Denmark’s Stronghold in the Life Sciences
Restructuring and growth set the tone for Danish and Swedish life science, particularly in the Medicon Valley region that crosses Øresund. In recent years, the supporting structure for the life sciences, which is both innovative and promotes exportation, has undergone important developments.
The conditions are ripe for the life sciences to become a sector with a stabilising effect through the next recession. In fact, employment and job security in Medicon Valley is on the rise. The latest statistical evidence (2017) shows that there were 44.000 employees in Medicon Valley.
Its main life science municipality is Gladsaxe, where 8.600 citizens are currently employed in the industry. This is home to Novo Nordisk’s headquarters and large facilities, as well as its sister company, Novozymes. The second largest municipality is Copenhagen, where there are 6.400 employees in companies including H. Lundbeck, Ferring Pharmaceuticals, and Genmab. Closely following Copenhagen – with 6.000 employees – is Ballerup, where the headquarters for Leo Pharma and Novo Nordisk facilities are located.
Regarded as a life science hub, Ballerup’s ambition is to attract more companies to their ecosystem. The aim is for it to grow continuously and to tap into the federal government’s ambitions for the entire Danish landscape. According to Jette Margrethe Rau, director of business development in Ballerup Municipality:
“The last bit of land will be established as a new business and residential area, where we want to attract different kinds of co-working spaces and lab facilities. There will be a co-existence with universities and venture capital with this particular focus. We want to recruit start-ups and SMEs globally, in cooporation with med- and biotech companies and accelerator programs, and to provide close access to the ecosystem for investors.”
Rau points out that there are already highly qualified personnel in the area, and that this is valuable for both the labour force and networking efforts: “With all the bridging work that will take place in the years to come, now is the time for companies to move to Ballerup – to be part of a still-growing network and funding system.”
It is worth noting that Ballerup Municipality is heavily investing in a new business zone west of the city, Kildedal. Novo Nordisk is among the companies to move offices to the new Kildedal area. Going forward, Ballerup is poised to establish a life science stronghold by analysing what is already present in Greater Copenhagen’s ecosystem. In Raus words:
“We are able to fill in gaps that can make Denmark an even stronger nation within the life science domain. That is why we are spending a lot of time forming networks and partnerships with the right institutions and companies. Although the exact details are still shaping up over the coming months, a strong international profile and strategic partnerships are critical.