It is election year in Sweden, and there has been much talk about the biotechnology industry and its great potential. There is good reason for that. With 200–300 biotech companies, Sweden has the fourth largest biotechnology industry in Europe and the largest number of biotechs per capita worldwide. The industry can build on the heritage of the pharmaceutical giants Astra and Pharmacia and on the availability of talented scientists.

Until last week, however, Sweden did not have an industrial body to speak for the biotechnology industry. In spring this year, seven of the country's largest biotech companies entered discussions on how to make a difference. Björn Nilsson, CEO of Karo Bio, says, "We discussed the challenges and needs facing individual companies and realised that we actually agreed on where we see a need for change." With the announcement of the formation of SwedenBIO last week, the industry has entered...

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