€365 million to be invested in Life Science cluster in Gothenburg
A major investment in a new arena for life science and innovation is planned beside AstraZeneca's R&D facility in Mölndal, Gothenburg. Within a few years 7,000 people will be working in an area full of business and collaboration.
Geely’s plans for a European innovation centre at Lindholmen is one the largest establishments that Gothenburg has seen. The planned facility concerns 80,000 square metres and will have space for 3,500 people.
But now Investors property company Vectura Fastigheter and the Gothenburg company Next Step have secured a large plot of land beside AstraZeneca’s facility in Mölndal. The seller is AstraZeneca. The investment volume concerns around SEK 3.5 billion (approximately EUR 365 million).
The new plans cover 100,000 square metres, and together with AstraZeneca’s current 2,500 employees there will be space for 7,000 people, in an area that will become one of the most research intensive in Sweden.
Construction is planned to begin already in 2019 with the first companies moving in in 2021. The property will be fully developed within 10 years.
The target group is companies within life science, and just like in Geely’s case, it’s about creating a cluster environment where different companies in the same branch are brought together. It strengthens the innovativeness of all involved.
The property at Mölndal will be filled with different companies, of various sizes, which at this stage haven’t signed contracts. The project is being presented at such an early stage that marketing towards potential tenants hasn’t yet started.
That Vectura Fastigheter is involved in the project has a strong symbolic value. The company is wholly owned by Investor and with a business idea that builds on long-term ownership. Investor is also one of AstraZeneca’s largest owners.
The facility in Mölndal is one of AstraZeneca’s three strategic research centres. Every year around 15 billion krona is spent here, of the group’s total research budget of nearly 50 billion krona.
“We continue to work with the development of our own facility here. The space we have is enough that we can grow powerfully,” says Jan Olof-Jacke, CEO/President of AstraZeneca operations in Sweden.
“We would gladly see businesses that we can collaborate with, and it won’t be enough to have the same address or work in the same sector. That in itself doesn’t create collaboration. It is important that we find ways for openness between companies.”
Even if AstraZeneca isn’t financially involved in the project, the investment is still strategically important for the pharmaceutical company. It also falls in line with the successful collaboration model AZ Bio Venture Hub where the City of Gothenburg via Business Region Göteborg is among the financiers.
“There aren't many investments or new establishments that reach these levels,” says Patrik Andersson, CEO at Business Region Göteborg.
“Life science is a major area of opportunity. But many of the new initiatives have been too small. Here we needed to put in more power, and now we can see that things are really happening,” he adds.
For the Gothenburg region and for Mölndal Municipality, the investment is of course important.
“This projects entails so much more than just a building with lots of office space. The vision is a research arena of the future. It will have a big impact on Sweden’s competitiveness,” says Marie Östh Karlsson, chair of Mölndal's municipal board.