A BRIGHT Future: The Uppsala Cluster Study Visit

Submitted by Tobias Abe Ahy on 16 November 2022

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A BRIGHT Future for Uppsala – The Uppsala Cluster Visit

In October, STUNS Life science hosted the second cluster study visit of the BRIGHT project. During the visit, the idea was to promote the project to the ecosystem in Uppsala, Sweden, but also to promote the ecosystem to the partners of BRIGHT. Ultimately, the hope would be to facilitate interregional collaborations and ClusterXchanges (CXCs) in the future between Tartu, Uppsala, Lille, and Barcelona.

Uppsala: Smart & Specialized

A key factor to effective collaboration between the BRIGHT partners is understanding the different smart specialization strategies (S3) in our respective clusters. These are innovation policies that facilitate regional growth by focusing on the strengths specific to each region. Thus, during the cluster visit to Uppsala, BRIGHT members had an introduction to Uppsala’s first S3 strategy. One of Uppsala’s strengths as per its S3 strategy is Biological Production giving other partners an opportunity to investigate, for example, digital applications in bioprocessing.

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                                                                       Key focus areas in the Life Science aspect of Uppsala’s S3 strategy

Partners were then introduced to how the Uppsala region was actively working towards this goal through Testa Challenge, a public-private collaboration and an open innovation challenge dedicated to companies in the digital/tech sector to test and verify their technology in a fully funded standard bioprocess, a promising platform for a future ClusterXchange. Scaling-up production is often a challenge for start-ups and SMEs, and Testa Challenge lowers the threshold to overcome challenges in upscaling. In a similar way, BRIGHT hopes to aid in lowering the threshold to international expansions through the implementation of ClusterXchange schemes.

BRIGHT Getting Involved!

There were several occasions where the BRIGHT members had the opportunity to present themselves, and to learn about other actors in the Uppsala Cluster. From meeting actors in Uppsala’s Innovation Support System, the National Data Driven Life Science program, to meeting Uppsala’s digital health SMEs and start-ups - there was a lot of exposure and great interactions that were had in a single Cluster Study Visit. Amongst some of the companies that were met were:

  • Kontigo Care: A digital solution that through its Previct platform can predict addiction relapse to improve treatment and prevent relapses.
  • Stardots: Through ANLIVA, a clinical decision support tool, Stardots allows for the monitoring of Parkinson’s disease.
  • Viedoc: Optimization of clinical research through their digital platform

BRIGHT Partners on stage at Uppsala LIFE 2022

One of the most exciting occasions was Uppsala LIFE – STUNS Life science’s annual conference. This year was host to about 400 actors representing academia, industry, and society in the cluster. The BRIGHT members took the stage to discuss strides toward digitalization in our respective ecosystems and how we all benefit from international collaborations. The importance of such initiatives becomes clearer when considering that we, as EU states, are all going to be affected by the same legislation and are facing similar challenges, thus, there is no point in tackling these in silos.




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