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Collaborate to Outsmart

Uppsala might be one of the most competence-dense regions in the world. One out of four inhabitants are students at either of the two world-leading universities and in the adult population, almost 4 percent have a doctor’s degree. In general, life science is the largest sector and its staff is well-educated. Combined with the competencies at our universities, authorities, and hospitals they make up a bulk of a well-educated population. This is our superpower and it is up to us to use it in the best way possible.

One way to catalyze this superpower is to get these people in the same room while presenting either a greater opportunity or challenge, serve some coffee, and watch them interact to find new ways to meet with those. Education leads to greater curiosity – and curiosity to be open-minded and learn from others.

This is the reason why Uppsala LIFE exists, and this year more than 250 of these highly competent people met and were presented to the parole and encouraged to Collaborate to Outsmart while listening to several great examples of cross-disciplinary collaboration platforms to spice up the coffee conversations.

Tobias Degsell, who is a proven and experienced facilitator to many major global organizations seeking to combine their functions to achieve better outcomes, guided the participants through the afternoon. Tobias is also a curious mind who has spent too much time researching Nobel laurates ability to be creative, which makes a foundation for the findings he shares in his work.

In the program, several great initiatives were on display, such as the competence centers AM4Life and SweDeliver, as well as the national infrastructures SciLifeLab and Testa Center. In addition, Uppsala hosts three science parks; Green Innovation Park, Uppsala Business Park, and Uppsala Science Park, which presented their means to get their respective residents to meet and give rise to happy accidents. Also, the program shared learnings from Uppsala Life Science Sustainability Network, initiated by the larger companies in order to make use of each other’s experiences and challenges with sustainable development, a great example of collaborating to outsmart. The last session gave a few outside perspectives on our ecosystem while also encouraging us to look outside for collaborations as well as to compare and be inspired, before Tobias as the facilitator summed it all up and wrapped the learnings into something tangible for the audience.

As organizers, we are extremely pleased with the reception and to all of those who supported us by participating and sharing.

As mentioned at the start of the conference, an ecosystem’s culture is what defines its success. And a few examples forming such a culture are; give before you get – the selflessness to share without expecting to get anything in return, pay it forward – the act of supporting others with the competence or resources you have that the other does not, as well as the ripple effect – where we in all interactions and transactions inspire and affect each other, where positives will have a greater effect on many.

If we do it right, we’ll be a world-class life science ecosystem – but it is up to us to do it together.