo.
“Vinnova’s announcement, made on the same day as the GoCo House opening, is hugely gratifying. This investment, along with OligoNova, represents a major boost to our research and the various parties’ opportunities for cooperation,” says Agneta Holmäng.
The innovation cluster is headed by an industry consortium, CCRM Nordic AB, comprising AstraZeneca, CombiGene, Cytiva Sweden, Cytiva Testa Center, Getinge, GoCo Development, Takara Bio Europe, TATAA Biocenter, and Verigraft. A total of SEK 160 million will be invested over the next two years. The business sector and the Swedish state will contribute half each, while Vinnova is to provide research funding of SEK 25m in 2023 and SEK 55m in 2024.
CCRM will form part of the infrastructure of GoCo Lab, the laboratory that GoCo Health Innovation City is now ready to establish. The Lab will spearhead international research at the very forefront of the pharmaceutical industry.
The multimillion investment in GoCo Lab is integral to GoCo Health Innovation City, the fast-growing life science cluster adjacent to AstraZeneca’s facility in Mölndal. GoCo Health Innovation City is expanding with the objective of becoming a unique urban district for employees and researchers belonging to this global trailblazer of the life sciences.
BY: ELIN LINDSTRÖM
PHOTO: PETRA BJÖRSTAD