Sweden is fast becoming an established hub for life sciences and biotech. As well as being the birthplace of groundbreaking scientific discoveries, Sweden – led by capital city Stockholm – is now one of the epicentres of life sciences in Europe.  

Stockholm continues to be a city with unique digital technology capabilities. High innovation biotech capacity, world-leading universities and public and private collaboration combine creating a propitious and innovative environment for life sciences companies and research facilities.  

As home to more than 1,000 companies across the industry, Stockholm is currently responsible for employing over 40,000 people, making it a significant and burgeoning driver of the economy.  

When it comes to life sciences, Stockholm has an established and sophisticated ecosystem. Currently experiencing a sustained period of growth. the biotech sector in Sweden, and Stockholm in particular, continues to attract highly skilled professionals, innovators and business leaders.  

In 2023, Sciety and the network Sciety Venture Partners further showcased the strength of the life sciences industry in Stockholm by investing SEK 68 million in the Swedish radioimmunotherapy company Akiram Therapeutic, a leading global biotech company.

With continued investment and sustained sector growth, the draw for life science companies to invest in Stockholm continues apace.

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Research and development making Stockholm a life sciences leader 

As global health challenges continue to emerge, the need for solutions becomes increasingly critical. When considering where to start a business in biotech, Stockholm remains a strong draw.  

Numerous cutting-edge research and development facilities combined with capacious manufacturing capabilities offer existing infrastructures and a wealth of collaboration opportunities for potential business start-ups in the field.  

Life sciences clusters in Stockholm (alongside a strong sector presence in Gothenburg) include major investors and leading industry names, with more than 50% of Sweden’s life science industry to be found in the area.  

Pfizer, Astra-Zeneca, Johnson & Johnson and GE Healthcare are just some of the established names with significant Sweden-based biotech operations.  

Collaborative initiatives enhancing Stockholm landscape 

One of the major strengths of the Swedish biotech industry is the continued collaboration between companies, research facilities and academic institutions.   

About 20% of researchers in Sweden are employed directly within the biotech industry, often working in tandem with universities renowned for their life sciences work. These institutions include Karolinska Institute and Lund University. 

In addition, starting a biotech company in Stockholm offers the advantages and benefits that are derived from significant government and private sector support.  

When considering Stockholm as a location for a life sciences business, the funding that is available from government agencies and business developers can be an important factor for potential investors.  

Having a collaborative and well-financed environment driven by innovation is a key driver in the success of the life sciences sector in the Swedish capital.  

Supported by the government’s strategic innovation programmes, research facilities and companies are working together to produce ongoing biotech advancements and further grow the sector in Stockholm and across Sweden. 

Stockholm life sciences ecosystem encouraging new business opportunities 

Home to the leading life science and biotech cluster in Sweden, the Stockholm-Uppsala region is both established and growing.  

Encouraging new business across the pillars of the life sciences, medical technology, biotech and pharmaceuticals, it is renowned as one of the most innovative and productive areas in the global life science community.   

Strengthening its ability to attract new business and make it a good place to start a biotech of life sciences company is the existing ecosystem that is constantly enhanced by the previously mentioned environment of collaboration.  

Boasting four of the top universities in Sweden – Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm University and Uppsala University – this ecosystem is ideal for new businesses looking for existing networks for life sciences.  

Science parks focus on innovation in Stockholm 

Across Sweden, with many in Stockholm, there are currently about 30 testbeds and science parks.  

Each of these facilities is focused on a range of advanced biotech manufacturing, including pharmaceutical development, 3D bioprinting, medtech, advanced digital health solutions, regenerative medicine and precision medicine.  

When considering starting a biotech or life sciences company, Stockholm provides potential investors or innovators with a highly advanced digital infrastructure.  

It is this biotech ecosystem that continues to produce and invent digital health solutions for both domestic and global distribution and further enhancing the life sciences in Stockholm.  

Information, Data and Statistics from Statista, Globalisation and World Cities Research Network, Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, Business Sweden and Life Science Sweden.