Courtesy of BioCon Valley

In the Middle Ages, the Hanseatic League, a free-trade alliance between cities situated along the shores of the Baltic Sea, built a major commercial center that enriched the participants. Today, the region's life sciences leaders have formed the ScanBalt organization with the same aims. Officially launched in 2002, ScanBalt encompasses the EU member states Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Germany; the EU candidate countries Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland; and Norway, Iceland, and Northwest Russia.

The countries to the west of the Baltic Sea are home to some of the most successful biotech clusters in Europe, with sophisticated laboratory facilities and an extensive community of biotech companies. The countries to the east offer a cheap infrastructure, a highly educated workforce, and a relatively positive public attitude towards biotechnology. Sixty-three universities and more than 700 biotech-related companies are based in the Baltic Sea region.

ScanBalt also incorporates two...

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