Sweden and UK strengthen cooperation in life sciences


Today, Minister for Education Anna Ekström is meeting the UK’s Minister for Science, Research and Innovation, George Freeman, and Minister for Technology, Innovation and Life Sciences, Lord Kamall. In connection with their meeting in London, they will sign a memorandum of understanding in the area of life sciences. The memorandum builds on a long tradition of Swedish-UK cooperation and is intended to promote joint progress on policy development, technical standards, industry engagement, research, development and implementation of new technologies and treatments.

Two years ago, the Government launched a national life sciences strategy. The goal of deeper cooperation with the UK is mentioned in the strategy. 

“Research in the field of health and medicine is one of Sweden’s strengths. The UK is a world leader in that area, and has long been an important partner for Sweden. The memorandum we are signing today secures long-term cooperation, which I know many Swedish researchers and companies want to see,” says Minister for Education Anna Ekström.

The aim of the memorandum of understanding is to support the development of a common dynamic, effective and attractive life sciences ecosystem that encourages development and innovation for modern and equitable care in both countries and also globally.

“The UK and Sweden are leaders in innovation and research. Clinical research has been vital in our fight against Covid and is essential in saving thousands of lives. The UK’s innovation is testament to our ability to rapidly create vaccines and identify life-saving treatments like dexamethasone. This MOU will enable us to collaboratively build on our joint strengths in innovation and we look forward to working with our colleagues in Sweden on progressing our joint work in this area,” says Minister for Innovation, Lord Kamall.

This cooperation will proceed from both countries’ current strengths and common priorities, which include early diagnosis, clinical trials, antimicrobial resistance and pandemic preparedness.

“The life sciences sector is one of the most important in both Sweden and the UK, and there’s a long tradition of cooperation. The Government has invested in life sciences for the long term in the last two electoral periods, and this has produced results. Deeper cooperation with the UK is of huge strategic importance if we are to further develop the Swedish life sciences sector,” says Minister for Business, Industry and Innovation Karl-Petter Thorwaldsson.

“Both Sweden and the UK are home to world-leading life science sectors from Anglo-Swedish AstraZeneca to hundreds of small high growth companies so I am thrilled that our countries have been able to sign this MOU to work together on cutting edge research, business and policy that will benefit health outcomes both at home and across the globe,” says Science Minister George Freeman.

Press contact

Anja L Sundberg
Press Secretary to the Minister for Education Anna Ekström
Phone (switchboard) +46 8 405 10 00
Mobile +46 76 116 77 45
email to Anja L Sundberg
Max Ney
Press Secretary to Minister for Business, Industry and Innovation Karl-Petter Thorwaldsson
Phone (switchboard) +46 8 405 10 00
Mobile +46 73 094 25 40
email to Max Ney